Being connected has opened up the world for the solo female traveller. Even though we travel to disconnect from our day-to-day lives, it’s comforting to know that we can still be connected just enough to give us, and our loved ones, piece of mind.
When I first started traveling a cellphone wasn’t the most important item you packed, like it is today. And even with my first few cell phones, it was far too expensive to use them while travelling.
All connection to home was by way of sending a post card, or finding a public phone with a pocket full of change for a quick, expensive, 30-second conversation to tell your parents you were fine.
As time and technology progressed, we could search out Internet cafes, then cellphones became almost another appendage and now we find free Wi-Fi almost everywhere. Plus we cannot forget social media, which connects us no matter where our feet are planted in the world. With these changes in technology, came a greater feeling of safety for single women while travelling.
Stacy Small, founder of Elite Travel International, mentioned in an article on Skift, “I have noticed an increasing number of female clients inquiring about ‘safe,’ but adventurous options and once booked, they will typically stay in touch with me and my team via twitter and Facebook and Instagram,” explains Small.’
Social media can act like a modern day version of the post card. With a quick pic shared on Instagram or a post of a momentary thought on Facebook or maybe a shout out to a restaurant being enjoyed on Twitter, friends and family can place their traveller in a location at a specific time with no actual physical conversation taking place. It’s these snippets or snaps that let others be there with the traveller for a moment.
In the Booking.com Solo Travel Report it mentions that ‘two-thirds (66%) of solo female travellers keep in touch with friends and family back home whilst away. ‘
We can now be in contact as much or as little as we want; from moment to moment updates of our daily activities on social media, to GPS tracking apps like Find Friends, to quick and easy phones calls to friends and family when you’re a little bit lonely or have something you just have to share with your bestie.
Along with using your mobile device for social media, it can also document your travels with pics like your room number and transit locations, which can be a great help. And those pics can also provide assistance if something were to go wrong. As noted in this article on Adventure Travel News ‘The U.S. Travel Insurance Association website TRIP recommends that women traveling alone have a mobile phone with them at the very least that can be used in all the countries on her itinerary in case of emergency. Other safety tips include taking photos of things like your hotel entrance and room number and any train stations or bus stops you’ve recently visited, so that authorities can retrace your steps in case you get into trouble.’
With these connections, women are feeling more comfortable hitting the open road alone and finding they are so happy that they did. They no longer have to wait for the right travel partner or they can choose to leave that partner behind.
“Our research suggests that female solo travel is a phenomenon that is here to stay,” comments Paul Hennessy, CMO at Booking.com.
From the beginning to the end of any journey or adventure, technology and social media now play a big part and help create a safer experience for the growing number of solo female travelers.
© 2016 – 2017, Anne-Marie Marais. All rights reserved.