Going solo has its benefits - just be careful.
It's all about finding the balance between a taste for adventure and being safe. If you're travelling on your own, you'll still want to try new things, go to places you've never been before, and meet new people. The trick is to avoid putting yourself in risky situations.
Before you go
Do your research and speak to friends. Find a safe place to stay that's easy to get to from the airport/train station, and if in doubt pay the extra for a hotel in a non-sleazy area or a hostel with a good reputation for security. If possible, time flights to arrive during daylight hours so you're not wandering around lost in the dark. Know exactly where you're going on your first night.
When you get there
Whatever you do, try not to look lost and nervous. This seems more likely to alert scam-artists to your presence. Walk tall and look confident, even if you're quaking in your boots. Travel light, you'll be able to get around quicker if you're not weighed down with too much luggage.
Don't be scared to meet new people, or get into friendly conversations. Respect local traditions and you won't accidentally cause offence. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you're not sure about, just trust your instincts, make polite excuses and leave if necessary.
Ask the hotel owner what parts of town to avoid in the evenings. There may be other singles staying in the same place as you, team up with them and go out for meals and drinks if you hit it off with them. Never, ever leave drinks unattended and don't accept drinks from strangers unless they are poured in front of you at the bar (this applies to male travellers as well as female). Don't get blind drunk miles from your hotel with a bunch of complete strangers, and the same goes for using drugs.
Whether you like it or not, the locals in many countries do not treat women with much respect. It is quite common to be whistled or shouted at, or treated like a cheap slut. Some of this can be avoided by not wearing revealing clothes, and by giving all-male bars and cafes a miss. If in doubt, look at how the local women dress and behave. If you are intimidated, tag along with other females when walking or on the bus etc.
Read the comment policy
Use our free question and answer service and speak to an expert!