Tips for Solo Female Travel in Mexico
One of the most common phrases I hear when I’m about to embark on a solo trip is: Be careful. While it’s important for any traveler to be prepared and just the right amount of wary when traveling abroad, a lot of times it feels like I’m given this advice mostly because I’m a woman. There’s no doubt that us ladies experience a few more restrictions when traveling alone; there’s simply more we have to worry about, especially when we journey to certain countries. But none of this should stop you from making the choice to embark on a solo trip! Some of my best experiences and most memorable moments have come from traveling alone. So let’s get planning, girls. How about a trip to Mexico and a few great tips for going there solo as a female?
1. Don’t wear skimpy clothes
Unfortunately, Western women already have a certain reputation in Mexico (especially Americans). A lot of these perceptions come from TV and film, or even just seeing how foreigners behave on Spring Break. While you definitely shouldn’t let these stereotypes stop you from enjoying yourself, it’s usually a good idea to avoid parading around in a bikini or other similarly skimpy clothing. Mexico, in many ways, is still conservative and it will be all around safer for you to cover up a little. This doesn’t mean you need to be dressed from head to toe, but shorts (not too short) and a tee will definitely gain you more points with the locals than hardly-there mini-skirts and bikini tops.
2. Do your research
Traveling alone, especially as a woman, means you will need to do a bit more research in order to stay safe. Make sure to read lots of reviews for every hotel or BnB you’re planning to stay at, and study up on which neighborhoods are safest wherever you plan on going. You’ll want to stay in a part of town that is safe to walk alone in whether its day or night. And be sure to research in depth the local sights you’re hoping to check out. Sometimes something that’s listed as a must-see in the guidebook could be considered dangerous to locals, so check around on several websites before cementing your plans.
3. Don’t wear bling
It might be tempting to show off the gold earrings you love so much, or those brand name heels, but you may just have to leave these items at home before heading to Mexico. It’s never a good idea to draw unwanted attention to yourself, and especially bad to make people think you have money. This can cause a myriad of problems from muggings to harassment, so pack simply and aim to blend in with the crowd instead of stand out.
4. Do smile a lot
Even as a woman traveling alone, it’s perfectly okay to smile and interact with the locals. In fact, this might even help you in the long run. Mexicans are known for being friendly, and usually people won’t hesitate to help out a tourist. The locals can point out the dangerous spots you should avoid and give great recommendations for the places you absolutely must see. Furthermore, being warm and open is a part of Mexican culture, so you’ll be acting more like a local!
5. Don’t leave your drink
If you’re a solo traveler and you want to spend a night out on the town it’s usually a good idea to take someone along with you. If you haven’t had the time to make friends at your hostel, no worries, you can still go out and experience the nightlife, you just need to be careful. This may be an old-school suggestion, but never, ever leave your drink unattended when out partying. Don’t let other people buy you drinks and always keep an eye out on your glass. This can be tricky and cumbersome, but I personally know a couple women who had horrible experiences with drugged drinks, so it’s better to go through the trouble than to end up in a bad situation.
6. Do act confident
There’s no need to act like a cocky tourist while you’re traveling solo, but you also don’t want to come across as someone who is scared. Try to use confident body language. When in doubt, look like you know where you’re going and exactly what you’re doing. And try to avoid telling people you’re traveling alone. It’s usually best to mention you’re journeying with friends or a spouse in order to avoid attracting attention from individuals with sinister intentions.
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Do you have any tips for solo female travelers headed to Mexico? Share a few with us below!