It is not easy being a solo female traveler.…Especially in India. There are many cultural and societal issues attached to it which I don’t want to get into. But around me, there are women who travel alone, who want to travel alone and many who admire others for doing it. But often the women who want to travel alone either don’t find the courage to do it or don’t get the required support/approval from family. (I told you it’s tricky here!)
Hence, I know there are many women who would find this post on “Tips for Solo Female Travel in Italy” necessary and befitting. I hope to give those women that push to travel alone!
My Story on Solo Travel in Italy
When I first thought of traveling to Italy alone, I was nervous and excited but I remember I really wanted to do it. I was told how safe Italy is from people here in Delhi and even though I heard it a lot, I wanted to try myself to be sure.
Coming from a very open minded and supportive family, I most often than not faced the concern of safety more than the concern of approval. My family stood like a backbone, supporting me for my solo trips to Italy. I was usually questioned on the “hows” of traveling solo more than the “whys”. So I agree, traveling solo in Italy was much easier for me than any of you.
But here’s how I help you…..!!
I strongly feel you should do what you want in life. And by that I don’t mean going against your parents wishes but standing up for what you believe in. If traveling solo is what it is, do not overthink and dive in! But first, you need to be convinced yourself! Once that is figured, prepare your family for it and read my tips on enjoying solo travel and keeping yourself safe! 😉
Tips for Solo Female Travel in Italy
Honestly, my first solo trip in Italy was not only my first solo trip outside of my country but also MY VERY FIRST solo trip! I learnt many things on the road and wanted to pass them as a handy list of tips to anyone looking to travel alone in Italy or beyond:
- Stay Vigilant Around Train Stations: First things first. You and your belongings! Keep them together because one look away from your bag might turn to be very expensive or dangerous to you. If there is anywhere I have felt unsafe in Italy, it has been those small town train stations where there is no soul in sight but that one stranger eyeing your bag.
- Say Hello to Morning/Afternoon flights: Take flight that lands in morning or afternoon because when you are in a foreign land (where you also don’t speak the local language) you should be reaching your accommodation at a reasonable time and preferably before it’s too dark.
- Never have all Cash and Card in One Place: I know you have read this countless times before but this is 100% true. Please don’t make this mistake! Spread your cash and cards in different pouches, bags, inside socks, packets etc. Don’t carry it all with you either!
- Try a Group Tour: Feeling too lonely?? Book a cooking class or dine in a local’s home like I did. It not only helps in making more friends but also drives away that loneliness!
- Know the Cost of a Taxi: Stuck somewhere?? Too eager to get to your hotel?? Take a taxi from outside the airport/train stations and make sure you research online beforehand. Have the Trenit App downloaded on your phone to check cost of train in Italy.
- Save Numbers of your Country’s Embassy: Keep numbers of your country’s Embassy handy. I have the number of the Indian Embassy in Rome saved in my phone. In case of an emergency, this is not only useful but also calms you down to see your people in a foreign land. Also, make sure you have copies of your Passport and Visa with you (just in case).
- Strike Conversations with Locals but Be Aware: Even if it is just a Grazie (Thank you) or a Buongiorno (Good Morning) you will be surprised how friendly locals are in Italy. They can really go out of the way to help you and knowing Italian helps. Trust me, there is so much kindness in the world, and Italy reminds me that each time. If you feel there is catcalling or over friendliness on the street, just politely say, no grazie (no, thank you) and walk away swiftly!
- Keep in Touch with Family: I know solo travel gets lonely at times, especially early evenings (for me). Staying in touch with family and friends always helps. Let them know where you are, send a picture of yourself, they are waiting to hear from you!
- Look Confident: Give the impression that you know. This helps to avoid people to come near you in the first place. Common sense and gut are my strongest suits when traveling alone!
- Enjoy Eating Alone: Dining alone but feeling awkward and nervous?? Carry a book or a pair of headphones. Never in Italy have I felt that I should be treated differently because I am alone. Of course the occasional stare will happen in ANY country, but I have ended up chatting with a lot of people because of this very reason!
Remember….. these are only a few…it’s baby steps to everything! You can’t be a pro at traveling alone after one trip. So give yourself time to get accustomed to it. Research research research. Read a lot of blogs before going anywhere. Even in Italy that’s what I do!
While writing this post, I saw myself featured on Texas Mom In Torino’s Blog where she says “I don’t know anyone who is as brave as you are to travel solo“. I am deeply touched and also very flattered because I never thought solo female travel would be such a big deal. But I know there are many of out there looking for that one ray of hope and inspiration to start it. So be brave and embrace it!
Traveling alone in Italy has been the most exhilarating experiences of my life! I can’t wait to do it again!
Happy Traveling Ladies!!