Travelling solo in Europe: top tips for girls (and boys!)
The next installment in our Travelling As… series is one for the girls. We know people can get freaked out about the idea of travelling alone, particularly when you’re a girl, so read on to find out why travelling Europe solo as a girl is totally not scary, and actually 100% great.
Don’t Let People Put You Off:
People love to scare other people off doing things. Especially when they wish they’d done them themselves. We don’t live in the middle ages any more, and there is absolutely no reason why anyone should persuade female travelers out of travelling solo. Even though this is the case anywhere in the world, it’s particularly true for Europe. We’re lucky to live in a generally very accepting and safe continent! Whether you’re in Eastern or Western Europe, people are accustomed to female travellers of all ages and circumstances. Even if you do come across some slightly uncomfortable situations (like when I had to wait alone in a deserted station in Paris for 2 hours at midnight because of a cancelled train), you’ll come back stronger than ever – and with a tale to tell.
Of course there are precautions that any sensible traveller should take. Make sure your valuables are out of sight, avoiding walking home alone at night and make sure someone knows roughly where you are each day. However, we think this applies just as much to boys as to girls!
Do talk to strangers:
When you’re traveling solo, everyone is a stranger, and 99% of them are helpful and pleasant. One great way to find like-minded groups to hang out with is to stay in hostels. Most likely there will be at least a few other solo travelers who’d also be grateful for a buddy for the walk home. Going out in a group gives you the opportunity to share sightseeing, get to know people from all over the world and find others who might be heading towards the same destinations as you. Want to travel solo but worried about starting out alone? A group tour could be a great option to get you started.
People love to spread horror stories about hostels and their guests, but 99% of the time everyone will be in the exact same position as you – alone in a foreign country and keen to meet other travellers. Hostels are liberal, happy and tolerant places which do not look kindly on disrespectful or inappropriate behavior.
Do your research on each destination
Unfortunately, as is the case everywhere in the world, scams do exist in Europe. While most scams aren’t a threat to your safety (those responsible are far more focussed on earning their pocket money!), it’s best to do your research on the common ones to avoid being caught out! There’s nothing like being conned out of your money to put a downer on your holiday, so don’t allow yourself to fall into the traps! You can read more about Europe’s common tourist scams here.
Learn to like your own company:
The more you travel Europe solo, the more you’ll realise that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Just as you wouldn’t think twice about walking around your hometown alone, you’ll soon find yourself exploring new cities independently. The great thing about venturing out on your own is that you’re totally in control – anything that you want to see, you can explore on your own terms.
Equally, like in your home town, be sensible about your exploring. If you’re uncomfortable in any situation, remember: it’s always within your control to remove yourself from it. Whether the risk is real or imagined, trust your gut instinct. Avoid isolated areas or those which feel hostile, and if you start to feel threatened don’t feel bad about turning back. The truth is that while you might feel vulnerable as a girl, our advice is always the same regardless of your gender: stick to public areas with easy transport links and plenty of people about and you’ll rarely come across any trouble.
Euroventure can help!
As a final point, if you still feel concerned about travelling Europe solo as a girl, why not consider travelling the Euroventure way? We help you can experience all the independence of travelling Europe solo, safe in the knowledge that we’re just a phone call away if you get into any difficulty. We’ve helped loads of people take their first steps into the world of solo travelling. We know the best ways to travel Europe, the ins and outs of public transport and the best routes for different travellers. Plus, with our specially selected partner hostels you’re bound to run into other Euroventure travelers to share your experience with. You can even travel with a bunch of like-minded backpackers on one of our group tours if you prefer!
Travelling alone is a liberating, fascinating, thrilling and sometimes scary experience, whatever your gender. We’re all about sharing this with everyone, so if you’re thinking about inter-railing, why not get in touch today – no question is too small or too big! Take a look at our trips for inspiration, join a group tour, or head to our Europe Trip planner to create your own route!