Female Travel Tips from Female Travelers

By Nomadic Matt | Published December 16th, 2010

female traveler on the phoneThis is a guest blog by Laura, our resident expert on female travel.

I have been fortunate enough to be inspired by many great women in the travel blogging community. What better way to share female travel tips, than to survey the experts! I asked each other female travelers what their best travel tip is for other female travelers:

If you want to try to exercise but you aren’t in an area where you can do it easily (run, bike, etc) then pack a jump rope. It’s lightweight, can be used for tying up other things, and you can jump rope and actually stay in shape! One of my most memorable experiences was jumping rope on the roof of my guest house/hotel in Todra Gorge Morocco – a beautiful view!–Sherry from Ottsworld

“Female travelers often complain about creeps approaching while traveling around the world. For me, if I ever see a sketchy character on the street, pretending I am on the phone tends to keep the creeps away. It’s important not to distrust everyone, but I learned from the Sicilians, always have a suspicious stare about you. That stare will fade if you are more interested in the corner bar than the city you are in.” –Suzy of Suzy Guese

“Even in summer, don’t forget a scarf or pashmina–I prefer mine bright and patterned since the rest of my travel wardrobe is neutral. It can spice up an outfit, act as an extra layer in the cold and cover you up if religious sites have dress codes.–Christine of C’est Christine

“Call home twice as much as you think you should! My parents worry so much more about me when I’m out of the country as my brother, who’s eight years younger. When I was in Costa Rica, I had to email every 48 hours, or my mom would be a wreck. My brother? He disappeared in the Philippines for a month and they took it in stride.” -Abby of Day Dream Away

“A great way to keep yourself from feeling lonely while on the road is to join Couchsurfing. That way you will have a “friend” in every country you travel to. Also, follow your intuition, which will only get stronger with each trip you take. The only time I did not follow my intuition was in India and I ended up having a horrible experience. I left that experience not so much angry at what had happened, rather angry with myself for not listening to my gut. –Andi from My Beautiful Adventures

female traveler on the phone

“Switch to a Diva Cup for your period! It’s a lot easier to use in questionable clean foreign toilets, you never have to carry around stacks of feminine products, you leave less of an environmental impact and it can stand-up to epic 12 hour bus rides. Here’s my review with pros/cons and details.” -Shannon of A Little Adrift

“Always pack condoms. Some women leave it up to the guy, which could land you into an awkward and frustrating sexual situation.” -Jeannie of Nomadic Chick

“While traveling, act like you know where you are and where you are going, even if you don’t. If you need to check out a map, step into a bathroom or out of the main drag where people might not notice. –Abbie of AbbieMood.com

female safety rape whistle“The “My Boyfriend is Just Around the Corner” Technique: In some parts of the world, a female traveler on her own can draw a lot of attention. I’ve gotten hissed at, whistled at, and even had a man tell me I was the blood pumping through his veins – if that isn’t creepy, I don’t know what is. Although usually meant as flattery, uninvited remarks can be quite uncomfortable, especially if the situation escalates. Reserved for those guys that just can’t take subtle hints that you were enjoying your time without their attention, I call in the “Well, I should go, my boyfriend/husband is just around the corner” technique. Most respectable guys will take the hint and back off. If worse comes to worse, use the “boyfriend” as a way to leave the situation or to join a group of people nearby. -Bessie of On Our Own Path

“My best tip remains my safety whistle. Worth its weight in gold.” –Jodi of Legal Nomads

“Don’t be afraid to start chatting with just about anyone. Sure, approaching people as a solo female traveler can be daunting, but do your best to put on a brave face and strike up conversation with fellow travelers at the hostel, locals on the bus, the fantastic chef cooking your street cart snack, anyone! By talking to as many people as you possibly can throughout your journey, you come home with a whole new wealth of knowledge, not to mention a great group of new international friends.” –Sarah of She’s In Love With The World

“Be sure of yourself. Trust your gut, know your limits and stand up for yourself when it seems necessary. Only you know what will make you a happy traveler, so don’t let the critique of others influence your travel decisions. In other words, while some female travelers may find the old controversial topic of sporting a fake wedding ring a waste of time, you might find it useful and comforting. Most of all — have a great time!” –Brooke of Brooke vs. the World and Why Go Australia

“After you pack, you should unpack half of your clothing, right? It’s a great idea. If you’re like me, you ambitiously try it out, saying, “This will be the trip where I finally pack light!” But as the date gets closer, the unpacked items inevitably make their way back into the bag with the question, “What if I need this?!” I’ve found that the best way to curb the last minute desire to over pack is to remember that in almost any destination, inexpensive clothing and accessories that are fitting for the climate and country can be purchased upon arrival if needed. Visualizing a handicraft market helps me keep my luggage light, at least on the way to the destination.” -Ekua of Girl, Unstoppable

exercising on the road
“Trust your gut and be quick on your feet! Always trust your gut no matter the situation, be it an opinion on if you think someone you just met is sketchy or not or if you feel like skydiving or eating some kind of foreign food. You will be happy with your decision in the long run and possibly safer for it too. Be quick on your feet, always think of a story about where you are headed and who are you meeting for nosey people asking too many questions. I constantly have people like cab drivers trying to ask me a million questions like this and they are often followed by, are you married, where is your boyfriend and so on. I always quickly respond, “That is who I am going to meet right now.” –Cailin of Travel Yourself

And my tip? If you’re traveling abroad, program the country’s emergency number into your phone. And if you’re not traveling with a phone, write it down and keep it handy. I feel comfort in knowing that I can act should an emergency situation arise.

Laura Walker runs the website, A Wandering Sole. She’s been backpacking around the world for seven months by herself and is not afraid just because she is a girl. You can get more travel tips from her website or check back here every other Thursday for more stories by her.

comments 26 Comments

Jim

Wonderful to read such encouragement for female travellers. The best tip I can give my wife is “Don’t leave without me!”

Thanks for including me, Laura! This was such a fun read. I always debate about whether are enough women’s tips that are truly only for females, but there were some great ones here. Any woman on the fence about traveling I think would get inspired to take the plunge after reading this. Loved it!

always have a roll of toilet paper in your daypack!

NomadicMatt

I think is true for both genders!

Great big thanks to Laura and Matt for including me in this great roundup of female traveler tips. We’re all in good company with this list! :)

Awesome tips! Thanks for inviting me to give my two cents! :)

Thanks for including me! There are so many great tips from so many awesome female travelers–I really enjoyed reading them.

Great tips from great ladies!!!

NomadicMatt

I couldn’t agree more.

Thanks for including my tip! So much great advice here – Jodi has me sold on a whistle, never thought to carry one before! :)

Thanks for including me in the list – some good tips here. Shannon: glad you’re getting a whistle too!

a great collection of advise.

Milos

I go with the point that, never make someone worried about you, when you are on a trip. That was a great point.

The whistle is brilliant, Jodi. I better get off the net right now and buy one at the market here in Pen.

Thanks Jeannie! Small but very handy when you need it. Hope we cross paths soon on our travels.

Great tips, I would say as with a lot of people that men can get some mileage out of these tips as well, apart from the feminine hygeine one of course.

Awesome tips! I would have never thought to bring a jump rope. I really do need to get myself a safety whistle. The Diva Cup sounds like a good idea, but I’m a little afraid of it. I have definitely used the “boyfriend is around the corner” trip–it definitely works well!

Dani

GIRL POWER! I love it :-) I like the idea of supporting other women/women travelers, we women need to support each other!…This coming fall I plan on traveling for a year (somewhere in south america most likely), either by myself or with a girl friend, and I will def keep these tips in mind, they are awesome, thank you, need to not forget a jump rope :-)

I’m not a female. But very nice article.
Thank you for sharing.

As a female traveller+hotel operator I’d like to add that you should carry your hotel’s number with you as well! AND the CELL PHONE number of the hotel manager because: the landline may not be manned 24/7 and not all countries have useful emergency hotlines.

This is a great post with lots of helpful tips – some I have used when on my own as well. My best advice is to pay attention at all times to that little voice telling you something is not right or if the hair on your hands stands up – run, seek help, get out immediately and be safe! It’s served me well whether I am in my home town on the way home from the grocery store or in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language!
Keep traveling ladies! I’m booking my next adventure with the gals to Paris and can’t wait to reunite with all my travel buds there!
Cheers,
Priscilla

Brandy

When I travel alone (in a country that the primary language isn’t English) I always make sure I put the name of where ever I am staying on a piece of paper or the hotel’s card and keep it with me. On the way back to my hotel I give that card to the taxi driver so that I don’t have to try to explain what I am saying and it ensures he always takes me to the right place.

Fantastic collection of tips. Really appreciate the one about calling home – never hurts to have a reminder about that!

Annette

I think the tips are very useful for safe travelling and enjoying yourself. It’s amazing at the amount of people at my school who are scared to walk out of their front door because of the fact that they are female. This really does give women power. Thank you very much!

I would wear a fake wedding ring. Marriage vows are highly respected by most Europeans. A fake ring will scare off must unwanted attention.

Thanks for the tip! For me personally, I also walk around with a key between my fingers (in scary/ dodgy places). I’ve never had to use it, but it does help me walk around feeling far more secure, which probably translates to a look of “don’t mess with me”

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