Solo travel changed my life, and I’d venture to say it’s changed the life of everyone who’s ever traveled solo. It gives you confidence, shows you what you can do, and opens your eyes to more than just what’s at home or what others’ likes and opinions are. For women, it’s particularly important to know what you’re made of, and solo travel will show you that in no uncertain terms.
But let’s be for real: It’s not easy! You’ll make mistakes, but it’s okay. However, if you can learn a few things before you even start, you’ll have a leg up on the experience. Here are the top 7 skills solo female travelers need!
How to Carry Your Own Luggage without Hurting Yourself
This is so important. There won’t always be someone there to help you with your luggage, so packing light and knowing how to carry it all are essential. Roller bags are fine for even surfaces, but you’ll still need to maneuver those bags up stairs, across cobblestones, and through crowded streets. Make sure you can lift it as needed!
Another option is backpacks. I’ve been known to put my larger luggage backpack on my back and strap on my smaller, “personal item” sized backpack on my front. It leaves my hands free, and it doesn’t hurt my back at all. Just make sure you get fitted for a luggage backpack at an outdoor store to understand how it’s supposed to fit! My favorite brand is Osprey. (Note: This is an affiliate link that supports my small business!
More here: How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on
How to Go Out to Eat Solo
I’m always amazed when people say they’re afraid to go out to eat by themselves. There is literally no one to make you feel bad about it–you’re by yourself! You get to eat where you want, what you want, when you want. It’s awesome! Want ice cream for lunch at 10:00am? Do it! Want a burger in Thailand instead of Pad Thai? Do it! Want Key Lime Pie as an appetizer? Do it! Going out to eat on your own is so much better than going out to eat with your judgey, choosey, picky friends and family. Sorry, trust me!
Related: How to Dine Out Solo and Like It
How to Google
You can’t trust everything Google says, but you can really get a lot of questions answered quickly if you just know where to look! Need to know when the next bus is coming? Google it. What’s the one thing you have to eat in the city you’re visiting? Google it. Can you get advanced tickets to the main attraction in town so you can skip the line? Google it!
Read next: 9 Habits of Successful Travelers
How to Wear Clothes Multiple Ways
This is one of the most important, most used, most valuable solo female travel skills anyone can possess. How much you pack directly affects how heavy your luggage is. How heavy your luggage is determines whether or not you have to pay extra to check it. How large (and over stuffed) your luggage is determines whether or not you can take that luggage on the plane with you. Whether or not your clothes can mix-and-match directly affects how many outfits you can create on a three-day, one-week, or two-month trip! Packing strategically is the best travel gift you can give yourself.
I wrote a whole series on how to wear your clothes multiple ways, including midi dresses, button-down shirts, leggings, and scarves!
Get all the travel styles on my Packing Page!
How to Use the Bathroom with Your Luggage
This is essential because… Nature. If you’re traveling solo, you can’t just leave your luggage to take a tinkle. You also can’t ask some strange person to watch it for you while you go find a bathroom. So, you have to take it with you. But who wants to put their luggage or purse on the airport bathroom floor? If you can master the skill of using the bathroom with your backpack (or backpacks) strapped to you, you will find unparalleled value in it!
More here: Potties of the World
How to Have Confidence–Especially If You Don’t Think You Have It
Fake it till you make it! Confidence, or simply the appearance of confidence, will take you far and keep you safe. Thieves and bad people don’t mess with confident people. They seek out people who look like they’re lost, look down, or appear weak. My best advice for any solo female traveler is to always look like you know where you’re going–you will get there!
Keep reading: 6 Solo Travel Experiences to Have
How to Listen to Your Intuition
Along with confidence, this is the best advice you’ll ever get for solo travel–male or female. Work on listening to what your body and your gut are telling you. Feel like someone’s watching you? Someone probably is. That goes with everything. Trust what your gut is telling you. Don’t be paranoid, just trust yourself.
Read on: 21 Best Destinations for Solo Female Travel
Want more? Check out all my best solo travel tips for solo travelers on my dedicated Solo Travel Page!
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