Today, thanks to the shift in mindset and conversations of inclusivity, being a woman of a mature or a senior age just isn’t what it used to be. For many women that are in this chapter of their lives, travel has become a way for them to re-write what it means to age.
Taking trips alone as a female shouldn’t be a cause for concern either, but despite this, many senior women find themselves wondering if they can or should travel alone. There are many wonderful things to enjoy about solo travel.
You have a completely different travel experience when you explore on your own, and age is no reason to say no to new adventures. You, and only you, dictate the pace of your travels – whether you like to have a jam-packed itinerary and squeeze in all the sights, or you prefer to take things at a more leisurely pace, it’s all up to you.
Travelling when you’re a little older can even be a more liberating experience than from when you were young. If you’re still unsure, we’ve put together some tips for senior women who are travelling (or thinking of travelling!) alone.
Read the article: The Perfect Adventure For Experienced Travellers
1. Take a group tour
On group tours, you’ll be travelling with a wide range of people from different walks of life. However, you’ll explore alongside a local guide who knows your destination very well.
Group tours are a great way of connecting to other like-minded travellers and making friends who you can eat dinner with or explore the sights together – but you still have the opportunity to take time out for yourself as and when you need it.
2. Start with shorter trips
If you haven’t travelled alone before, you might want to start with a short weekend trip to get used to being in your own company before you dive into longer trips. This will also help you to figure out what kind of travel experience you enjoy, helping you to decide what you want to do and where you want to go when you take longer trips.
Start by taking a weekend break to a nearby city or take a quick getaway on your own in nature and build it up from there to get an idea of what suits you. You’ll quickly catch the bug for solo travel!
3. Keep safety in mind
The same safety rules apply for older solo female travellers as for younger solo female travellers. Safety is one of the biggest issues women worry about when travelling on their own, but with a little preparation and common sense, you can feel more confident about solo travel.
Keep your valuables on you while you’re in transit, and lock them in your hotel’s safe when you’re out and about. Only take what you need for the day.
Let a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you plan to be there. It’s a good idea to share a copy of your itinerary with them, and let them know in advance of any changes. You might also want to check in with friends and family every couple of days, whether by phone, email or text message.
4. Get travel insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance is a must for any trip. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but if your luggage gets lost, you’re the victim of pickpocketing, or you get caught up in a natural disaster, insurance will ensure you’re reimbursed for any losses.
Not all travel insurance covers seniors, but many do. Just make sure you shop around for a good deal, as often insurance companies will charge you more if you’re over 65. You may be charged a premium if you have pre-existing medical conditions, but it’s important to disclose these as it may invalidate your insurance if you don’t.
5. Travel light
If you can just take carry-on baggage, do it. Otherwise, try to resist bringing your entire wardrobe and stick to the essentials. You’ll appreciate a lighter load when travelling to and from airports, train and coach stations, as well as if you’re taking public transport like buses, trams or underground trains.
It’s also beneficial to carry less when it comes to getting into your accommodation. In some destinations, you may not have a lift in your building. A lighter suitcase will make it easier to get up and down staircases.
6. Do your research
From the countries you visit to the hotels you’re staying at, make sure you do your research before you go. Get recommendations from friends and do research online to find the best tour companies, hotels and attractions to suit your needs.
Maybe you want to stay in an accessible hotel, with lifts and rooms on the ground floor? Or perhaps you’re not comfortable with the idea of dining alone and want to eat at a restaurant with a communal table. Whatever it is, be prepared and do your research. You’ll be more prepared and enjoy your trip all the more.
Go and explore the world
Travelling alone as an older woman can be an enjoyable, liberating experience. Whether you like city breaks, beach holidays or roughing it in the wild, you can do as you please when you travel solo.
Embrace the opportunity for solo travel. You’ll learn about yourself as you explore other countries and experience different cultures.
Looking for inspiration for solo travel experiences?
Check out our tours for seniors, with everything from wine tasting in Italy to Kilimanjaro treks.