Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. I get the urge for travel, pick a destination, and head for the hills or sea.
When getting ready for solo female travel, there are a few things I like to do in preparation:
Free my mind – probably my most important step. The unfortunate tendency to worry can easily take hold. Combine that with everyone asking what I’m running from and warning me about the hazards of traveling alone, stress can creep in. Taking time to free my mind ensures the rest will surely follow.
Research the destination – know before you go. It is so necessary to understand the culture and customs of the locale you’re visiting. I like to learn a bit about what is/not acceptable and learn a bit of the language. Not being prepared to interact with others is a lazy approach and makes it difficult to immerse in other civilizations. Failing to research reminds me of times during my professional career working with partners who refused to learn anything about the customs of the clients and prospects they met with. Many were clueless and thought they could win work over simple commonalities like Asian food. While its often the little things that create bonding experiences, the stereotypical ones can quickly ruin the moment. Vaccinations, visas, and entry requirements go here as well.
Draft a flexible itinerary – sometimes I like a plan, sometimes I don’t. Having a flexible itinerary allows me to create an authentic experience, incorporate the must-see/do adventures and excursions, and plan for rest days. The itinerary also helps me remember the experiences I’d like to have in a particular location. Believe me, it’s easy to forget things when caught in the moment.
Pack light – as a notorious former over-packer, I now understand how to pack light. Most of the time there are way too many clothes in the bag that never come out! Not only does packing light help ease the load, it pretty much guarantees my baggage will fit in the overhead bin to avoid the dreaded baggage claim and luggage fees.
Hit the road – let’s blow this pop stand! Find the best travel deal by plane, train, or automobile and hit the road.
While you may be a loner or a rebel traveling the world alone, make sure you let someone back home know where you plan to be and keep the hotel staff informed about your day plan when leaving the hotel just in case anything happens. If someone knows your plan and you vanish without a trace (just kidding but for real) they can send search and rescue to find you. Don’t worry, be happy and let’s go!