Sometimes the hardest part about a new travel adventure is the beginning. Before you can even get off the ground, the excuses come rolling in along with the fears and doubts. When you’re not getting enough of this from yourself, those around you keep telling why you shouldn’t go and how dangerous it is. Sure, it’s hard to block the haters out, so let’s clarify a few myths about travelling as a female that you’ve probably heard many times.
Myth #1: Travel is too expensive
Yes, travel costs you money. But not in the way the big companies advertise to us. If you want a fully-catered tour across Australia for two weeks, be prepared to shell out a few grand (yikes!). But travel doesn’t have to be like that. If you don’t have a manager or CEO’s salary yes, it could take you time to save up to begin the journey. But you want this, and saving just a $50 a month or cutting out your daily coffee can get you there.
When on your trip, hotels are certainly not the only option, and they’re definitely not the best one. Online resources like Couchsurfing and airbnb make your stay affordable. Staying away from tourist-y areas lessens your food costs, and finding inexpensive destinations means you can live luxuriously for even $15 USD a day.
Myth #2: Travelling alone isn’t safe
A common misconception is that anyone that would offer their home to you in a foreign country (and for free, no less!) is a serial killer. However, these people are just like you – looking to make new friends, get a new perspective from a different culture, and share theirs with you.
Sites like the ones mentioned in Myth #1 have extremely tight and strict policies on the authenticity of each home on their site. You can also look at reviews and see what other travellers are saying. If it still makes you a bit uncomfortable, stay with another woman, or bunk in a family home.
Another worry is that you’ll be mugged, or worse, in the dark streets of an unknown country. The crime rates in your own country are sometimes higher than the one you’re visiting, so why fear? It’s all about being smart, planning, and trusting your instinct. To read more about staying safe day-to-day, check out Safety Tips for Solo Female Travel.
Myth #3: You’ll get bored being alone all the time
Let me tell you straight away – you’ll almost never be alone on your solo trip.
Counter-intuitive? Maybe. But people you meet in different countries want to talk to you! So ask your homestay or hostel the best local bar, and just sit down at the counter. Locals are actually more likely to talk to you than if you were travelling with a buddy as you look approachable and not distracted. You may even meet a new travel companion for tomorrow and a friend for a lifetime.
Another thing you’ll realize when travelling alone is that you’ll begin to appreciate your own company, and there is no one else around to decide for you what you want out of your trip. Have no interest in the Eiffel Tower? Guess what, you can skip it.