As Indians, most of us are culpable of being truly affected by Bollywood movies. Indians are the biggest movie buffs, after all, the thriving Bollywood industry is self-evident of the fact. Cinema, through its soft power, has influenced a lot of us.
In India, a few decades ago, when women were not even allowed to step out of their homes on their own, now plan solo female trips.
Most of us were influenced by Bollywood movies like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Queen, Tamasha, etc put the idea of solo female travel in many women’s minds. Thanks to movies like these and a slow pace progress India is making, solo trips for women isn’t seen as an idea daft as a brush.
Nowadays, almost every girl around the age of 14-15 years starts preparing her bucket list solo trips. No more pining hopes on our once conservative Indian dads and waiting around for our ’Ja Simran Ja, Jee Le Apni Zindagi’ moment.
However, there are still a few things, when planning solo female travel, women need to keep in mind. Even though we might have made some progress, there is still a long way to go. The absolute extent of Patriarchy after all the struggles is a bitter pill to swallow and our wanderlust still comes at a price fixed by them.
Following is a crash course on how to travel alone as a woman-
How to travel alone as a woman
1. Select your destination
Having an imperishable desire to travel the whole world is a good thing to think of. But when traveling solo, that too as a woman, picking the right place is necessary. Especially when it is your first solo female travel. In India, places like Goa and Rishikesh happens to be the most popular destinations for solo trips for women.
2. Travel light, Travel wise
All good things take time, and being a woman requires a lot of maintenance along with that. But traveling light is something to pay heed at. Unlike men, women don’t have uniform clothes that would work for every occasion. Women have different looks and outfits for every different time of the day.
Pack things that can be used wisely. Like minimizing the pairs of unnecessary footwear. Carry clothes that are comfortable and suit the climate of the destination.
3. Carry essential kits
First Aid Kit- Out of all the tips for traveling alone as a woman, the top and foremost important one is having an emergency first aid kit handy at all times. You may not need it but it is an imperative must-have thing.
Traveling alone comes with the responsibility of looking after ourselves on our own. Falling sick during your solo girl’s trip can be a total damp squib but it is only wise to be prepared for it.
4. Safety kit
Keeping a pepper spray or a self-defense knife kit at all times is one thing to never forget about. The dire fact that the crime rate against women is ample more than the literacy rate of our country needs to be taken account of. Thus, making it a necessity to have a safety kit.
5. Secure the important stuff
Make sure that you keep your important documents like id and credit cards, and cash safely. These things are really important and can become a nightmare if ever lost or stolen.
Sadly, this no Bollywood movie but a sad reality. The chances of finding a Raj or Ved during your solo female travel are slim to none. So it is better to be safe and secure.
6. Keep an open mind
While traveling to an unknown territory, one may have preconceived notions about things. But try to keep an open mind and take an initiative to try and experience all new things.
7. Get vocal with the locals
One has not gotten to know about a place unless they have experienced it like a local. Sticking to a plan and itinerary may seem logical but living like a local is the right way to do it. So go out and talk to regular local people of the place. Get to know about the place and culture from its roots.
After all, it is the people who make a place special.
8. Write a journal
The best way to cherish your experiences in life is by writing about it. A photograph may remind you of a moment, but a journal will help you relive the feelings you felt at that memorable moment.
Maintaining a travel journal and penning down your everyday experience is the right way to do it.
Besides, being on the phone and clicking pictures of everything you do, for the sake of memories to cherish them later feels felicitous while traveling. But what good are these memories if you did not live the moment?
9. Learn about the culture
Every place has a different culture to offer. Every civilization is unique in its way. Being on a solo trip allows you to learn about the fascinating rituals and traditions of a place closely. Not having a travel buddy gives you the freedom to spend hours trotting around the town and getting to know their culture.
10. Shopping for memories
Buying things that are made locally can be a really good souvenir. Things that you buy during the trip will remind you of the essence and culture of that place. It would a relic to relish forever.
11. Talk and make new pals
The solo trip is transient but you can live it like a gypsy. You may be a bird of passage but try making new friends. Talk to new people and to know them. Every person you come across comes from different walks of life and has a story to tell. This way you may end up finding bonds that will last for a lifetime, by being a vagabond.
But just be cautious and don’t overshare. Since you don’t know the other person that well and are completely on your own in a new unknown territory, it is smart to keep some private details to yourself only.
12. Wander and wonder
Traveling alone can be a life-altering experience. It can prove to be a journey to find your true self by getting lost. A solo trip can be a much-needed break from your regular mundane life. Going away from people who know you to a place where no one has the idea of who you are.
A solo trip is a solution to get out from our everyday pretentious life where we keep trying to be perfect for the society at the cost of losing our true self.
The solo trip means no strings attached.