7 Questions for Female Solo Travelers to Inform and Inspire You

I wanted to learn and share about the experience of solo travel as a female, so I reached out to some good friends for some insights. We covered where they traveled, why they chose to travel solo, what they liked and didn’t like, and what advice they would give first-time solo female travelers.

Solo female travel
My sister in Positano, on Italy's Amalfi Coast
Planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast soon? Check out The Perfect Amalfi Coast 4 Day Itinerary

My first trip fully-solo was when I moved to Italy at 29 years old (story here). I’ve been traveling around Italy solo for the last 8 months, and I truly love it. It’s a great way to fully immerse in the local culture, learn the local language, and problem solve. It also allows you to go at your own pace and learn to be comfortable being with yourself, without the presence of a travel companion.

I wanted to write a whole post about my experiences with solo travel. The ups, the downs, what I’ve learned, and tips for others. After a few sentences, I realized that a sizable demographic, women travelers, may read it and quickly tune-out. The truth is that there are things that men travelers take for granted that we don’t necessarily think about. 

So I reached out to some female friends to share some insights in their own words. They provided some great responses that I hope will be valuable to all readers, but especially females who want to travel solo for the first time.

(Demographics and details matter here, which explains the first three questions. For instance, a 20-year-old from South Carolina and a 34-year-old from Mexico will have different experiences traveling in rural Spain.)

The Responses

Emily Ferguson

Emily in japan. solo female travel
Emily in Japan

Emily and I met because…we’re cousins! And good friends. We recently did an amazing trip to Croatia and Italy. Emily is a design manager, creative director, and a general bad ass in her industry. 

Where are you from? 

Rhode Island, United States

In what countries have you traveled solo, and what was your age? 
Costa Rica 29, Vietnam 31, London 34
Why did you decide to solo travel in the first place?
It was never something that was necessarily first preference. Finding friends who wanted to visit the same countries and aligning dates always seemed to be hard. I prefer to travel with someone but ultimately got to a point where I needed to book and go. Valuable time was passing.
What do you like most about solo travel?
The freedom to change plans at my leisure depending on my mood or energy level and ultimately never have to compromise on doing or seeing something I don’t care as much about.
What do you like least about solo travel?
Dinner time. Imagine you’ve found an amazing restaurant on Instagram or Google Maps only to discover it doesn’t have a bar! I suppose there are ways of knowing this ahead of time but not always. This can be devastating. Sitting at a regular table among other couples and friends isn’t necessarily the most inviting. 
Fending off unwanted conversation. If you’re able to find that perfect bar spot it can serve as a magnet for people to strike up a conversation which can be great but getting stuck with someone who doesn’t know how to read social cues can ruin your time. 
emily in vietnam solo female travel
Emily in Vietnam
What advice would you give to first-time solo female travelers?
  • Be aware of your own personal level of street smarts. If this isn’t something you possess, take a minute from time to time to understand your surroundings. 
  • Map out an itinerary for yourself and understand transportation options ahead of time – if things change when you get there, fine.
  • Star things in your maps ahead of time and reference that when there. Restaurants, bars, markets, shops, museums, transportation stops. This will allow you to mosey with a little more intention without looking lost which can lead to unwanted attention.

Planning a trip to Rome soon? Check out my Rome Recommendations

Christina Prejean

Christina in the San Blas Islands in Panama
Christina in the San Blas Islands in Panama

Christina and I connected through a Facebook group for dual US-Italian citizenship, and later we met and traveled in Italy during our citizenship processes. After serving as a US Air Force Officer, Christina became an attorney. To make the rest of us feel even less adequate, she seems to speak about 15 different languages. She also works (with me) to assist others in getting Italian citizenship through descent. You can find her on Instagram at becomeitaliani or at becomeitaliani.com.

Where are you from? 

San Diego, California

In what countries have you traveled solo, and what was your age? 
When I was 26, I went solo backpacking through Latin America and Europe: Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Netherlands, and Portugal. 
Why did you decide to solo travel in the first place?
At 26, I had just finished my career in the U.S. Air Force and had returned from one year deployment in Kabul, Afghanistan. When I was deployed, I remember deciding that if I made it home safe, I would start checking off my bucket list items and stop putting off my passion for travel. I never planned to travel solo – I asked everyone and anyone I knew to travel with me, including family, friends, and even friends of friends. No one was able to. I was going to start law school the following year, so I had two options: not go, even though my passion was to get out there and see the world, or go alone and follow my heart. I chose the latter – 9 months of solo travel around Latin America and parts of Europe, and loved every minute of it.
What do you like most about solo travel?
For some reason, it’s much easier to make friends and get to know people from all over while traveling solo than when in a group, and I love the ability to choose where I want to go, when I want to go there. And, depending on if I like a specific city or not, I can change my schedule last minute and stay longer or shorter in that particular place.
What do you like least about solo travel?
It can be daunting because it’s all on you – catching trains, buses, ferries, planes, and in a country where you don’t speak the language it adds an extra layer of difficulty.
Christina in Colombia
Christina in Colombia
What advice would you give to first-time solo female travelers?

Do it! People say it’s more dangerous for a woman to travel alone, but on all my solo travels I never had anyone try to rob me or hurt me in any way. I recommend not listening to those who tell you it’s too dangerous to travel alone as a woman – I can almost guarantee you that anyone who says that, although I’m sure they say it out of love, has not actually traveled alone as a woman. Find other women solo travelers on Facebook pages to get motivated and excited, to get advice from them, because they’ll be part of your tribe. Being a solo woman traveler is very unique and special, we are unicorns! And that’s the beauty of it. I also recommend traveling light with only the essentials so it’s easier to move around from one city to the next, to try to learn at least a few phrases of the language spoken in the countries you’re visiting, and to do research online and through social media on the places you’re thinking of going to before planning to go there to get a better sense of what it’s like. Ask your friends and family if they’ve been there, and what they’re recommendations are to see and do, to make the most out of your time. Get out of your comfort zone, go out there, and I guarantee you that you’ll learn, grow, make tons of new friends, beautiful memories, and will be very proud of yourself, because you’re a bold, brave, badass woman! : )

Planning a trip to Florence soon? Check out my Florence Recommendations

Paula Cifuentes

solo female travel Paula
Paula in India

Paula and I met at a hostel when we were both traveling solo in Genova, Italy. I had been all around Italy for over half a year by this point and was feeling pretty smug about it. I was quickly humbled when she listed all the places she had been on her almost-finished trip. I’d say she’s a travel expert at this point.

Where are you from? 


In what countries have you traveled solo, and what was your age? 
I started when I was 19 and just went to Mexico. Later, a few EU countries when I was 20. Lastly, from 22 – 23 for a total of over 30 countries: Lithuania, Ukraine, Turkey, Switzerland, Spain, France, Sri Lanka, India, Albania, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Greece, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Sweden and Cuba. I’ve been briefly visiting Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Morocco and U.S.A.
Why did you decide to solo travel in the first place?
I went on a Tinder date in Mexico who told me about backpacking after traveling solo in South America for about 6 months. It seemed cool and interesting so I tried to do it myself for a week and worked greatly. Later was COVID time and I missed freedom and personal space after living with a boyfriend in lockdown, so I basically escaped and ran to my friends’ homes. I believe my crave of freedom was the “first place” force that put me here. 
What do you like most about solo travel?
Meeting new people who often turn into new friends, plus overcoming tough obstacles and enjoying the satisfaction of having done so. Pure pleasures. 
What do you like least about solo travel?
Missing deep love and long term connections because of quickly moving around with a nomadic lifestyle. It involves constant goodbyes and restarts. Oh, and 2 kinds of people: harassers and insanely loud snorers in dorms! 
female solo travel Paula Greece
Paula in Greece
What advice would you give to first-time solo female travelers?

Start small and in places where being a woman and a solo traveler is not so exhausting, because it can be very challenging. Also, enjoy taking risks and saying yes because the best experiences come from stepping out of your comfort zone. Finally, be curious and adventurous to get to know the real cultures and hearts.

As an additional tip, try to travel without internet! When you are truly alone and there is no one around to help you but yourself is when the greatest learnings are built. Then, every subsequent experience becomes easier than the previous one. May solo travelers enjoy the journey and do what they really want to do, without fulfilling anyone’s expectations but their own. And lastly, not to forget to be in touch with friends and family for peace of mind and physical safety.

Planning a trip to Naples soon? Check out some of my Naples Recommendations

Carolina Arruiz

Carolina in Paris at Eiffel Tower
Carolina in Paris

Carolina and I met at a train station in Pisa, trying to figure out the right train to Florence. In my broken Spanish, we chatted a bit on the train and she told me she was in the middle of a 3-month solo trip in Europe (made even more impressive by the fact that she didn’t speak any English). She’s a yoga instructor in Argentina and is working on writing a book. You can follow her on Instagram at yoga__amarilla.

Note: I did my best to preserve the tone of Carolina’s thoughtful responses when translating to English. For Spanish readers, you can see her original responses here.

Where are you from? 

I am from Argentina. From 9 de Julio, a city of about 70,000 people, in the Province of Buenos Aires.

In what countries have you traveled solo, and what was your age? 
I have traveled to various places within my country, both the south and the north. I was 21 and 22 years old when my preference for traveling alone began. Then I traveled to Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and the most awaited: the trip to Europe for three months alone. I was 29 years old.
Why did you decide to solo travel in the first place?
I decided to travel alone because I love spending time with myself. Also I feel that you meet many people along the way who vibrate on the same frequency, and you can share even as if you had known each other for a lifetime. Traveling alone leads to a lot of growth since you get to know yourself, you question yourself, you learn, you resolve and you grow mentally and evolve. I decided to travel alone to add experiences and stories that, after all, are the only things we are going to take with us in this life.
What do you like most about solo travel?
I love managing my own time, following my desires at all times, and being guided by my intuition and my feelings. Knowing places, walking slowly and leisurely, contemplating a sunrise, a sunset. Meeting people with different cultures and who speak different languages because it helps me to continue growing, getting out of my comfort zone and broadening my perspective on life.
What do you like least about solo travel?
I don’t know if I have something that I like least about traveling alone, if I have to answer, perhaps it would be at some point that I want to share something that I experienced with someone and there is no person next to me, but really at some point it appears and that becomes reality. Between loneliness and sharing a beautiful balance that helps me cultivate my spirit.
Carolina in Rome
Carolina in Rome
What advice would you give to first-time solo female travelers?

That they be encouraged, that they do not get carried away by comments and by people who are very afraid and who do not dare travel solo, that they let themselves be guided by their intuition and go for it. We do not have another life, only one, and it deserves to be well-lived without leaving potential opportunities behind.

Be encouraged and ask for advice if you are still doubting. Take the first steps, because the results are super encouraging and will open a thousand doors.

You will not regret traveling alone with yourselves, savoring foods that you choose, looking at places that you have never seen, walking through streets that you have not taken.

“Go after your dreams. They know the way.”

And whatever you need, here I am. My Instagram is yoga__amarilla and I am in the process of writing a book that when I finish it I will share it with you all.

Interested in going to Italy yourself? Check out The Perfect Amalfi Coast 4 Day Itinerary


I sincerely hope you got value out of this post. Hopefully, if you were considering going on your first solo trip, you’re now more informed and inspired.

If you have experience traveling solo as a female and want to share anything in the comments below, please do. 

Thanks to Emily, Christina, Paula, and Carolina for contributing to this. If you enjoyed this post, please check out some of my other content for all things Italy travel. 

Additionally, if you’re planning a trip to Italy and need one-on-one support or guidance, check out my services page where you can get in touch with me.

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