I recently returned from 10 days of traveling in Chile and Argentina, part of that time with a friend and the rest by myself. In fact, the three days I spent in Buenos Aires were completely solo dolo.
I would be lying if I said I hadn't been nervous before going to Buenos Aires. Quite frankly, I had heard mixed reviews from mostly people of color, and I wasn’t sure what to expect as a black woman traveling there by myself.
Fortunately, I can say my overall experience in Buenos Aires was fantastic. Did I see anyone who looked like me? Not gonna lie, I didn’t. But I met some great people, experienced one of the city’s closed door restaurants, ate more red meat than I have in the past decade, drank some fantastic Argentine wine, walked for miles, toured the main hot spots and enjoyed a city that was experiencing perfect spring weather.
All that said, I was still a solo female traveler in a new, foreign city, so I took some precautions. Here are 10 dos and don’ts for solo female travelers:
DO email your itinerary and contact information to family and/or close friends. Make sure someone else knows where you are when you’re traveling and how to reach you.
DON’T take the cheapest route if it means sacrificing your safety. It's not worth it!
DO make sure you research where you’re staying. The last thing you want is to end up in a place where you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
DON’T broadcast your exact whereabouts and everything you’re doing on social media. You want to make sure family or close friends know how to reach you and where you are, not the world.
DO meet new people, but be smart about it. Think before you act, don’t go into a situation that sets off alarm bells and listen to your gut.
DON’T overindulge when you’re out by yourself. A drink or two is probably okay but don’t get wasted.
DO be aware of your surroundings when you're out and about e.g., if anyone is walking closely behind you or standing too close.
DON’T be afraid to join something by yourself. I took part in a 27-person, five-course steak dinner while in Buenos Aires and was only one of two people who came by herself. And you know what? I had an amazing time! I met some new people and ate some damn good food!
DO embrace this adventure! Solo traveling isn’t for everyone but for those who do love it, it’s an amazing way to connect with yourself, meet other people and get out of your comfort zone while exploring a new place!
DON'T let fear of traveling by yourself overrule your desire to see the world.
What are your dos and don'ts for traveling by yourself?