Women have the desire to mingle with locals in pubs in Scotland, inspect treasures at markets in Egypt, and explore the streets of Rome, Paris, and Buenos Aires at dusk. Sadly though, solo female travellers have more safety concerns. Safety-wise, some places rightfully have a bad reputation for women travelling alone, while others are straight-up dangerous for anyone regardless of gender. Still, solo female travel is on the rise as technology and accessories improve to help us travel safer.
The best advice for solo female travellers is to travel prepared, travel with your wits about you, travel confidently, and do your research on the safest countries for solo female travellers. To help you along, we’ve created a female guide to solo travel because a woman’s place is wherever she wants to be. While these incredible spots still have their risks, here are the best places for solo female travel and a bit about what to look out for when it comes to your safety:
We’re starting off with the densely populated, heavily nicknamed New York City. Whatever you like to call it, The City That Never Sleeps is fine for solo female travellers. It may be overwhelming for first-time travellers, but generally speaking, you just need to be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking in unpopulated areas at night. Pickpocketing can be common in The Big Apple, so keep your money and passport as close to you as possible, like in your anti-theft undies, with hidden pockets. Since pickpockets often work in groups, don’t be fooled by suspicious attempts to distract you.
There are a number of reasons this creative, mythical city makes this list. Ireland is overall a safe country for women, and the locals are very friendly and helpful. You can also take in many of the attractions by foot, avoiding train stations, which are often the more dangerous parts of big cities. Like all metropolises, there are rougher spots, so listen to your in-built ‘bad-vibe radar’ when it screams at you to move along.
Not only is Dublin a safe spot for solo female travellers, but there’s also stunning scenery, cute streets, the world’s smallest bar, beautiful public gardens and heaps of comfort food around, so it’s genuinely a good place for the soul. Pack all the travel essentials like face masks, hand sanitiser, adapters, and a waterproof jacket, and you’re good to go.
New Zealand has to be one of the safest countries in the world for solo female travellers. With volcanic wonderlands, rich Māori culture, famous film locations, hot pools, and beautiful beaches, New Zealand is popular among backpackers and luxury seekers alike. Women exploring alone should keep their possessions safe and stick to well-lit areas at night as they would everywhere else.
Scotland is another safe destination for women travelling on their own. On top of that, it’s drop-dead gorgeous. Taking the usual precautions, you’ll feel at ease wandering through Edinburgh, chatting with locals in pubs, and taking in the country’s remarkably varied landscapes. Prepare to make your trip as enjoyable as possible following Billy Connelly’s advice: “In Scotland, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.”
If we’re talking snakes, spiders, and sharks, then yes, Australia can be an intimidating place to travel solo for anyone. But generally, Australia is one of the best places for solo female travel if you safeguard yourself as normal. People are approachable and helpful, and it’s all pretty laid back. Australia has been known to be quite responsive to Covid outbreaks, so wear a mask to boost health and safety when it’s required. And leave snakes alone!
Germany is absolutely a place where you can feel safe travelling alone as a woman, but try to avoid being a victim of theft or pickpocketing in the bigger cities. It’s easy to get around with exceptional train infrastructure, and it’s super interesting thanks to a mix of tradition and modernity. Whether you’re into art, castles, techno, or beer, there’s something for every solo female traveller.
Not only is Bhutan completely safe for women travelling solo, but it’s also an incredibly peaceful, welcoming place. A place to clear the mind and connect with nature, it entices many solo travellers, although travellers are never really alone in Bhutan. To protect the country’s sacred culture, the government has made it so that each traveller or group has a tour guide and driver. Locals are kind-hearted and respectful towards guests, so you’ll feel very safe. To protect the people of this Himalayan Kingdom, and yourself, opt to wear a face mask wherever it’s necessary.
Without a firm grasp on the language, China can be a challenging place to travel alone for all genders. The language barrier is daunting, but solo female travel in China is worth it. The culture is used to women travelling alone, and crimes against foreign travellers are rare. Use your travel common sense and you’ll no doubt have a very memorable trip.
Egypt has a bit of a bad rap, and some of this is fair. Harassment of women is common, and some women who travel alone might prefer a safety-in-numbers approach in Egypt by booking a group tour. While what you wear will not affect the harassment, it is a conservative country, so it’s best to cover up out of respect, especially when visiting a mosque.
Sadly, pickpocketing and purse snatching are the norm in Egypt, especially in crowded places, so be extra cautious and keep your valuables in your travel undies.
There are often lots of people out and about at night, so Egypt can actually be a refreshing destination for solo female travellers who enjoy a night stroll. With all the millennia-old attractions and rich culture, the good will likely outweigh the bad during your time in Egypt.
A dream travel destination for many, Italy is impossible not to enjoy. Taste wine in Tuscany, romance yourself, toss a few coins in the Trevi Fountain, peep art and history around every corner, and get lost in the winding cobblestone streets.
Sad to say, harassment toward women is common in Italy, as is theft. It’s best to keep valuable belongings in your travel undies, which come in full brief and hipster styles to suit all of your Italian fashion-inspired outfits. Keep your eyes open, take your time, and you’ll without a doubt adore Italy.
While it’s understandable that some women may be hesitant to start packing their bags for a solo adventure, we encourage everyone to get out there and not miss any of this huge, beautiful, interesting world. Sharpen your instincts, do your research, equip yourself with safety-savvy gear, and walk with confidence, remaining as quick-witted and observant as you are adventurous and curious.
Ask any woman who’s travelled alone, and she’ll likely reminisce fondly on her solo adventures. She’ll probably encourage you to go for it, too.