Women who travel solo are nothing new; female explorers include the 18th Century voyager Jeanne Baret, American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and the late anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Holidaying alone can be immensely therapeutic and travelling by yourself can be a much needed opportunity for personal growth and, if you do it right, a scrumptious slice of self-indulgence. Solo trips are all the rage and over the last few years travel companies have targeted female travellers, who are one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry.
Experienced nomad Lisa Eldridge, founder of Girl about the Globe, shares some words of wisdom with MOJEH, so that you’re able to get the most out of your first solo trip.
Look for reviews from other solo travellers. Nowadays, reviews seem to be on virtually every booking site. If you are unsure of which tour to take or where to stay, look at the solo traveller reviews on sites such as Booking.com or Trip Advisor. Look at travel blogs of other women who have travelled to where you want to go, and ask in Facebook communities such as Girls about the Globe for other advice.
Learn some basic self-defense before you go. Not that you’ll likely need it! But it will give you that added confidence if you do find yourself in an unwanted situation.
Check the foreign office advice on where you would like to go. Always check for any areas that may be dangerous and avoid them if you can.
Join a tour such as a walking tour. These are held in most cities, or alternatively stay in social accommodation such as Airbnb so you’re able to meet others.
Pack as light as possible if you are travelling around a lot. Carrying a bulky, heavy bag can really weigh you down when you travel and we never need as much as we think we do. A good rule of thumb is to half everything you want to take.
Listen to your gut instinct. If something feels right, go with it, but if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, remove yourself. Your intuition is your greatest asset when you travel alone. Do your research before you go, keep your wits about you, and make your own informed choices so you will have a trip to remember!
Check out the above gallery for MOJEH's recommended destinations for first time solo travellers in the Middle East.