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12 THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM SOLO TRAVELLING AS A WOMAN

I'd always wanted to travel on my own, but my lack of confidence usually got in the way, until recently when I've been embracing solo travel trips. From Day trips alone to weekend breaks in European cities, I've done a few trips now and already I've learned so much. 

So what exactly have I learned from solo travelling as a woman?



Taking a selfie in Derry on one of my solo trips
When solo traveling you will end up with more selfies than you could ever want.
This was taken in Derry in front of the Bogside on a very windy February day.


1. I actually have the confidence to do whatever I want. The number one thing stopping me from solo travelling in the past was not having the guts to just go for it, but now I know I can do whatever I want whenever I want!

2. Everyone wants to know why you're on your own. For some reason, a woman choosing to travel alone is a strange concept for some people. Every trip I've been on when I've spoken to someone for more than 5 minutes they've asked why I'd want to do a trip on my own. 

3. You make friends very easily. When solo travelling it's super easy to make new friends. I always meet people, on tours, or at bars, so I'm never actually lonely when I'm alone. If all else fails I can always hop onto Bumble and get myself a date with a cute local so I don't have to drink alone.

4. Solo travel as a woman is mostly safe however, there are always predators lurking. Although I've not had any major incidents on any of my solo trips yet, I did have a close call with a stranger who followed me down a dark road late at night. Whilst nothing like this has happened before, or since, I always make sure I'm aware of my surroundings and steer clear of any suspicious-looking characters.


The modern looking Peace Bridge in Derry on a solo trip
The Peace Bridge in Derry, Northern Ireland


5. Solo travel is more expensive than travelling as a couple or in a group. Unfortunately when you travel alone you cop for the cost of the whole hotel room so I've had to learn to be much more flexible when it comes to travel. I don't usually pick a specific destination when I look at travelling, I just see where is most affordable at that time. I also take late-night flights as much as possible as these are usually the cheapest flights to catch.

6. I can easily adapt when things don't go to plan. As someone who's lived with anxiety for most of their adult life, I can sometimes struggle when things don't go to plan, especially when I'm travelling alone. But after a few mishaps, I feel I can now adapt pretty well when things go pear-shaped.

7. Along similar lines, I think I'm pretty good at solving problems when solo travelling. On my first night in Krakow, I arrived at my apartment at around 1 am after coming straight from the airport to find I couldn't access my apartment. You'd think I would be quite stressed about this considering I was in a new city, alone, at night, and on an empty road, but I managed to stay incredibly calm (for me) and called my host for help. I was safely in my apartment no more than an hour later.


Myself standing in front of Free Derry Corner. I had to ask a strange to take this photograph as I was travelling solo
When travelling alone I often ask strangers to take my photo if I don't feel confident setting my tripod up.
This photo was taken at the Free Derry Corner, Derry Northern Ireland

8. I can probably overcome my fear of the dark - speaking of Polish apartments - although my apartment was lovely once inside, the walk up to the room was terrifying. I was staying in one of those old city centre apartments which have been standing since before the turn of the last century. They can be lovely but my god, can they also be scary. To access my apartment I had to walk through the bottom of one apartment block, across a pitch-black courtyard, into a second apartment block, and up 7 flight of stairs. Oh, and did I mention that the lighting system for both apartment blocks worked on a sensor which meant you had to walk around a considerable amount before the lights were activated. This system is great for the environment however, trying to walk up several flights of stairs in a creepy apartment building alone in the dark is an experience I wouldn't like to have again. That being said I reckon I could eventually overcome my fear of the dark if I had to do this enough.

9. Sometimes you have to be a bitch. When someone you've just met asks to share a taxi with you from the airport to the city centre is okay to say no. When the same person spots you the following morning on a group tour and tries to make conversation with you, it's okay to be a little cold if you're getting bad vibes from them. Most people are likely harmless but when you're solo travelling, especially as a woman, sometimes it pays to trust your gut and be a bitch.

10. Having internet access can be invaluable. When I'm travelling alone my phone is my best friend. I use google maps to easily find my way around new cities, and I leave 'find my friends' active for as long as possible so that my family back home can see my location. Without internet access I could still have successful solo trips however, I feel more confident and safe knowing I have the resources I need in my pocket.

Looking down from the medieval Derry city walls over the Bogside which is a residential area with many murals on the sides of houses
The Bogside, Derry, Northern Ireland

11. You don't have to drink to have a good holiday. Yes, you read that correctly - You can have an amazing trip without ingesting one drop of alcohol! I know this because I was actually on antibiotics for one of my trips which sadly meant that I couldn't have a little bev at the bar. I don't drink much on my solo trips anyway as I feel safer and more in control if I limit my alcohol consumption when I'm alone.

12. There are SO many benefits of solo travelling. From doing whatever you want on your terms, to making new friends, and even just taking a break from people in general, there are so many perks to solo travelling. Although I will always take trips with my friends and family, I hope I'll never give up travelling alone as my solo trips are just so special to me.

So those were the 12 things I've learned from solo travelling as a woman!

I've love to hear about your experiences travelling alone, let's have a chat over on twitter or leave a comment below 😊


Thanks for reading!


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Grace standing at the top of the Derry City Walls overlooking the bogside. Her hair is blowing in the wind.


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