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Solo female travel advice?

Travel Forums Asia Solo female travel advice?

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Thailand
1. Posted by rastacourage (Budding Member 27 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

I am a 25 female from the US and have been planning a solo trip to SE Asia for the past few months, and now is the time to take some action. I finally talked to my parents about my trip plans, trying to convince them that I'm being smart about traveling solo. But it was no use; they don't approve of me going alone. Before talking to them, I didn't have a doubt in my mind (despite all my fears), but now I feel different. Their fears are projecting onto me, and now I'm questioning if I should even go at all.

I am currently planning on taking a group tour after landing in Bangkok to Cambodia and Vietnam. I would really love to stay 2-3 weeks after the end of the group tour to travel through Thailand and relax on the beach. After speaking with my parents, I have even been considering changing my destination to somewhere "safer" (Hawaii, perhaps?) but I know in my heart that where I really want to be is SE Asia. I don't want to settle, but I'm wondering if SE Asia is too big of a step for me right now.

I know no one can answer these questions for me, but I'd love to open the floor to hearing solo female travel stories - the reality of it, not just the highs. Is it normal to feel this way?

2. Posted by suhasj123 (Inactive 11 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

I would like recommend some places where you don't need of safety. I think you should visit these places.
Ireland: If you are traveling alone then you could create a different connection with the people and the land. The western coasts are the most amazing thing you could enjoy in the lifetime.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles is one the best amazing places for a solo traveler, You will like beautiful and tall building in the mid of city. If you want to be away from the hustles of the city life, go for the coastal LA! From Venice to Palos Verdes, the variety is endless.

New Zealand : A country, quite stunning indeed. The people are great at hospitality and you will feel glad to make it a choice. With beautiful scenic views of lush greenery and the rare wild life, New Zealand is an amazing place for solo travelers.

I have travel on these places so as solo traveller I would recommend you these amazing places for solo travellers.

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1094 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

At 25 you're no child. Sounds like they've spooked you, being overprotective.

Trouble can find you anywhere. Violent crime levels in parts of the USA are frightening, so I don't see that Hawaii or anywhere else domestic is less of a risk. In reality millions of backpackers visit South East Asia with no trouble, there's a well-worn tourist trail that makes it pretty easy.

Wherever you go, there are risks, but you can minimise them - by being streetwise, aware of the common scams, not taking unneccessary risks. I think the main risk in SEA is being parted from your money - pickpocketed or scammed. If you only carry what you need each day, you can limit what they could take you for. Violent crime, on the other hand, is rare.

Although you're heading off alone, you're unlikely to stay alone too much. Usually people make friends with other Western backpackers when staying in hostels, people who are in the same boat as you - a little lonely, stretching their comfort zone, or just because it's more fun doing it with company. Your idea of starting with a tour makes it very likely you'll make friends during the tour, and afterwards you can carry on in the same direction as people from the tour.

What could you do to allay their (and your) concerns? Go first for a couple of weeks holiday, with a defined end date and heading home to report in, safe and well? The extra expense of this may be better than abandoning your plans!

Good luck.

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 989 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Your apprehensions, and theirs, are normal. Even experienced travelers have them, particularly before a trip. But those trepidations usually begin to melt away once you're on the road.

I was 25 when I first traveled overseas (around the world in 18 months). My parents, too, opposed the idea, since I was giving up a good job to travel; and they also worried that my career path would be jeopardized. But I figured that I would be 25 only once. Besides, the Italian Line (now defunct) offered a special fare from New York to Naples for those 25 and under. It was time to go.

Yes, joining an organized tour to get the lay of the land is a wise move. Your parents shouldn't object to that.

Over the years I've met many women traveling solo, including Rose, an 18-year-old Australian who celebrated her 19th birthday in May 2014 while on an Intrepid tour of Madagascar, according to my journal. After that tour, she was going on another in southern Africa.

There are several Web links that might be helpful, Including these: https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/solo-female-travel-safety/
https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/how-to-convince-parents-to-let-you-travel-alone/

I like this comment from the second:

Lesley Edwards says
03/18/2016 at 3:38 pm

My daughter travels alone from time to time, and hence I worry from time to time. Here are some things I’ve learned about surviving as a parent.
Young people who travel and stay in guest houses or hostels often meet and spend time with other travelers. They pass on tips and experiences and look out for each other.
Social media really helps. Seeing a photo or post sets your mind at ease even if it’s not sent to you directly, you know your child is well and safe. So sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever the current favourite app is.
Expect the best, don’t ruin your own time with worrying. Keep busy and involved with friends and family.
Have an itinerary of your child’s trip but don’t obsess over it. It’s there in case of emergency or so you don’t forget when you need to be at the airport to pick them up. (As if you would!)
Trust that you have raised a wise and caring child and let them know it. This makes both of you feel better.
Don’t let scary news reports from foreign countries get to you. Remember news only sells if it’s dramatic and reporters make their living by delivering the sensational. The odds of your child being in the wrong place at the wrong time are statistically pretty low.
So kiss them goodbye and send them on their way, travel will make them better people. As I say to my daughter, “Travel wisely with an open heart”. I think she even left that on a comment wall somewhere at a guest house in Chengdu, China.

My family knows where I am since I provide them with an itinerary (with flight information, hotel phone numbers, etc.) whenever I travel. I also post updates on Facebook so family and friends know where I am and what I am doing. Suggestion: Google's Project Fi (with a Google phone) gives you phone and data access in more than 135 countries. I use it to communicate with folks at home. Rates are reasonable.

Hope this helps.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Sep-2017, at 08:23 by berner256 ]

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 685 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

I traveled to Europe by myself when I was 27 - a little older than you are and I was already married with two kids. My parents were still quite protective of me and didn't like me to even drive alone from Norfolk to Baltimore - One of them would come down on the bus and drive up with me.

I do not know why they did not give me any grief about going to Europe by myself, but they didn't, or if they did, I didn't pay any attention to it. Maybe it was because my husband was in the Navy and his ship was over there in the Med - I was going to meet him at various ports and perhaps my mother thought that was an appropriate trip to take. So I drove up (by myself) from Norfolk to Baltimore and left the kids with my mother (they were then age 3 and 8 months), and they put me on a train to Philadelphia (with a packed lunch). In Philadelphia i met the charter group that was going to fly to Germany with me.

My parents WERE travelers themselves. We took lots of trips when I was a kid, and after my dad died, my mother continued traveling - with me, with her grandchildren, with friends - up until she was 95 years old. But when my husband and I started to sailed south and to the Bahamas in the winter after I was 62, she complained bitterly that she was being abandoned - even though my sister lived closer to her than I did and my daughter lived very close to her. But, as always, I wrote to her. When I went to Europe at 27, I wrote airmail letters and when I was sailing down the Atlantic Intercoastal I send email messages every night or two. After she died when I started taking my grandchildren on trips, I would write to their parents each night. Sometimes the grandchildren wrote too, and sometimes not - depended on the kid. And I posted photos on Facebook.

I think it sounds like you kind of sprung this trip on them and I feel that they have not had to time to come to grips with the idea. So if you do a tour of three weeks that would give you a good basis of experience to start with and it should reassure your parents that you will be taken care of for that time. Then you can see if you want to stay over or come home.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Sep-2017, at 20:01 by greatgrandmaR ]

6. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 502 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Whatsapp is a good way to keep in contact with family back home. If you have WiFi or a local SIM you can make phone calls, video call, send pics and messages all over the internet.

As for dangerous travel destinations, I personally believe destinations are only as dangerous as the carelessness of the traveller. I've driven through some of the so called murder capitals of the world and apart from a bout of food poisoning came out relatively unscathed. Your common sense will alert you to most danger, if you feel uncomfortable, don't stay in that place or participate in that activity. Most of the places you will visit will be very touristy and those places tend to be void of the serious criminal activities that plague those countries and besides looking to the troubles in Europe and the natural disasters in Central America, the reality is any place can become dangerous no matter how highly graded for safety it is.

Your first trip will always leave you nervous. As you travel more this will fall away though I still get a little anxious before the start of any trip as there is always in the back of your "what if something goes wrong". A bit of nerves isn't such a bad thing, it keeps you alert and prepared but once you are boots on the ground travelling, you are usually so preocupied with the logistics of travelling and wrapped up in the glee of actually being in the place you'd only seen in pictures that you tend to end up forgetting to be nervous at all

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2013 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

In and out of Thailand for over 20 years. I always wear my favorite baseball or football team hats. Every now and then I run into older female retirees on pensions traveling alone who recognize my teams and say hello. These are older women traveling alone; perhaps widows or whatever. They seem to do okay in Thailand, maybe every now and then pay a little too much for some souvenir piece of junk from a vendor or too much for a ride. Just like tourists and out of town visitors exploring big cities in the US do from time to time!

When I read about female tourists getting in trouble in Thailand usually drinking too much alcohol is part of the reason! Maybe being lonely they chum around with people they meet in their hostel or hotel and they include you in some risky adventures.

In Thailand you can sign on to shared tours in person where you meet other tourists on the same van. (From some hotel tour desks and from many local travel agencies. Select tour one day leave following morning.)

Yes, you can get in trouble in many places in the world besides Thailand! For Thailand, besides Bangkok, Chiang Mai is popular with female tourists. For beach visits where you go depends on the weather. Some beaches better than others for particular months.

Good luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Sep-2017, at 03:48 by karazyal ]

8. Posted by Rayhan_hyz (Inactive 1 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Quoting rastacourage

I am a 25 female from the US and have been planning a solo trip to SE Asia for the past few months, and now is the time to take some action. I finally talked to my parents about my trip plans, trying to convince them that I'm being smart about traveling solo. But it was no use; they don't approve of me going alone. Before talking to them, I didn't have a doubt in my mind (despite all my fears), but now I feel different. Their fears are projecting onto me, and now I'm questioning if I should even go at all.

I am currently planning on taking a group tour after landing in Bangkok to Cambodia and Vietnam. I would really love to stay 2-3 weeks after the end of the group tour to travel through Thailand and relax on the beach. After speaking with my parents, I have even been considering changing my destination to somewhere "safer" (Hawaii, perhaps?) but I know in my heart that where I really want to be is SE Asia. I don't want to settle, but I'm wondering if SE Asia is too big of a step for me right now.

I know no one can answer these questions for me, but I'd love to open the floor to hearing solo female travel stories - the reality of it, not just the highs. Is it normal to feel this way?

Whats up rastacourage, I hear you, maybe this will be of some help for you and for anyone reading this,
The points in my head are as follows:
1- Someone travelling alone, be it male or female has a responsibility at hand, and that is as simple as being responsible for your tummy :)
hungry go get something, open up the fridge, or ask mom whats in the kitchen,
Well on your own you obviously would look around, and this is what gives you opportunity to grow as a person! You learn and experience, no matter what the loss is, (being away from home or expenses)
2 - To each's own! Born alone and we die alone, its a chance to get connected with yourself and only yourself!...

Peace!

Rayhan from The Leader

Posts 9 & 10 were removed by moderators