Packing advice for solo female travelers

By on September 8, 2015

Female travelers going on a journey alone should research their destination and be prepared for all eventualities. Before even contemplating packing, go online and read through some reliable sources, such as government websites, and get hold of some reputable travel guides. You will then be much clearer about what you need to pack. Remember – the lighter your bag is, the easier it will be for you to maneuver safely and independently.

Hand luggage

A rucksack is ideal because it is made for comfort, can take a lot of throwing around and still provide some protection to its contents, and when it’s on your back, your arms are free. Obvious items to pack include your passport, tickets, important documentation such as health insurance, travelers checks, driver license, accommodation details, camera, maps, phrase book, and guide books; be aware that you may not always have internet connection, so you can’t Google everything! Make sure your mobile phone is unlocked, and consider getting a SIM card when you reach the country of your destination – and don’t forget your charger.

You will need a good, strong wallet, and you should carry some loose change for tips, motorway tolls, or pay phones. Divide your money into a couple of different places in case something happens to one of your bags. Let your bank know about your travel plans so that they don’t put a block on your credit and debit cards when they see they are being used in foreign places.

Packing advice for solo female travelers

Self-defense spray and baggage restrictions

Check with your airline about baggage restrictions, but generally only liquids of less than 100 ml can be packed in your hand luggage, and these must be placed inside a quart-sized clear plastic bag. All other liquids must be packed away in your checked-in baggage. For a US flight, a self-defense spray should be allowed in your hand luggage as long as it is 118 ml, is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge, and does not contain more than 2% by mass of tear gas.

Take a large scarf to wrap yourself in should you feel cold or want privacy if you snuggle down for a nap. Don’t forget your book, iPod and headphones, a pen and paper, tissues, sweets, sunglasses, and your medication and products to freshen up if you will be waiting for a connecting flight (such as facial wipes, a toothbrush, and hairbrush).

Toiletries

You may need mosquito and sun protection and will probably want some items of make-up, sanitary protection, contraception, travel-size shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and moisturizer; you can buy larger sizes when you get there. Instead of taking razors and hair removing cream, try waxing, epilation or a similar method that is suitable for all body areas. Yes! from Finishing Touch uses micro-oscillation and Sensa-Light Technology to sweep away unwanted hair, and the device is safe and compact for travel. You may also want heat protection spray, hair bands, nail varnish and emery boards, tweezers, after-sun, and nail clippers. Before packing your hairdryer, ask yourself whether you really need it – if it’s warm, you can tie long hair up, or maybe you should consider a shorter style if your travel plans require it. Don’t forget painkillers, travel tablets and any other medication you need.

Restrictions in the United Arab Emirates

You will need to consider more than the weather when you pack your clothes, underwear, pajamas, socks, footwear, and swimwear if you are travelling to the United Arab Emirates – you will need clothes to cover yourself up in public places. Be aware of country specific regulations regarding female drivers, going out alone, swearing in public, taking photographs, and customs during Ramadan or other religious festivals. Less obvious restrictions include not being allowed to import pork products into the UAE, and did you know that sex outside of marriage is illegal?

Before you travel, be sure you are up to speed with any ongoing conflicts or areas you should avoid at your destination, as well as knowing a bit about the country’s religion and culture to avoid offending anyone or landing yourself in trouble. Leave a detailed itinerary with your family, and keep them informed if you intend to deviate from it. Remember when you travel that you don’t need to tell anyone that you are alone – you can always say that you are waiting for someone. Always trust your instincts and avoid alcohol, as this can impede those invaluable female instincts!

Pack sensibly, keep one step ahead of those around you, and stay safe. That way, you stand the best chance of the most memorable and best travel experiences you have ever had.

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