On request from lot of readers, I'm sharing tips on Solo Traveling for Women. This is not any bible, I'm only sharing what I've learnt through my experiences.
1. Keep friends / family informed about your trip and locations
Initially i used to keep my reliable friends and family informed with all my travels plans and update them with my location and contact details frequently. My friends have also been a moral support to me in few cases where I was stuck on my trips and was all alone to handle the misadventures. Gradually I started sharing only the most important details. Luckily, nothing wrong has ever happened to me, but I feel safe in my mind when I do that. That said, you still need to be alert at all the times and choose the destinations carefully.
2.Interact with people to understand them before you fix them up for your travel logistics
I almost put a cab driver through a psychometric test before I chose him to show me around few places in Ladakh. We got so comfortable with each other on the trip, that he even invited me for lunch at his place on our way back. His wife had kept simple Ladakhi meal ready for us. She joined us for the rest of the trip and carefully dropped me back home.
3. Learn about safety measures from the locals
I’m living in Tirthan valley with a local family consisting of a couple and a kid. She is the only female after my mom who cooks so lovingly for me. He is the man who is protective about me for everything. They introduce me to others as a part of their family. They make me feel safe and secured in this valley which was unknown to me before November 2016. Yes, I need the brains and eyes to select such people!
4. Avoid drinks or getting high in new places
The night life at Gili Trawangan (Indonesia), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Vang Vien (Laos), Siemp Reap (Cambodia), Thimpu (Bhutan) were really tempting and I don't visit these countires often. I did walk around the streets to have a taste of this side too, but kept away from drinks!
5. Choose your invites very carefully
After my Auden's Col Trek, I spent a couple of days in Rishikesh before I headed to Pune. As I walked alone on the streets, quite a few adventure company owners recognised me as a trekker. They invited me to join them for overnight camping at locations away from the crowd. It was a tempting offer to me to explore hidden places, but it just didn't seem right to me and I rejected all the invites. I then met a cafe owner who invited me to his cafe for live music and party in the evening. It sounded good to me as I was in the mood to chill out after a difficult 10-day trek. I had a gala time at the cafe with other travellers from different parts of the world. I vividly remember the cafe owner played a Hindi song "Jeena Jeena - Badlapur" on his guitar. Most of the crowd there was Spanish, yet they hummed to this song.
6. Carry a torch and pre-downloaded google maps
Having said that, you might want to be equipped with whatever suits you, including the pepper spray. Whatever it takes!
7. Walk around the streets to feel the vibe
For travellers who prefer booking in advance, I am not the right person to advise on how to choose an accommodation online. Online reviews can give few insights about the place.
In any case, try and walk around the streets of any new destination, to feel the vibe of the place.
8. Enjoy your own company