Solo female travel is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. The chance to leave your comfort zone, meet new people and discover more about yourself are just some of the reasons to go alone.
But what are the benefits for women specifically?
Travelling alone is the ultimate confidence boost and the rewards can be game-changing for women.
Lugging a backpack, navigating new cities and learning to handle touts, all without a male companion or a group can reveal strengths you never knew you had.
Straight, white, cis men aren’t the only ones who can conquer mountains, road trip through deserts or tag a few days of luxury onto a high-stakes business trip.
Through their very existence, solo female travellers are giving the metaphorical middle finger to archaic ideas that define what women can, can’t or shouldn’t do – and that feels liberating.
You're the boss –
but no one's calling you bossy
If you’ve travelled on your own or are considering your first solo trip, chances are you’re reasonably bold and assertive.
These are characteristics of natural leaders, which, when possessed by women, can bamboozle certain types of people. (Hint: the types who are quick to use labels such as ‘control freak’ and ‘bossy’.)
Even travelling with close friends and partners can be a challenge when your travel styles clash. The joy of independent travel? You get to choose exactly how to spend your day, guilt-free.
You’re free to stick to your own action-packed itinerary, or laze by the pool. You can eat, sleep, and socialise however and whenever you want. You make the rules – and get to break them too.
Think solo travellers are lonely? Think again. While loneliness is a reality of life on the road from time to time, it’s not as common as you might expect.
It’s easy to meet people in hostels, on local tours and guided trips, or even on public transport, and you may find that you’re hardly ever on your own.
As a solo woman, people are, rightly or wrongly, likely to perceive you as approachable. This results in the occasional irritating encounter, but it can work in your favour for finding travel buddies.
If you’re still unsure about solitude, research social events and meetups in your destination ahead of time so that you can meet local women on the ground.
Or consider a female-only tour or group trip if you want to meet like-minded travellers (Intrepid launched its first batch of women-only trips in 2018).