Top 10

Top 10 Solo Female Travel Safety Tips

Solo Female Travel Tips

If you’re anything like me then, every time an article mentions something about solo female travel, you unconsciously click on it.  Even more so if it involves safety tips.  So, I’ve decided to make my own list of solo female safety tips from my experiences and share them with you! (Just a head’s up: the photos will probably have nothing to do with the tips as I’m not the most photogenic of people.  So I thought I’d spare you all of that and just have pretty pictures instead).

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10. Ooze Confidence

I found, the more I huddled into myself, the more likely I was to be approached by men who wanted to ‘cheer me up’.  Try and fake it – keep your back straight and your shoulders back.  If you happen to take a wrong turn somewhere and need to turn around but don’t want anyone to notice, you could pop into a shop, or do the whole ‘I’ve suddenly received a text and I’m needed in the direction I just came from’ routine.

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9. Buy a cross-body bag

Travelling by yourself as a woman, you are more likely to be a target.  Cross-body bags (with a zip!) are easier to keep an eye on and harder to snatch.  In crowded areas, I tended to keep a hand on my bag at all times.

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8. Trust your gut

If something feels wrong, it probably is.  This isn’t to say that it will always be wrong, but it’s better to be safe.  As I mentioned a few posts ago, when I was in Pisa I walked over a bridge and got a strange feeling.  Looking over my shoulder, I noticed a guy who had been sat at the end of the bridge (and asked if I ‘liked fucking’) had followed me and, as soon as he realised I’d noticed him he kept repeating ‘like fucking’ over and over and over.  I was almost at the point of heading into a shop to get rid of him but, for some reason, I stopped, stared at him, and the guy wandered off with a huge grin on his face and I never saw him again.

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7. Always let friends and family back home know your travel plans

Include your arrival times so, should anything happen to you (which, hopefully, nothing will!), someone will know something’s wrong.

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6. Dress appropriately

If the women around you aren’t wearing short shorts and low-cut tops, then you probably shouldn’t either (unless you want to attract unwanted attention).  Respect the cultures you’re visiting (and keep shoulders and knees covered when visiting churches!)

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5. Learn a few key phrases

Learning simple phrases such as ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘thank you’, ‘where is…’, ‘help’, and so on will help you so much,  The locals will also really appreciate it as well.

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4. Try and blend in

That man with the khaki shorts, knee-high white socks and sandals combo and the baseball cap is very obviously American.  Don’t be that man.  Do some research on the place you’re visiting beforehand and try and blend in as much as possible.  Also, it goes without saying, don’t flash all of your valuables.  Don’t wear the expensive watch, maybe have an older, worn-looking handbag instead of your brand-new designer one.  This stops you from standing out in a bad way.

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3. Don’t go out by yourself at night

Sort of goes without saying but try and avoid being by yourself when it’s dark, and especially avoid that dodgy-looking alley.

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2. Don’t get so drunk that you’re paralytic

This is kinda linked to the ‘not going out by yourself at night’ thing.  You’re abroad by yourself – don’t drink to pass out.

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1. Budget some extra money

Make sure you’ve got some extra money for emergency situations, such as, if you’re miles away from you’re accommodation and it’s dark, don’t chance walking through the dark streets alone – fork out and get a taxi.

Top 10 Solo Travel Tips

Solo Travel Tips

Travelling by yourself is so much different than travelling with someone but it is so rewarding.  I would recommend it to anyone – in my opinion, everyone has to travel solo at some point in their lives.  Check out my top 10 solo travel tips!

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10. Travelling solo makes planning easier

You don’t have to constantly keep in contact with travel companions whilst you choose when and where to go.

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9. You don’t have to worry about annoying people

I like to wander around museums (I could spend all day in a museum.  I’m not even kidding).  This could, potentially, get annoying for someone travelling with me.

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8. It’s easier to interact with locals

I’m naturally quite shy and introverted, and travelling solo made me interact with people.  Waiters and museum staff, etc, are all more likely to have conversations with you if you’re travelling alone – and it was an excellent way for me to practice my Italian!

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7. It will boost your confidence

Trust me on this.  As I mentioned above, I’m super shy, but travelling alone really helped to boost my confidence.  By the time I was away to head home, I found that, more often than not, I was the one to start conversations with people, rather than waiting for them to speak to me.

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6. You can do what you want

If one of your regular travel partners is a night-owl while you’re an early-bird, travelling alone means that you don’t have to compromise – you can do what you want!

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5. You’ll get to know yourself better

Travelling alone, you’ll figure out exactly what you like and what you like to avoid, as well as learning new things about yourself.

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4. You don’t have to wait for anyone

If you’re constantly waiting for all of your friends to have time/money/whatever to travel, then you’re never going to go anywhere.

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3. The experience is like none other

This doesn’t even need a caption.  Just trust me – you need to travel alone at some point in your life.

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2. It can teach you a lot about other cultures

The first couple of times I went to Italy, I was with someone and wasn’t bothered by anyone.  The moment I show up alone?  The guys are all interested (although, my newly-blonde hair may have helped).  It’s a normal thing for guys in Italy to call you ‘bella’ as you walk by them in the street, or to flirt with you if you’re stood outside a restaurant.  I am not used to this at all and, at first, it was daunting.  But, when I realised that this was just a thing that guys do in Italy and they mean no harm by it, I found that it would brighten up my day a bit more (especially on travel days when I was wearing hardly any make-up, my hair was a mess, and I had on my comfiest clothes and my huge backpack.  Having a guy compliment you when you look like crap feels amazing!)

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1. It’s not as scary as you think

Seriously, the moment I stepped on the plan on my way to Rome, the nerves kicked in.  I was travelling alone!  I wasn’t going to have anyone to do the talking for me!  I was going to have to do everything myself!  But, as soon as I landed in Rome and saw the sun, the fear just…disappeared.  Which, I know, this probably doesn’t happen for everyone, but it was so worth travelling solo.

Top 10 Things to do in Rome

I’m so glad I’ve got Rome checked off of my Bucket List – it’s an absolutely stunning city (although, it doesn’t hold a candle next to Venice, sorry!).  This is a list of the Top 10 Things (in my opinion) that anyone visiting Rome needs to do.

DSC_068810. The Spanish Steps

The main reason The Spanish Steps are at the bottom of my list is because I didn’t actually get to see them – there was a bunch of construction work going on, so they were all barrier-ed off.  But they are usually on people’s lists of things to see when in Rome, and I’m definitely going to go back and see them next time I’m in Rome!!

DSC_06599. The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain was lovely – but wow!  I’ve never seen so many people in one place before!!  I had to elbow my way down to the water, practically, just to throw my coin in the fountain – but I’ve thrown the coin in, so I’m definitely going back to Rome one day!

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8. Capuchin Bone Church

The hotel I was staying at was literally just across the road from the Capuchin Bone Church – I could even see it from my window!  This church was fascinating – I went through a museum that told me about the history of the church (and there were a lot of religious paintings) and then into the main part of the museum – the Bone Church.  These rooms are completely decorated with the bones of the Capuchin Monks who had been buried there.  Fair warning to anyone wanting to visit: they are totally against people taking photos and will make you delete them while they watch – not that I know about this from personal experience, though…

DSC_07367. Sistine Chapel/ Vatican Museums

I know, I know, the Sistine Chapel should be higher up on the list, but, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t that taken with it.  Sure, the ceiling is incredible but the chapel itself was really dark and the atmosphere was kinda ruined by the guards at the front of the room shouting ‘No photo!  Sshh!!’, which I thought was a little ironic.  I was more taken with the Gallery of Maps – some of the maps have been painted with North pointing down the way, which I thought was interesting.

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6. Castel Sant’Angelo

Originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian (yes, the Hadrian’s Wall Hadrian!) it is now a museum and a really interesting one at that!  There are original floors, which are really awkward to walk on, and an amazing view from the top, among other interesting tidbits.  The geeky gamer in me got really excited when I saw the main courtyard and recognised it from Assassin’s Creed 2 (because I’m cool).

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5. St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s is beautiful – there is detail everywhere.  Unlike the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s is free to enter – but be prepared to wait in a long queue!  Fortunately, there was a nice Australian couple in front of me that I chatted away to, so the time passed a bit quicker.  Also, the Pope was not there so the queues weren’t as long – I’ve heard they’re insanely long when he’s there!

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4. The Pantheon

The Pantheon is impressive – it’s one of the best preserved Ancient Roman buildings in the world – and it’s incredible!  You step inside and everything is hushed – people just seem to respect the building and keep their voices lowered.  The oculus at the top is also interesting – I originally thought that they would have put a window or something in it to protect the inside of the Pantheon when it rains but nope!  It’s still open to the elements.  That would have been interesting to see.

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3. The Colosseum

My first Wonder of the World!  And I loved it!  I arrived at 8.30 and picked up my tickets from the Forum ticket office – and I’m glad I did!  By the time I exited the Colosseum, the queue was massive!  I kinda wish now that I’d paid the extra money to get the guided tour underground – and maybe the Colosseum would be higher up in my list!

DSC_02962. Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill is supposedly where Romulus (where Rome got its name) and Remus were found by Lupa.  It is one of the oldest areas of Rome and I loved wandering through the ruins.  Later, the more affluent members of Rome built their palaces here and there are a good many ruins of them!  I got there just after 9.30am and it was still pretty quiet, which was really nice, compared to the rest of Rome!

Roman Forum1. The Roman Forum

The centre of ancient Roman life, I loved this.  I’m fascinated by ruins and how people used to live and there was history everywhere here!  I could have wandered around here for hours but I had stupidly forgotten to take a bottle of water with me and was getting seriously dehydrated, so, unfortunately, I had to leave.  But, despite my looming dehydration, I made sure to wander round everything at least once!

Top 10 Things to do in Edinburgh

Even though I lived in Edinburgh for four years whilst at university, that didn’t stop me from doing touristy things!  This is my list of the Top Ten things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland.


(Dynamic Earth)

10. Dynamic Earth – I know some of you will be wondering why this is at the bottom of a list of top ten things to do in Edinburgh – but you haven’t seen what else is on my list yet!  Dynamic Earth basically shows you the history of the Earth from the Big Bang until today.  There are a lot of interactive activities and it’s a must-see if you have children!

(Wikipedia)

9. Scott Monument – This is a monument for Sir Walter Scott.  From what I’ve read, it’s the biggest monument to a writer in the world!  I’d recommend climbing it – the views are incredible!  And there’s a little museum about halfway up, which I wasn’t expecting (I love museums!).  Another interesting thing about the Scott Monument – it used to be a sandy sort of colour, but pollution has stained it black.  It’s not been cleaned for fear of damaging it but I think the black has a nice Gothic-y feel to it.


(Edinburgh Spotlight)

8. Arthur’s Seat – Everyone knows about Arthur’s Seat.  It’s basically a huge hill in the middle of Edinburgh.  I’d recommend climbing this as well – the view from the top is spectacular!  I met my university room-mate after I had climbed Arthur’s Seat.  Unfortunately, I happened to fall over when I was near the bottom and I met my room-mate for the first time covered head-to-toe in mud.  Thankfully, we became really good friends and ended up living together for the next four years!


(Wikipedia)

7. Edinburgh Castle – More a military museum now than an actual castle, Edinburgh Castle is really interesting.  You can’t not miss it when you go to Edinburgh – it’s sitting on top of a dormant volcano!  I managed to visit it when the 1 o’clock cannon went off (which I hadn’t planned!).  This is a must for anyone visiting Edinburgh (even though it took me nearly four years of living there to actually go!)


(TripAdvisor)

6. Scottish National Gallery – Being free, this was a staple for me in Edinburgh.  If I was bored, or wanted to get away from studying, I went here (or the National Museum of Scotland).  I love art galleries and love spending hours wandering through them (or curling up on one of the many sofas dotted throughout with a good book).

Swirling Vortex!

5. Camera Obscura – The World of Illusions.  One of my flat-mates (the one I met covered in mud) and I visited here during our last year in Edinburgh.  It’s one of those places where it’s impossible not to enjoy it.  You have to try the vortex tunnel – it messes with your mind!

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4. The Meadows – I literally lived just around the corner from The Meadows.  On a sunny day, my flat-mates and I would grab our books, or our laptops, and have a picnic on The Meadows.  Being a big green space, there’s not much in the way of things to do, but it’s a nice place to relax and, sometimes, there’s impromptu plays being performed (closer to the university side of the park).  And, when it’s snowing, it’s a great place to build a snowman (or snow kangaroo/T-rex, as my flat-mates and I did)!


(Wikipedia)

 3. Royal Botanic Gardens – Definitely visit the glass houses!  These are beautiful!  All of the gardens are beautiful, but those glass houses are incredible.  The gates to get into the gardens are impressive and I was stupidly entertained by the fact that there were antibacterial mats (I think they were antibacterial?) that you had to walk over to get into the gardens, so that you weren’t treading anything unsavoury into the gardens.


(Edinburgh Localiguide)

2. National Museum of Scotland – this is definitely my favourite museum in Edinburgh.  It’s free (woop!) and has heaps of interesting things to do.  It has Ancient Egyptian artefacts!  I love  anything to do with Ancient Egypt.  I spent many an hour here when I lived in Edinburgh.


(Vizts)

1. St Giles Cathedral – what can I say?  I love cathedrals.  The architecture is amazing.  The inside is amazing.  Everything about it is amazing.  Make sure if you do visit (it’s free!), that you go into the Thistle Chapel tucked away in the back corner.  There’s some impressive carvings and the ceiling in this part of the cathedral is definitely the most impressive!


(DocBrown)

Honourable Mention – Holyrood Palace/Abbey – I never actually had a chance to visit here.  Every time I tried, the Queen (or another royal) was in residence, so they weren’t allowing tours.  I’m desperate to visit here – especially for the Abbey.  I love ruins and Holyrood Abbey looks lovely from the pictures I’ve seen.


(Edinburgh Cafe Enthusiast)

Another Honourable Mention – Black Medicine Cafe – I know everyone wants to visit the Elephant House, as it’s the birthplace of Harry Potter.  But, if I’m being honest, it’s not the greatest.  The food is okay and the prices are a bit touristy expensive.  You can get your pictures here but, if you’re looking for a decent cafe, I’d recommend Black Medicine Cafe.  My flat-mates and I spent a lot of time here – especially when our internet wasn’t working!