Women’s Travel: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

The “female traveler” is a nuanced category whose members face a varying degree of challenges, a Frugal Traveler article in the New York Times points out.

“The Gender Gap in Travel: Myths and Revelations” by Seth Kugel discusses the special position of female travelers, especially those traveling alone, and how they may find themselves forced to consider potential dangers in situations male travelers might shrug off.

At the same time, female travelers should not be lumped together in one homogenous group. “You’re a woman, but you may be a tall, athletic woman who speaks 12 languages. That’s very different from a woman who is 5-foot-0 and has never been abroad before,” said Daisann McLane in the story.

Despite these differences, women travelers on a budget need to be wary. “The cheapest of hotels, my bread and butter, are rarely the safest, whether because of their location or their weaker security,” Kugel writes.

And in keeping an open mind while traveling, women are confronted with a different set of considerations. Though encounters with locals may lead to some of the most memorable moments in travel, should women accept invitations to private homes by people they don’t know well? The answer, Kugel says, is complicated. Author and traveler Amelia Thomas relies on social cues and awareness of local notions of hospitality to protect herself.

Television reporter Emily Baron offers a few insights into safe travel. First, when setting out for adventures, be well prepared. Second, be comfortable with spending time on your own. Third, bring a tampon. You can give it to others who need one and bond, and they are also great for any potential scrapes.

As Kugel points out, this type of travel wisdom is born of the adventures of women. While they face unique challenges, they also have unique knowledge and experiences from their travels to share.


Read more about women’s travel on GoNOMAD