All right, gang! I just returned from a whirlwind weekend trip to Isla Mujeres and wanted to share 10 tips for women who want to travel solo. It’s been a learning curve for me since losing Mr. Style four years ago. Not only putting my life back together after being a couple for close to thirty-six years, but I’ve had to figure out how to live alone and run my household and business with just me, myself, and I in charge. I have to be honest that being single has its challenges, but I’m happy to report I’m in a good space and place. It takes time, effort, and patience to rebuild your life, but it can be done one day at a time. There’s a good reason “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a cliché that makes a whole lot of sense.
Today's feature is 10 tips for women traveling solo
Plus, See my travel outfits and what I wore in Mexico
The outfits at the end of the post are shoppable via via text and image widgets
Traveling is one of the activities I’ve had to think long and hard about as a single woman. But travel is in my DNA since I studied abroad in Spain many moons ago. And Mr. Style and I lived overseas for a decade. I can’t tell you how many miles I’ve logged in, flitting off to Vietnam, China, Australia, back to the States then off to Japan.
One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain sums up my love of travel “Travel is fatal to prejudice.” Amen! Opening yourself up to new experiences and new cultures is the very thing that keeps us living a vibrant life.
Me and Heather DiPietro on Isla Mujeres, in Mexico.
But traveling solo has its own concerns. First, there are the logistics: booking the flights, hotels, transportation, activities, etc… It can be exhausting. But this weekend, I had the pleasure to celebrate Heather DiPietro’s launch of She’s the World, a travel company dedicated to helping female travelers navigate the world through escorted tours. What I loved about the past weekend spent on Isla Mujeres was that I didn’t have to worry about a thing.
Transportation was arranged for me from the airport to the ferry to the island. And we didn't miss a beat from when the plane touched down in Mexico to when I checked in to the hotel, which takes the stress out of travel. Right?!
Sometimes, it’s just the logistics of travel that can be complicated. Then there’s the airport itself with long security lines to navigate or questions about what to pack in your carry-on. And we haven’t even gotten to a packing list that needs to reflect the vacation activities. Phew!
Today, I thought I would share 10 tips for women who want to travel solo because I know many of you want to do just that. It can be intimidating if you’ve not traveled alone, but there’s a first time for everything. I’ve always believed that knowledge is power and the more knowledge we have on a particular subject like travel the easier it will be.
Tip 1: Choose a tour exclusively for Women. This is where She’s the World will come in handy. My recent trip to Isla Mujeres was seamless, thanks to Heather and her team. Everything was planned for me, from airline tickets to transportation, resort, and activities. I went sailing on a Cataraman, snorkeled, and went paddle boarding. What a fun weekend!
Tip 2: Research the best destinations for Women. Can you believe there are destinations and specific trips that are particularly interesting to women? Do you like to cook? Paris and their plethora of cooking classes is a possibility. Or is safety a concern? Iceland is considered one of the safest travel destinations. Maybe you love to explore while bike riding? Then Salzburg, Austria, might be of interest as it’s a bike-friendly city. Whatever suits your fancy go ahead and do your research.
Tip 3: Eating Alone. Just because you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to order room service in your room. Instead, eat at the bar or a communal table. You’d be surprised at how friendly the bartenders are as well as your neighbor on either bar stool to the right or left.
Tip 4: Book a local tour or language class. Tours are a great way to explore a new city, especially if you have an engaging guide. But consider signing up for a language class that meets several times weekly. Not only will you meet the instructor and fellow students, but you'll learn something in the process.
Tip 5: Don’t be afraid, be self-aware. When you tell your friends and family you’re setting off on a trip all by your lonesome, don’t be surprised if someone tells you how dangerous it can be for a woman to travel alone. Of course, solo travelers need to be cautious but don’t let unnecessary fear-mongering deter you.
The world is a pretty amazing place, and we don’t need to miss it just because we're single! Just be self-aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Solo female travelers have to walk the line between confidence and carefree.
Tip 6: Always give location updates to family and friends. When we’re traveling, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to provide updates to friends and family back home. Be safe, and in the meantime, keep our loved ones from worrying with a quick update each day.
Tip 7: Arrive at locations during the day. Set yourself up for success and arrive at your destination during the day when it’s easy to access your surroundings. Things are always a bit more dicey at night, so there’s no need to complicate your trip by arriving after dark.
Tip 8: Don’t walk with headphones in. I love to listen to audiobooks or music while on a home walk. But I leave my earphones at the hotel while walking on a trip. Headphones can make us less aware of our surroundings and signal a would-be mugger that we have a smartphone in our pocket.
Tip 9: Pretend to talk on the phone. When you are walking alone somewhere and feel uncomfortable, pretend you’re on the phone. That would-be mugger will most likely ignore you for fear you could tip someone off.
Tip 10: Learn a bit of the local language. At the very least, we should be able to say hello, thank you, or good morning in the local language. But going the extra mile and learning key phrases will go a long way to building trust with the locals and asking for help if needed.
A few sights and sounds of Isla Mujeres and two of my outfits.