Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow
You don’t have to be in a relationship to travel. In fact, here’s why I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for female solo travel.
I love to travel. And while I don’t always travel solo, this site is in many ways a female solo travel blog.
I’ve said it before: If I want to go somewhere I will go, whether someone wants to come along or not. And if you’re a bit unsure about traveling entirely solo, you can join group trips.
I really don’t think not having a significant other to travel with should stop you from exploring the world. Of course, you will read all kinds of things about how unsafe female solo travel supposedly is.
And that’s why I compiled some safety tips for female solo travelers.
Now, Valentine’s Day seems like the time when you really don’t want to travel solo as a woman. But why? Because it’s supposed to be this romantic holiday that you spend with someone you love.
But aren’t we supposed to love ourselves? The closest relationship you have should be the one with yourself.
So then wouldn’t that make Valentine’s Day the perfect holiday to travel solo?
I mean, I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day anyway. But if I did I wouldn’t let it stop me from traveling solo if there was a place I really wanted to see. I’ve been to cities like Tirana, Sofia, and Warsaw on my own because my partner was not interested in going.
There are places I really want to see, and while Alfonso came to Budapest and Malta with me I still want to see St. Petersburg or Porto, whether or not he’s in.
The thing is that by going places you want to see you prove to yourself that you’re worthy of getting what you want. That doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy romantic trips with your partner.
But you shouldn’t miss out on visiting somewhere for the sole reason that your significant other doesn’t want to come along. Nor should you have to stay at home because you’re single.
You Have to Love Yourself First…
Such a cliché, I know. But it’s true. If you don’t love yourself enough (on Valentine’s or any other day) to do what you are passionate about, who else will? Do you really want to give up your dream of traveling to Barcelona because you’re single or your partner doesn’t like to travel?
Female Solo Travel Is the Most Loving Thing You Can Do
Women are often told that our happiness depends on others. And when you look for things to do on Valentine’s Day if you’re single a whole lot of the suggestions revolve around spending time with others.
While humans are social animals I am a firm believer that we all need some alone time. Female solo travel allows us time to be alone with our thoughts, decide what it is we want in life, discover the things we actually enjoy and not simply because everyone else likes them. And this is going to make your life so much better moving forward.
Because when you do what you like you’ll be a much happier person. And when you know what really matters to you you can focus on that while meeting potential partners. A woman who knows what she wants has a higher chance of finding it. That doesn’t mean female solo travel will help you meet the partner of your dreams. Though it has happened to some people.
But the mere act of providing yourself with what you want is incredibly self-loving. Bubble baths are nice, but they can’t replace traveling. If you’re a traveler at heart you need to live it now and not wait for someone to join you.
Solo Travel Means No Need to Compromise
I’ve said it before, but a woman traveling solo often has a better time. There’s no need to compromise on what to see and do. You eat when you’re actually hungry. And you sleep in or rise early depending on what you want. In a society where everything we do is based on the needs and wants of others (think school, work, family) wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a few days to do exactly as you please? Traveling isn’t always cheap (though it can be) so the least you should get out of it is something that you enjoy.
Female Solo Travel Can Be an Act of Feminist Resistance
As a woman of Muslim heritage who was born and raised in Germany, I can’t help but see how the patriarchy tries to get us every single time. Conservative Muslims will say that women are not allowed to travel alone. But Western patriarchy is more subtle and warns us of the “dangers of female solo travel.” The intention is the same: Women should stay at home and not go after what we want because that’s a threat to the male-dominated society which depends on us sacrificing ourselves for everyone else.
And whenever there is a case of something bad happening to a female solo traveler people suggest that she shouldn’t have traveled alone in the first place. But being a woman is dangerous everywhere, especially in our own homes.
So female solo travel is a feminist issue because women are defying the patriarchal expectations of how we should behave, where we should go, what we should do.
Men have been traveling solo for centuries, and it makes them “adventurers.” But when women do it we’re either desperate or asking for trouble. Questioning that mindset is very powerful. It shows that you stand up for yourself and other women. Because we need to normalize female solo travel if we want the rest of society to catch on.
If you love to travel then simply do it. Whether it’s with your partner, a friend or family member, or alone.
I’m not saying solo travel should be the only way to see the world. All forms of travel have their pros and cons. But what’s important if you want to travel is that you do it whether or not somebody wants to join you. If there’s a place you want to go and you have the opportunity to travel there don’t wait for somebody else.
We all lead busy lives, and unfortunately, we can’t do fun things 24/7. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of any moment that allows us to live for ourselves. Let’s stop living solely for others and start focusing on our own needs.
Because when we do things that make us happy we can share that happiness with the people we love. But our happiness will not depend on them coming along with us. Because their happiness might lie in something else.
So my suggestion for this Valentine’s Day is to love yourself and do what you really want. So if you want to see a specific city or country do it! Even if there’s nobody who wants to go with you.
Not only will you be incredibly proud of yourself for doing something that might feel a little scary. But you’ll find out how empowering female solo travel can be. You’ll do only the things you really want to do and spend as much or as little time as you want at each place. When you get back home you’ll know yourself so much better.
What do you think about female solo travel? And would you do it on Valentine’s Day?
HelenFebruary 1, 2020 at 9:44 pm
Yes! I love solo travel. I am single but even when I’ve been in a relationship, I’d never have sacrificed my desire to see new places.
I find solo travel is the best way to make friends. In a hostel you are more approachable on your own rather than as a couple or group. As long as you keep your wits about you then I’d recommend everyone tried solo travel at least once.
Nina | Lemons and LuggageFebruary 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm
You are so right! I’ve made some really wonderful connections with people while traveling solo. And yes, everyone should get to experience the wonderful world of solo travel.
SarahFebruary 2, 2020 at 2:17 am
I absolutely love your blog. Everything I have read is nothing short of amazing. This blog inspires me to travel more. I love traveling, as it is a real, tried and true escapism. There are times I told my boyfriend that I will be traveling without him, as he’s super busy working. I definitely think some of the best trips I have ever taken were solo. I have my own baggage and that is enough. Wonderful blog post.
Nina | Lemons and LuggageFebruary 2, 2020 at 2:16 pm
Thank you very much, Sarah! You’re so right, if somebody else is too busy that shouldn’t stop us from exploring the world. I hope you have even more amazing solo trips this year.
AngelaFebruary 6, 2020 at 1:19 pm
I have never travelled solo but after 30 years of travel, I think it is about time I started! Such positive vibes put out by the blog. Thanks for sharing.
Nina | Lemons and LuggageFebruary 7, 2020 at 2:25 pm
Thanks for your comment, Angela! I think you would love it. I always recommend going somewhere that you understand the language to make the first solo trip easier.
NinaFebruary 11, 2020 at 5:15 am
What a great post! I’m also a solo traveler and I love it as I can plan my itinerary the way I want it! I’m just doing what I want and can change plans whenever I feel like it. Everyone should try to travel solo at least once!
Nina | Lemons and LuggageFebruary 11, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Yes, those are some amazing advantages that everyone should benefit from at least once!
KathrynFebruary 6, 2020 at 6:15 pm
Love this article! I’m a single, 34 year old female who just learned to embrace solo travel two years ago. I love not having to answer to anyone else’s idea of what to do or where to go. I can rest when I need rest; explore when I want to explore; eat when I want to eat; and not have to worry about the other individual’s experience. That being said… all of my “solo” trips have been domestic (within the United States) and I bring my pug for emotional support/anxiety. I’m working up the courage to go somewhere abroad without the pup. I will continue to follow your blog for inspiration! <3
Nina | Lemons and LuggageFebruary 7, 2020 at 2:21 pm
Hi Kathryn, I think after two years it makes sense that you haven’t been abroad yet. It took me a long time to get used to all aspects of solo travel. In the first years, eating alone was such an issue for me. But now it has become completely normal. I think it’s great that you’re taking it step by step, and I’m sure you’ll soon make an international trip. What about Quebec? It’s close enough but still feels a bit different due to the language.
Felicia RobertsFebruary 11, 2020 at 2:34 am
Recently single myself, that was just the inspiration I needed!
Nina | Lemons and LuggageFebruary 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm
I hope you book an amazing trip just for yourself, Felicia!
Jason ReidMarch 20, 2020 at 1:10 am
Way behind on blog reading so this is a little dated in terms of Valentines Day and the current travel circumstances.. However I agree with the premise you should travel solo whether in a relationship or otherwise. February’s a typically good time to go anywhere too as it’s off season for most places 🙂
My partner is a teacher and I’d hate being restricted by the school holidays as my only time to travel haha.
Nina AhmedowMarch 20, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Oh yes, travel during school holidays sounds horrible: expensive and overcrowded! How are you holding up regarding COVID-19? Difficult times for travel blogs.