Embarking on a solo adventure to a new travel destination is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. You will have the opportunity to experience another culture, make new friends, try new foods, see amazing sights and embrace the unknown.
The experience will inspire you, teach you about the world and about yourself.
One of the most important things that you need to learn as a female solo traveller is how to pack light. Although like most girls, you probably love to have plenty of outfits and shoes to choose from and can’t bear the thought of not having your hair dryer or makeup bag, dragging around your entire wardrobe in a huge suitcase will only make your travels miserable.
This is not to say that you can’t be stylish and feminine with a small suitcase or backpack, you simply need to master the art of doing more with less and paring down your clothes, shoes and toiletries to the bare bones essentials.
Why is it so important for the female solo traveller to pack light? There are many reasons why, but one of the most prominent ones has to do with safety.
Hefty Luggage Makes You More Helpless and Vulnerable
When you are a female solo traveller, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to be responsible for your own safety. Although there will be many strangers out there who will be able to help you and most of them will be genuine, you never want to put yourself in a position where you need help from others to get around, as this makes you more vulnerable.
Let me tell you a story as an example. When I first went to Europe at age 21 as a solo female traveller I made the mistake of taking a huge rolling suitcase filled to the brim. It was incredibly awkward to lug around, especially on the Paris Metro which has many steep stairs. I was struggling to haul my huge suitcase down the stairs in the Metro on my way to catch a bus to Amsterdam. A 30-something man offered to help me and I thought he was being polite, so I thanked him and allowed him to carry my suitcase down the steps for me.
However, he obviously thought that his good deed deserved a reward as he followed me onto the Metro and kept trying to hold my hand and convince me to kiss him. I was totally mortified and didn’t know what to do, so I pulled my hand away, said “No” and as soon as I got off at my stop I rushed onto the bus where he couldn’t go because he didn’t have a ticket. I sunk into my seat and tried to hide as he blew kisses at the window. Yikes!
If I had been packing smaller luggage, I would have been able to carry it up and down the steps of the Metro myself and that entire creepy incident would have never occurred.
You Need to Be Able to Look Out For Yourself
What I learned from this incident is that the safest way to travel as a female is to make sure that you can take care of yourself and that you don’t require help from anyone. Whenever you need someone to carry your bags for you, or you need to take a dodgy taxi rather than having the choice to walk somewhere because your bags are too heavy, you put yourself in a position where you are relying on others who might not have the best intentions.
Of course, don’t let this scare you off from your adventure as there will be plenty of wonderful people who will be happy to help you and expect nothing in return. However, being self sufficient and able to carry your own bags means that you have the choice to engage with them or not which puts you in a much safer position.
Frankie Hughes is a freelance travel writer and blogger who has visited 26 countries and has written an e-book with tips for female solo travellers. She got her very small bag at global luggage, wide range of Luggage and cases.