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India is considered as one of the most intact and safe countries for traveling solo by women. As of the given impression, the country is also known for its immense population, excessively scorching heat and disturbing noise that can be slightly annoying. So for our fellow female readers, the following are the top 10 tips to travel solo for women travelers in India.

Travelling to new places is the best thing that rejuvenates your senses and gives you a positive and fresh energy to catch up your routine when you are back. Going to new places can be fun when it is with your friends and can be adventurous when you are on your own. Of course, you do have to be a bit more careful if you’re a female traveling solo, but it’s not an impossible feat.

Solo trips require a lot of extra work which you must keep in mind to have a safe and healthy trip whether you are going to a trek or are planning to hit the ocean it is always best to be safe rather than healing. If you are planning to take on the journey as a solo traveler then these tips will be really helpful in planning as well as enjoying your trip.

Tips for Women Travellers in India

There are some things you can do to keep yourself safe – and I’ve got top tips for solo female travelers right here!

1. Follow-up a well-through research


India is truly diverse in terms of ethnicity, language, food, weather, and anything that one can think of. Don’t plan for an offbeat place in the first place at least until you are good enough to carry on your own.

Please don’t underestimate the research on the clothing requirements and other habits. For instance: as a solo female traveler, you cannot afford to roam around in a regressive area with what the locals consider to be an inappropriate clothing. You do not want to draw unnecessary attention on your trip.

Once you have made up your mind about the destination you would like to visit, the first thing you must do is to read about the place in detail. You must know about the climatic conditions, places to stay, places to visit. This research will make you feel more confident and will also help you in preparing your bag and baggage accordingly.

When you are on-the-go amidst a completely foreign place, you must be thorough with the prominent whereabouts and significant tourist spots. This helps prevent loss of direction and an easy stay. Besides, when you are traveling in places like Delhi, unlike places like Bangkok, European countries, and Greece it is excessively ancient and traditional.

Since there is an extreme diversity of cultures and people around, it could get slightly inappropriate if you receive special attention due to your clothing or lifestyle choices at public places. Not to hop your judgment caps on but on wearing shorts and mini-length attire, the revelation can cause unnecessary chaos. You can also search for a solo female travel group.

2. Walk with purpose


Walk at a good pace, walk with a direction of where you are going. If you linger, do so near a wall, near other women or someone who looks older. Even if you have a polite nature when you are traveling across a country like India, you must be aware that you need to put out a rather confident and affirmative front so as to save yourself from being catfished.

The basic aim is to avoid portraying a feeble self as in order to avoid being attacked. If you feel that you are being harassed in any absolute form, feel free to push through and shout for safety as you walk away. If you need to ask directions, ask other women, people over 60, or merchants.

3. Don't hitchhike


Ride on public transportation if there are other women/children on it. Do not avoid trains because of preconceived notions. At times you would be travelling in the opposite direction (against the crowd) and your travel would be very comfortable. Would save you money as well as time if you are travelling long distance.

In India, public transport is a treasure-like facility but only when used smartly. Vehicle-drivers like that of auto-rickshaws and cabs can often tend to deceive as in order to retrieve more money than allotted as travel fare. To prevent such a situation, ensure that you remain active and observant at all times.

Even while traveling in the dark, note down the vehicle number you use and make it obvious to the driver that someone you know is aware of your travel details simultaneously. Staying connected to your friends and associates is always a good idea, to avoid bad encounters.

4. Carry a Battery-backup with your mobile phones


It is important that your mobile phone is switched on and reachable at all times. This is because it helps you stay connected to your loved ones and makes your travel pretty convenient. When on travel, you can purchase a cheap-rated SIM card for daily use. There are many offers on calling and internet facilities. You must also keep along with you a battery back-up to ensure that your phone doesn’t drain its battery as you go around the place.

5. Adapt to the customs of India


As partially mentioned before, unlike any other country touring within India requires of you to be extremely respectful and aware. The society here follows stringent rules that apply to all its visitors and residents equally. From modest clothing to cautious moving around and interaction at all times, India can be distinct than other places you might have visited.

Bring sturdy clothing and layers. Depending on where you go and the luck of the weather, you could have a blustery 50 (Fahrenheit) or a balmy 85. The further out on the coast you go and the further north, the more you’ll need to be prepared, clothing-wise. Being cold is bad, being cold and wet will demoralize you in a hurry.

6. Carry Medicines & Hygiene-related Amenities


Ensure that if your road trip is not simply an excursion and is rather a week or month-long program. Take basic items such as toiletries, a bottle for fuel refill, extra Stepney. Those could be a life saviour. Ensure your medicine kit has all that you need at your disposal and stock up snacks boxes with items such as protein bars.

Ensure that you are traveling with all your prescribed medicines, even if they are available in the latter country. There is no harm in being prepared for the worse. Also, do not forget to carry wipes or wet-napkins for on-the-go use in the country. This helps you to protect yourself from germs and bacteria that are prone to affecting or harming your health in any possible way.

7. Take precautions


Being adventurous is one thing, Being foolish is another. Don’t let cheap thrills woo you. Anyone who has traveled solo can tell you that ‘Safety’ is one thing which can make or break your trip. Avoid sleeping in your car ‘alone’ in the middle of nowhere, it’s outright stupid. On the other hand, camping out with people is always a good idea. Pepper spray, stun gun, additional copies of ID, cash are few of best friends on any solo trip.

Many times, other travelers are the biggest threat and hostels are notorious for non-secure rooms. ALWAYS choose safety over saving money. It's not even a question. If you are just starting out, avoid traveling at night. Make sure you don’t reach the airport at night. Maybe abstain from drinking outside when traveling just to be on the safe side.

If you're going out at night, tell your hotelier where you are going. They are usually very protective. Ask them to call taxis and get the card of the taxi to pick you up. There are negligible people around you to judge you for things you prefer to do. However, being impulsive could land one into trouble.

Make sure documents are in a secure place.

8. Stay Connected


If you are on a backpacking trip, book your stays in prior. If you are on package tour, have the contact number of the guide to your family members and let the guide know that. Keep your friends and family apprised of your whereabouts. So that you’ll always have someone to reach out to if things don’t go your way. Reach out on Facebook groups in case of emergencies.

One of the most important things to do while travelling solo is to let your family and friends be aware of your itinerary. Maintain a list of hotels or inns where you will be landing, your entire journey with local phone numbers of your accommodation where you will be saying so that they can get in touch with you or if they lose touch then they will have a place to call and know about your safety.

If you are on a day tour or something in a cab. Make a note of the vehicle and driver info, share that with your known. Most importantly let the driver know that his info has been shared.

9. Stay in hostels


Pocket-friendly, and also a great place to interact with like-minded travelers. Unlike traveling with friends or family, when traveling solo you are out of your comfort zone, and more open to interacting with people. That makes it making friends far more likely. While it's exciting and encouraging to make new friends on the trip always refrain disclosing personal details.

Booking an inn, home stay or a lodge will be the best idea rather than landing up in a hotel room as it will be in your budget and will also provide a homely feel. There are a lot of inns and homestays that offer home cooked food too which will add up to your trip and will leave you with yummy memories of the local food and hospitality. Travelers can easily book their accommodation.

10. Track your travel through Maps


India is among the highest number of mobile subscriber base still don’t expect that WiFi to be easily available or Internet Data plan easily accessible. Go old school, carry physical maps for visibly detailed directions. If you are lost in a deserted land, and unlikely to speak the local language. You gotta show some map.

You should always try to visit a place where people speak the language that you do. And if you really want to go someplace where the language is different then ensure someone is there for you whom you know.

Don’t use taxis. Use local buses instead. Even if you are traveling in a well-equipped vehicle, it is vital that you track down the route your driver takes so as to be mindful and be on-the-beam about the route from your location to the designated destination. This also helps you track the general fare and put up a knowledgeable comparison when required.

Depending on what time of year you travel, it might get dark early which means you do not want to be outside exploring as long as you might on a summer evening. If you're going to be spending a lot of time at your hotel, make sure to stay somewhere with free wi-fi which will also help you cut short on those extra expenses. You can use this time for Skype your family and friends back home to recount your adventures for the day.

Wear shoes that are comfortable and in which you can move. Good walking shoes will also be a massive asset to you. You can do hikes in them AND walk around cities.

11. Learn to Get Help


There can be stressful moments when you are completely unaware of your whereabouts. At such times, language barriers too can make things worse. Here, you must locate the absolute nearest PCR (Police Control Room) for help and assistance. Avoid losing your calm in public and try to be as clear and concise about your details to the authorities as possible.

Always travel with your phone unlocked and keep a list of emergency phone numbers somewhere easily accessible. Keep a diary where you must mention your name, blood group, your address, phone numbers of your parents or friends and you must also mention some quick details about your insurance policy. These things are very helpful if you and up in any kind of medical emergency.

Traveling in the daylight seems boring but in the daylight, one can protect herself from the bad elements of society. If anything happens you can easily seek help.

12. Make sure you wear Indian clothes too


Don't show cleavage or upper thighs. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Right? Must you aim for the same in India? Absolutely! Indian clothes are one of the most alluring and heart-warmingly beautiful attires you will ever come across. Make it a point to try each and every traditional attire according to the state you are on the visit at. Pack clothes you don’t mind getting destroyed.

13. Travel with additional locking device


Lock your hotel room door and pull on it, push on it HARD. Twist the handle this way and that. Do this every time you enter or leave. I travel with an additional locking device that adds extra security. You can find various versions at several price points on the web.

When leaving any items in the safe, leave an item such as the shoe you will wear when you leave. When you go to leave the room and have only one shoe, you’ll be reminded that your other is in the safe along with valuables. So many people forget to empty the safe when they leave. Be aware that even an in room safe has an override feature so it’s not totally secure.

Consider leaving the TV on at an audible volume when you go out. People will be less likely to target your room if they think someone is inside. When you hang the do not disturb sign on your door handle quite often these have a side in English and a side in the local language. Hang yours with the local language DND facing out. Robbers are more inclined to steal from tourists. Same goes for TV above. You may wish to leave it on a local channel.

Use your deadbolt and spy hole, always. Consider keeping something in front of your door which can alert you to a night time intruder. Just a bag which can make a noise or fall over when the door is opened. You can also buy special door alarm clamps specifically for this purpose.

Use the emergency exit map inside your room and consider doing a practice run of where the fire escape routes are located in the hotel, and remember if there is a fire, do not use the lifts. If you are trapped in your room due to a severe fire, immediately put the plug into the bathtub and sink and begin to flood your room, take towels, sheets, pillows and drench them.

Place them along the door sill and try to seal up gaps so smoke doesn’t easily enter your room, you can use your wastebin or ice bucket to bale water from your bathtub to drench the carpets and door areas.

14. Carry packets of noodles


If you are vegetarian, don’t assume that you would get vegetarian options everywhere you go. This is a life saver - carry cups of noodles and other options of your choice. This also helps reduce time early in the morning when you just want to get quick breakfast and move.

15. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle


If you have your vehicle or a rental vehicle park under the parking lot lights. NEVER leave anything of value in your vehicle either in plain sight, hidden under the seat or in the trunk. These criminals are savvy about which vehicles to break into.

16. Not planning your outing properly


Yes, impromptu plans rock but don't underestimate the population of India. If you're planning for nice dinner/drinks at popular places, don't forget to book in advance or be there before 8 on Friday/Saturday evenings. If you are happy sitting at the bar, choice is yours. Don't get drunk around people you do not know. Don't tell anyone where you are staying or let someone walk you home unless you are 100% sure they are safe.

17. You will be stared at


If you don’t look Indian you will definitely be stared at. Try to remember that you are very much in a minority, and imagine if you saw something very unusual in your country what your reaction would be. You may be a little less obvious with your staring, but you would still probably take a second look if you saw something very unusual that you didn’t see often.

18. Don’t be offended by personal questions


Indian’s will ask you whether you are married, how much you earn in your job and other questions that we would not discuss. This is very normal to them and there’s no point being offended. You can avoid the question, but don’t get annoyed with them for asking it, as they don’t see it as rude.

19. Don’t expect people to respect your personal space


There are over a billion people in India. So there is less space for all the people. People stand a lot closer to each other and push past each other in shops. This is normal and not seen as rude, so just expect it to happen.

20. Make sure you try Indian food


Eating the cultural delicacies like that of Punjab or Rajasthan for instance, will make you experience the life of an Indian and rejoice each moment.

After a long and tiring day dinner is the most difficult part especially when you are travelling alone. Make sure that you visit the same place to have your dinner, this way you will meet the same people again and can socialize with them. Try to eat at the bar or in a restaurant with communal tables and you could be mixing with the locals in no time.

Travelling solo is a complete adventure in itself and one must do it once in their lifetime. It not only gives you time to explore things according to your lookout but also makes you independent and confident. All you need to do is to keep some small things in mind and be extra cautious as your security and safety is in your hands. Go on and start planning your trip and make sure you choose a good trip advisor to guide you with places well within your budget.

There are malicious people everywhere and you are vulnerable because you are female and an outsider. These precautions help you get to a place where you can judge dangerous situations/people and then relax and enjoy those that are safe. And don't forget to ask someone to take a photo of you!

Do not defer your trip according to what you hear about India for it is a lot more than the toxic myths that you come across. Each moment is worth cherishing to travel away! The most important thing is never forget you are a female. It is hard to get used to.

These are just some of the many tips to keep safe as a solo female traveler. Remember that instant plans/trip are likely to give you all kind of rush. However, a bit of planning on the go as you travel solo doesn’t hurt. Feel free to share your own suggestions on solo travel for women in the comments below!
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Emma - Bake Then Eat said...

Some great tips here for solo travel, for anyone male or female. But especially fo us females :)

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