If you’re a female traveller, you’ve probably had to deal with lots of comments from people who don’t feel like it’s safe for females to travel alone. But why is it safe for men to do so? The truth is, there are only minor differences when men and women choose to travel alone. As women are far more sensitive to men and have often been victims of prejudice in the past, they can feel a need to show that they aren’t ‘stuck up’ or do things out of character. If you’re worried about this, here are 5 things female travellers should know before they fly:

Saying no can be a challenge for some females. You want to be nice, you don’t want to upset anybody, but you also don’t have any use for that souvenir the shop owner is trying to sell to you. In some countries, you’ll feel unable to say no as shopkeepers actually grab you and put bracelets on your arm before you have any say in the matter. All you have to do is say no thank you and smile, but be firm. Make it clear that you do not want to buy anything. Don’t apologise or explain yourself!

It’s likely that locals will try to talk to you, regardless of whether you are wearing headphones or whether you can even speak the language. It can be pretty exhausting, and sometimes, you may feel threatened. If you’re getting unwanted attention, don’t be afraid to raise your voice. Go with your gut.

Things can go wrong when you travel alone, just as much as things can go right. You’re probably going to be more tired and more moody than usual, and that’s fine. Remember that this experience is making you more emotionally self-reliant.

Travellers and locals alike might invite you to join them for a conversation, a meal, a hike, perhaps even a party. Don’t waste opportunities like this, as it’s something you’ll only experience when travelling alone. Ensure you’re able to draw the line at where you feel comfortable – you alone are responsible for your safety. If you decide to say yes to an invite, leaving information on where you’ve gone in your hotel room is a good idea. Places like the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott will pay attention and ensure you get back safe. Make sure you outline where you’ve gone, who with, and when you expect to be back.

If you’re going to travel alone, you need to learn how to strike up a conversation. You’ll have to be able to ask for directions, haggle prices, send back your food if it’s not good enough – all when you don’t even speak the language. Remember that one of the best things about travelling alone is meeting new, like-minded people!

Now that you know these things, you can fly with confidence and have the trip of a lifetime.

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