Single Lady Hustler Travel Tips
I love to travel, but I grew up in a huge family and traveling was always a bit stressful. "Where's Andrea?! Did we leave her at the last rest stop? How long will it take us to get back? Oh, never mind, here she is!"
So in the interest of my own sanity, and because I want to make the most of my single, kidless years, I travel alone most of the time.
Many people will try to sway a young woman (or any woman for that matter) from traveling alone. But I don't have time to wait for all of my friends or family members to get their passports, finances, work schedules and lives in order. I'm trying to see the world now!
Here are five of my Lady Hustler tips for traveling alone:
1.) Be friendly, but forgettable
My mama raised me right, so I don't feel the need to be rude to strangers. But I also don't want to leave a huge impression when traveling alone. I don't tell anyone my life story. I don't offer any life changing advice. Unless I am somewhere or I am talking to someone I know for certain is completely safe, I try to be fairly forgettable. It's low pressure for them. It's safer for me. Win-win.
2.) Don't talk about where you're going or when you're getting there.
I once gave my little sister a lecture about this while standing on a street corner in New Orleans. We were staying in a semi-sketchy neighborhood, we were staying more than one night, and it was just me and my 19-year old sister in a city where no one knew us. I did not need her listing off our entire itinerary while strangers listened to where and when we could be found for the next two days. I find it's best to keep the details of your travel to you and your traveling partners in general, but especially when traveling alone. I never tell the hotel clerk exactly where I'm going next and I never mention exactly where I'm staying to my waiter. I don't want any of you to be paranoid. Some people are just nice and want to know about your trip, but if they're very nice, they will also understand your need to stay safe.
3.) Stay in touch
That being said, you don't want to go completely off the grid. If you are traveling alone, there should always be at least one person who knows where you are at all times. I usually text my mom to let her know when I'm leaving one city and when I arrive in the next. Give a general timeframe so they know when they should expect to hear from you next, and make sure to check in if you are delayed. You are an independent woman who don't need no man to travel, but you might just need a mom.
4.) Pack smart
Can you carry everything you packed? No? Repack. If you are traveling alone (especially if you're not doing it by car) you will most likely not have time to wait for an attendant, a cart, or a "kind" stranger to help you carry your things. When my mom first went away to college, my grandfather wouldn't help carry her bags to the bus for her. At first my mom thought this was incredibly rude, but in retrospect she realized he was checking to see if she could carry them on her own because there would be no one to help her when she got off the bus, and he was not about to send his 17-year-old daughter off to a strange town with a dangerous amount of luggage. Don't worry, as long as you have enough clean underwear, no one will notice if you only have three outfits for a week long trip.
5.) Don't live in fear
As long as you are smart, well researched and aware, there's pretty much no reason to believe people when they say you can't travel alone. Not having travel buddies should never keep you from fulfilling your dreams of driving across the country. There are threats to your safety while you sit on your couch at home. Does that stop you from doing it? No. You lock your door at night, you turn off your iron and you change the batteries in your smoke detector (hopefully). Most safety issues in life are just a matter of taking the proper precautions and travel is no different.
Tell me your best solo travel tips! What do you do to make sure you arrive safely? What trip are your going to try these tips out on next? Tell us in the comments below!