Solo travel question: “I’m in Thailand grabbing a sunset drink at a beach bar. The bartender asks why I’m alone. Should I be honest and say I’m travelling alone? Or just say my travel buddy is elsewhere?” – Emma, New Zealand.
Great question, Emma! The natural instinct is to tell the truth and say you’re travelling solo and enjoying every minute (go girl) BUT staying safe should always be your first priority.
Unfortunately travelling solo as a woman can be dangerous, particularly in some areas of the world. So what should you say in these types of situations?
Here are some top tips to help you make the right decision.
Assess your surroundings
Where are you? Are you in a hostel with like-minded people? Or in a random bar in Mexico far from your hotel? This makes a HUGE difference! If you’re sitting safely in a hostel, own it! Tell them you’re travelling solo and loving every minute! If you’re in unfamiliar territory, perhaps it’s better to say you have friends elsewhere.
Is it a group of travellers? Or a single man who may be interested in you? Use your female intuition and determine the best response.
Always air on the side of caution
Don’t ever put yourself at risk. You may think the bartender is just being friendly, but you have no idea who he is or what his intentions are. Remember you are more vulnerable as a solo female traveller so you need to be careful. If in doubt, say you are meeting friends or your travel buddy/boyfriend is back at the hotel.