Shit You Should Know: How To Travel On Your Own


As a woman traveling on your own around the world there are some things you need to know so you feel safe, organised, empowered and on top of things! Some of which may surprise you a little bit.



Of course when traveling alone you need to be organised. It’s really easy to get flustered with no one else to ground you. So be prepared.

  • Look up all your Visa Requirements before you leave. Check with the different consulates via phone or email if you need to. Travel Agents don’t always have all the information so you need to check the websites of each country before you leave

  • Check the validity of your passport. Most countries require a six month validity to enter. If you think you’ll end up traveling longer get a new passport before you leave. These take up to 10 working days.

  • Always carry photocopies of your passports.

  • Have all your travel documents in one folder/travel wallet/purse and ensure you carry some reliable pens.

  • Make sure you have a good camera that you know how to use. Your phone won’t cut it!



First up, make sure you’re comfortable

  • Pack a pillow, even if one of those U shaped neck ones you can buy in every airport. If you’re comfortable you’ll hopefully sleep, that’s always important when traveling.

  • If you swell up get some compression socks.

  • Always have a pair of leggings, warm socks and a cardigan of sorts or wrap of some sort—night flights can get really cold

  • I always carry a couple of scarves that are warm so I can drape them over me like blankets and can keep you warm at your next destination.

  • Carry a face spritzer to keep your skin hydrated; a cream for face, hands, arms and legs; and a good lip gloss to keep your lips hydrated.

  • Make sure you buy water to take on board. In International you will need to buy this on the other side of customs. Its usually expensive but you will need it. Often the flight attendants won’t get to you for at least half an hour and then you receive small cups of water which isn’t enough to keep you hydrated.

  • Alcohol is extremely dehydrating and not the best thing for your body to consume while flying. You will feel more affected than usual and then you need to navigate yourself once you get off the flight so you want your wits about you.

  • Even though I fly all the time I can be a really nervous flyer, so I have some good meditations downloaded. It may sound a bit corny but the calming voice and background music work every time. Do all your itunes downloads before you leave.



  • Remember you’re carrying it all by yourself. I always get lightweight luggage so you can carry more inside it. Very importantly they must have four wheels that can go in any direction. This makes a huge difference when you’re on your own and there’s no one to help.

  • If you’re backpacking that’s a whole different scenario. Make sure everything is lightweight and your backpack is the right size and weight for you. Get the person at the store fit it to your body when you buy it.

  • Remember you can only carry 100ml bottles of fluids (including creams etc. on board) and even then they sometimes explode or leak so best to keep them in sealed plastic bags


  • If youre great at picking up languages, lucky you! If like me you’re not, then make sure you have a good translator app on your phone.

  • Always try to learn at least a few phrases in another language: hello, goodbye, thankyou, excuse me, and learn the word for toilet! Trust me, you’ll thank me for that one.

  • If you make an effort to learn their language, people will connect with you much easier and appreciate your effort.



  • One of the hardest thing about traveling on your own can be loneliness. You meet many people when on your own, but there are times (usually mealtimes) when you can feel a bit exposed. So arm yourself with a good book or an electronic device. Mealtimes are a good time to catch up on facebook, download photos, send emails or even Skype. In many countries restaurants have free wi-fi. Thank god!

  • Music is a great way to elevate your moods

  • When you’re tired, let yourself rest. Traveling can be hard going and often we push ourselves out of discomfort. Sometimes its best to just find a nice quiet place, take a deep breath, look around in thankfulness and be in the present moment.


But most of all, go with the flow. Let things happen and let yourself get caught up in them rather than sticking to a strict schedule. This way you’ll experience so much more than having your head in a map or a lonely planet book. Look around, make eye contact with people, connect with nature, stay when you want to stay and go when you want to go and learn to be a part of this amazing world, like a drop is a part of the ocean.


Words by Zoë Watson. Zoë is the founder of Bliss Sanctuary for Women. A Balinese yoga, spa, and meditation retreat where females are encouraged to live abundantly with no schedules, no judgment, no couples and no children.



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