Female Solo Traveler Shares Biggest Concerns, Safety Tips

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  • Over the past decade, I’ve traveled solo to every US state and most of the major national parks.
  • Although I love traveling solo, I’ve faced many challenges along the way.
  • Some challenges include not having anyone to split costs with and suffering from decision fatigue.

I started traveling solo nearly a decade ago. So far, I’ve visited every US state and nearly all the major US national parks on my own.

I’ve also driven solo across the country several times, spent weeks alone in a van in Alaska, hiked some of the highest peaks in the country, and probably have a recommendation for where to stop for coffee in any town.

Although I love traveling solo and having the freedom to make my own decisions, I’d be lying if I said there aren’t challenges.

Here are the six biggest challenges I face as a female solo traveler.

There are some experiences I miss out on by traveling alone


Emily sitting in the trunk of an SUV in New Mexico.

Some tour groups add an extra fee for solo travelers.

Emily Hart



Although I’d love to say I’ve never missed out on anything due to traveling solo, that wouldn’t be truthful.

Many smaller planes and tour groups only allow booking for groups of two. If a company does allow solo travelers, there’s often an added fee, which deters me from booking the trip.

I don’t have anyone to split costs with

Traveling alone means there’s no one to share the cost of hotels, rental cars, and fuel with.

Although this doesn’t always have to be a problem and is mitigated through pre-planning and saving, the financial burden can sometimes become a challenge.

Unfortunately, there are some safety concerns


Emily, wearing sunglasses, a backpack, a green tank top, and black leggings, standing on a rock in blue water surrounded by mountains.

I carry a whistle and other safety devices with me at all times.

Emily Hart



I think there’s a fine line between promoting independence and female solo travel and dismissing the real concerns women can face when alone.

Although I believe women can do whatever they put their minds to, I’m also realistic in my assessment of situations and use my best judgment on possible safety concerns that are unique to me as a solo woman.

This means being aware of my surroundings and taking precautions that others may not — like turning around on a trail or finding a new campsite or hotel when things feel off.

I also carry a whistle and other safety devices with me at all times and have even taken self-defense classes.

When traveling alone, I’m on guard at all times, and have a heightened awareness of everything around me.

I can’t blame anyone else if something goes wrong

When things go wrong during a trip, there’s no one else to blame or commiserate with.

If I take a wrong turn or spend more than I budgeted for on a hotel room, the blame goes on me. This can lead to negative feelings and spiraling emotions, which can be frustrating.

I sometimes find myself suffering from decision fatigue


Emily sits on a black-and-red-checkered flannel looking out at water, trees, and mountains. Surrounding her are her sunglasses, boots, sunglasses, and a backpack covered with patches.

It can be exhausting having to make all the travel decisions alone.

Emily Hart



When I’m traveling alone, I have to make every decision, which can lead to decision fatigue. I have to decide where to stop, where to stay, which roads to drive, and which restaurants to try for dinner.

Although I enjoy making these decisions for myself and charting my own course, it can become exhausting. Sometimes, I think it would be nice to have someone else take on some of the organization, decision making, and logistics.

If I get sick or am in trouble, there’s no one to lean on for immediate help

If I get sick on a trip or get a flat tire, no one is there to help me immediately.

Often, I’ve relied on the kindness of strangers when I’ve been in a bind. However, there’s an extra layer of alarm when something happens and I realize I’m on my own.

For this reason, I try to stay in areas with cell service and carry a satellite communicator with me.

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