Solo Female Travel Anxiety

Overcoming Travel Anxiety as a first time Solo Female Traveller

There is a chance you will face travel anxiety as a solo female traveller while exploring a new country, especially for the first time and this can make you uneasy. However, at the beginning of 2022, I made it my goal to travel to at least one country solo. My motivation? To get out of my comfort zone, throw myself into unfamiliar environments and give myself the push I needed to have experiences outside my home.

In March of 2022, I made this goal a reality when I booked my trip to Ghana for 5 days. I bought my flight ticket 3 weeks before and from then up until the trip, all I felt was dread, I just did not want to go.

However, I decided that if I did not take the leap, I would never go. So, I went. After thorough research and preparation, I took a one-hour flight from Lagos to Ghana for a 5-day trip.

Where a lot of us struggle is believing we have failed at something before even trying. This post is going to talk about the fear that sometimes comes with first-time solo travel, especially for women and how to overcome it.

What is Travel Anxiety?

If you have ever felt uncomfortable at the thought of travelling (even if you really want to go), stressed when it comes to the planning process and fearful at the thought of entering a new and unfamiliar environment that’s travel anxiety. Even if you have no history of anxiety, the idea of being away from what you know can throw you into an instant panic.

How to Overcome First-Time Solo Female Travel Anxiety

Travelling alone comes with its uncertainties but travelling alone as a woman comes with a whole different type of fear. You are not only worried about being in a new country but you are also worried about your safety. So, here are a few tips to help you feel a bit more comfortable:

1. Stay close to home

Start small – you can build up to travelling solo by first getting used to doing things alone. That means taking yourself out for a meal, going to the cinema alone, or just being comfortable in your own company. A short weekend staycation in your city or in a country close to home will be the best choice for a first-time solo trip. Think about it this way, if for any reason you feel the need to cut the trip short, you won’t be far from home.

2. Keep the trip short

It is difficult having to think about spending a long time, alone, in a strange environment so, plan a short trip, 5 days at the most. The shorter the trip, the less anxious you will feel about the planning process. At the end of the trip, you may find yourself wanting to extend it, it is all part of the process.

3. Research, Research, Research

Nothing prepares you more than research. Find out all you need to know about the destination you are travelling to and be as informed as you can. The more you know, the more confident you are.

4. Buy Travel Insurance

The number 1 travel rule is never to travel without insurance. Of course, you are anticipating a smooth trip without any accidents or mishaps, however, for your safety and peace of mind, you need insurance coverage. From medical emergencies to lost baggage, never travel without insurance.

I use SafetyWing whenever I travel because they just understand my travel needs. It is travel medical insurance that was created by nomads for nomads. You can buy a policy for the duration of your trip and end it when you want, it is extremely flexible. Check out their website and get travel insurance for your next trip!

5. Create a robust Itinerary

Create an itinerary and share it with your family and friends at home. This way, if you’re worried about being bored with nothing to do, you have a rough plan of activities for each day of your trip and your whereabouts are always known.

6. Book a tour guide

Navigation in a new country can be intimidating so book a tour guide for a few of the activities you want to do. This lifts the burdens of planning off your shoulders and just creates a sense of ease.

7. Map your journey from the airport to the hotel

The last thing you want as a first-time female solo traveller is to look lost in the airport. Planning your transportation from the airport to your hotel will alleviate some of your fears. Pre-booking an airport transfer through your hotel is always the easiest and most convenient option especially if you are arriving late at night.

8. Be Flexible

Things won’t always go as planned, so try to be flexible and leave room for changes to be made to your itinerary.

9. Have both cash & a card with money on it

Always have cash on you. When you first arrive, change a little bit of money at the airport (only a little, the airport has the worst rates) to help you get by until you can change more money at a better rate. You can never have too much money when in a foreign country. Take both cash and more than 1 card with money.

10. Don’t let people project their fears onto you

Going on your first solo trip as a woman is a bold step to take, you are already overthinking things so, don’t let anyone project their fears onto you and discourage you from going.

11. Trust your intuition

Always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right to you, trust that feeling, trust your intuition and you’ll have an unforgettable trip.

Must-haves for any solo trip

For every solo female traveller, apart from taking the necessary safety precautions above, there are a few items you NEED to have.

I hope after reading this you feel more confident going on your first solo trip as a female traveller. You won’t believe the experiences that await you.

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