There are a lot of concerns and questions being brought up from our friends and family as a female solo traveler. Some of these include having a strategy to deflect unwanted attention as a female traveling alone.
Having been on the road most of the times I have come across a lot of people and they all were nice to me, though I can’t lie I have met a few jerks too.
There are tricks I have learnt to avoid unwanted attention, such as:
1. Walking Away Confidently when solo travel
There will always be that one person who whistles at you or comments on how beautiful you look, the best way to get past this is to smile and keep walking confidently towards where you were off to, stopping to listen to their conversation will only make you feel vulnerable. Confidence shows you are strong and focused. You can even have your headphones on with no music on and pretend you are enjoying some music, this they may not bother you.
The truth is that you cannot stop the catcalls whether you are on a solo travel adventure, in a group or at home. You’re a woman, someone somewhere will make cat calls at you. The best way is to ignore them. Unless they attack you, don’t take them seriously. Simply keep walking away.
2. Observe the Local Dressing Code
They way you dress will either help you blend in or make you stand out. As a foreigner, you definitely don’t want to stand out. So do observe what local women wear and do the same. Leave the cleavage enhancing topic, miniskirts and tight clothes at home. Wear headscarves, cover your shoulders and legs, or wear skirts rather than trousers if you are in a conservative country, especially muslim countries such as Dubai, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Oman etc.
Always remember, your dressing says a lot about you. You may not know it but, your clothes express the kind of person that you are so don’t give people the wrong idea.
3. Be Careful When Flirting as a travel girl
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with flirting. However, you need to be careful how you do it and the kind of message that you pass across when you do it as a travel girl. Sometimes you may flirt with someone innocently and they get the idea that you want to spend the night with them. Most men will assume that flirting is a prelude to sex when all you are doing is being friendly, unless you are actually planning to go further.
If you’re not sure how to flirt without letting the men think you’re after sex, my advice would be not to flirt at all. If men approach you, politely let them know that you’re not interested.
4. Never Trust Just Any Man as a Female Solo Traveler
You will meet lots of people as a female solo traveler. As a woman, men will especially be more friendly and always offer to help you. This is a good thing right? Yes it is but also, keep in mind that as a woman you are more vulnerable to being attacked by a man than by a woman. So be careful when putting your trust in men.
When socializing, try and keep the company of women and don’t give away too much information, especially where you are staying. Don’t invite a man into your room, tent or home unless you want him there and you can trust him. In most cases this would be considered a firm invitation to stay the night so be sure that’s what you want, if not let them know before you head home together.
5. Fake a Ring and Husband if You’re a Solo Traveler
Being single has it’s advantages and disadvantages. One of the downfalls of being single is that it increases unwanted attention. People know that you have no one to take care of you as a solo traveler. So what do you do if you’re not traveling with your partner or if you are not married? Fake it. Haha yes you read that right!
Most single women have been able to deflect attention by faking being married by wearing a fake ring. You can try that too if you don’t want men flirting with you. It’s not a guarantee but when you need a quick solution this works best. Also, when talking to someone who is giving you more attention than you’re comfortable with, loosely mention that you are visiting the place with your husband. Any man out there pursuing you and you’re not interested in them will surely back down.
6. Choose your Mode of Travel Wisely
When moving around a place make sure that the you go for cabs that are registered. It’s even better if you use cab hailing apps such as Uber or Go-Jek. If the driver tries any suspicious move you can always report them to the taxi company or rate them poorly. Sit at the back of the car and try to have less or no talk with the driver. Sometimes when you are traveling to a new place its ok not to be friendly until you’re comfortable with the area.
7. Avoid Late Nights during
Having late night drinks or going out for dancing is probably in your travel plans. However, if you cannot find a friend to tag along you are better skipping this part of the trip. You are more vulnerable to an attack at night than you are during the day. So you have to be extra careful when roaming around at night.
If you are going out in a club, use a cab to get there and have someone you can trust, such as a room mate to tag along. In an ideal world, you should be able to go anywhere any time you want, unfortunately it’s not an ideal world…yet. If you must go out alone, apply the same precaution you would at home.
It is totally possible to travel peacefully as a female solo traveler without men being all over your case. If you want to travel hassle-free, sticking to a few social rules will help.
Are you a female solo traveler? What are some of the tricks you use to deflect unwanted attention. Please share with us in the comments box!