When traveling abroad — especially when you're unfamiliar with local customs and laws — it's easy to be exploited or made to feel unsafe. This is especially true of solo women travelers, who are easy targets for muggings, scams, and sexual assault. Some of the risks women traveling solo face while traveling include:

• Violence

Women are at greater risk of being victims of violent crimes abroad because many deem them as easy targets. Rape, for instance, is a common risk for women traveling alone abroad. This is especially true if women go out at night by themselves.

• Theft

When traveling abroad, women run the risk of becoming victims of theft, which include theft of their personal items and identity theft.

• Cultural attacks

In many conservative countries, if foreign women fail to adopt the local customs and culture, they risk being attacked or shunned. This leaves women traveling solo in an even more vulnerable position.

Safe travels in these 5 places

Luckily, if you're a solo woman traveler, you don't have to find a travel companion. If you choose a safe country, and implement safeguards, you will greatly reduce your risk of experiencing crime. Five of the safest destinations for women to visit alone include:

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is known to be an incredibly safe and progressive country -- solo travel is easy and comfortable with minimal risks. Reykjavik, the main city in Iceland, is home to not only natural beauty, but also a vibrant music scene and nightlife. Single women travelers can enjoy cultural aspects of Reykjavik, such as The Nordic House as well as the many safe parks and beaches Reykjavik has to offer, like the Geothermal Beach and Videy Island. If you're looking for fun as a single woman, Reykjavik has tons of shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. At Slippbarinn, for instance, you can enjoy live jazz and pop-up shows.

2. Berlin, Germany

If you're a young, single woman, then Berlin is the perfect place to be! It's safe for solo women travelers, and Berlin is known as the party capital of Europe. Each district of Berlin is home to tons of nightclubs, bars, and hip restaurants. Best of all, there are so many solo travelers in Berlin, it's easy to make new friends. Berghain, the most famous nightclub in Berlin, features classic German techno music. If you're into the outdoors, there are loads of parks to visit as well as lakes to swim in. Schlachtensee, on the outskirts of Berlin, is a massive lake that offers plenty of swimming and sunbathing spots. Into shopping? Then check out Alexanderplatz, Berlin's city center, that is the shopping district.

New call-to-action

3. Maui, Hawaii

If you're more of a sporty chic, then you'll really enjoy Maui. Not only is it safe for solo women travelers, but you'll never get bored here on vacation. Maui offers it all -- from boating to snorkeling to surfing and hiking, you can easily stay outdoors all day. Check out the many sandy, sunny beaches, such as Napili Beach and Ka'anapali Beach, or explore other outdoor attractions, like the Maui Chocolate Farm and the Kula Botanical Garden. Maui also has a vibrant nightlife featuring tons of tiki lounges and nightclubs.

4. Montreal, Canada

If you're a chic who loves to explore and walk everywhere, then you'll love Montreal. It is an incredibly walkable and compact city. Montreal offers the perfect mixture of nature, arts and culture you'd find in a European city, but without all the associated travel costs. Some of the main attractions that are fun to see as a solo traveler include the Montreal Botanical Gardens, and Old Montreal -- the historic district of Montreal, situated on a waterfront, features unique boutiques and restaurants. Nightlife attractions include trendy cocktail bars and French-inspired cuisine. Montreal is also home to some lively, vibrant nightclubs, including Tokyo Bar, Muzique, and Stereo.

5. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia has been voted as one of the most livable cities in the world, and it is known for its safety. Melbourne is also incredibly easily to navigate, and it's home to tons of nature, cultural attractions and nightlife. If you're into fitness and the outdoors, then you should check out Port Campell National Park, which consists of an impressive rock formation on the ocean. The Royal Botanic Gardens are equally impressive. Animal lover? Then walk on over to the Melbourne Zoo that dates back to 1862. Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with a lively nightlife that includes nightclubs that stay open all night long. Some great nightclubs to check out are Loop Project Space and Bar, La Di Da, and Revolver Upstairs. As a solo traveler, you'll never get bored with what Melbourne has to offer.

No matter where you travel to, stay safe with these 4 tips

Regardless of which country or state you travel to, as a woman traveling alone, you should always take certain precautions, such as:

• Research the risks

You should look up crime rates and potential risks you might face before traveling to a specific country. Check the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs to read travel alerts and warnings that have been issued.

• Keep your belongings safe at all times

You should never take too many valuables with you -- this means not packing expensive jewelry or designer items. When going out in public, only take as much money as you need for the day. Consider hiding money in different areas on your body -- a money belt is a great item to invest in.

• Protect your identity

This means you should make photocopies of your passport, credit cards, medical insurance, and driver's license prior to traveling, an you should make digital copies of them as well in case of theft.

• Embrace local customs

Depending on where you are traveling to, you should read up on local customs and culture, so that you don't draw extra attention to yourself, making you an easier target for crimes.

References

  1. "12 Best and Safest Places for Women to Travel Alone," The Vacation Times, March 15, 2017.
  2. "34 Places Every Woman Should Visit — by Herself," Refinery 29, September 11, 2017.
  3. "The Realities Women Face When Traveling Alone, And How To Stay Safe," Forbes, February 7, 2013.
  4. "Why Is Travelling Alone Still Considered a Risky, Frivolous Pursuit for Women?," The Guardian, March 21, 2016

adventure | solo travel | travel tips | traveling solo