Traveling solo can be an intimidating idea to anyone and is often especially intimidating for women. Add in being a woman of color and the thought of traveling alone can become downright scary.
But if you are a woman who loves to travel, you shouldn’t let this fear of “what-ifs” stop you from booking your next exciting adventure. Traveling to a new place on your own can be a safe and enthralling experience, filled with new discoveries about the world and new discoveries about yourself.
Keep reading for the ultimate solo female travel guide that’ll ensure you stay safe and have fun.
Use Online Resources
It’s important as a woman of color to look into the culture of where you are planning to travel. Try to find out if the country is female-friendly, which areas are the safest, and do the local treat people of color the same.
Consider joining Facebook groups like Nomadness Travel Tribe of Girls Love Travel.
Nomadness Travel Tribe is a space held for travelers of color where members of the group can have real discussions about their experiences in different countries. It can help you get an insider scoop on the cultural climate of a place before booking a trip.
Girls Love Travel is another great group exclusive solely to women. So, from this group, you can get first-hand advice and experiences on solo female travel and even connect with other travelers in your area.
It’s important to remember that when traveling alone to less-diverse countries you may get some extra stares, but not because the locals aren’t welcoming to you. The reality is, in some of these less diverse places the people may have never seen a black woman in person before, so they may be extra curious about you.
As a black woman, you know how important beauty products can be. And unfortunately, depending on where you’re traveling, there often won’t be makeup in your shade or hair products made for your hair if you accidentally leave yours at home.
You may wish to consider a low maintenance hairstyle such as braids or just going natural since you won’t have to worry about needing a flat iron or blow dryer. A lot of the time hot tools won’t work in other countries due to the voltage difference.
If you find yourself in a pinch and without hair product there are a few tricks you can use on your natural hair. Mixing conditioner or lotion with a little water can get you by as a leave-in treatment. Or if you can get your hands on any skin moisturizing oils like argan, shea, or coconut oil.
This may seem a little counter-intuitive since you are planning on traveling alone, but if the idea of being alone the whole time leaves you feeling timid consider group tours.
Doing some days with a tour and somedays without will still give you the freedom to be on your own schedule. But it also gives you a sense of comfort and safety to be with a group, especially in a country where you are the minority.
Group tours also give you the chance to make new friends and connect with fellow travelers who can share in your experience.
Share Your Plans
As a black woman, or just as a woman in general, it’s important to let your family know your general itinerary. Give them your flight information, the info on where you are staying, and even the places you plan to visit.
This will help you and your family have comfort that they know where you are and have a general idea of what you are doing.
Also, consider checking in with your country’s embassy to let them know that you are traveling. You can often do this online in just a few minutes.
If you’re from the United States, check-in with the State Department online before you go. This also gives them your contact info so if something bad happens you will be alerted and have a chance to get to safety.
Look At The CDC
This traveling tip isn’t exclusive to just solo women travelers. Before going to any country, you should visit the CDC website and get a clear picture of local diseases.
This can help prevent you from catching something weird that you weren’t aware of and allows you to know what vaccines may be necessary to get.
The CDC will break it down for you into which vaccinations are necessary for all travelers or which ones only apply if you are doing something specific or spending a significant amount of time there.
When traveling alone, you don’t want to stand out too much as someone who is unfamiliar with the area.
So when walking around, instead of having your phone out with the map pulled up, consider putting in headphones so Google Maps can direct you via voice command. This makes you look more comfortable with the area and helps you stand out less like a tourist.
If you aren’t planning on purchasing a SIM card for every day, Google Maps will let you download offline versions of the place you are in so that you won’t need Wi-Fi or service to use them.
As a solo black female traveler, you are bound to stand out more in some places, so just keep your street smarts about you and be aware of what’s going on around you.
Enjoy Solo Female Travel
Ultimately, your goal of solo female travel is to have fun and be safe. Keeping these above tips in mind will ensure just that. And remember that as a black woman, you should be proud of putting yourself out there and traveling alone.
As more and more black women get out and travel, the less of an anomaly we will become to countries that are less diverse.
And for more lifestyle articles for women of color, check out our blog!