When it comes to women traveling solo, myths abound: It’s just not safe. You’ll get lonely. The list goes on.
But these 10 female bloggers have been traveling solo for years. Their blogs offer advice geared toward women about things like packing, food, safety and more, but today we’re looking at ways to save money when traveling solo. (There’s a good chance anyone can get some great ideas from this list.)
Become an au pair
Ashley Fleckenstein from Ashley Abroad worked as an au pair in France in exchange for a place to stay and a small additional salary. She says typical duties include cooking, tidying up the home and child care. This could be a good way to further explore a specific area, but you’ll need to stay awhile for this kind of job. She also says your accommodation could vary from living with the family to having your own apartment.
Trade housesitting for accommodation
Another rent-free option is to become a housesitter, like Amanda Burger from Burger Abroad. Before traveling, she was a full-time, professional housesitter, but she considers it a barter system now. Her advice is to be prepared for the amount of responsibility involved in caring for the home, and because many of these gigs come with pets, it helps to be an animal lover.
Stay in a hostel
If you aren’t interested in working during your travels, a hostel might be a better fit. Michela Fantinel of Rocky Travel encourages women to travel alone and stay in hostels to allow for meeting others and socializing, especially if it’s your first time traveling solo. Hostels tend to be less expensive than hotels, too.
Join an overland tour
If you have a sense of adventure and are looking to travel to remote destinations but don’t want to do it completely alone, you could join an overland tour, as Helen Davies from Helen in Wonderlust did for a few months in Africa. She says that the benefits include built-in transport, accommodations and social connections. Budgets will differ based on location, and it’s important to know what expectations there are of travelers. She helped clean camp dishes as a part of her tour, for instance.
Only pack a carry-on
Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse suggests using only a carry-on to avoid overpacking, save on baggage fees, avoid lost luggage and save time upon arrival. Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad suggests packing solid-colored clothing that can mix and match to maximize your number of outfits. If you do need to do laundry while traveling, it’s likely still cheaper than paying for extra luggage.
Gloria Atanmo of The Blog Abroad writes that flexibility is key when traveling, and she tends to buy one-way tickets to ensure she can easily change her plans. Annette White, author and blogger behind Bucket List Journey, travels with an itinerary but warns not to keep it too strict.
Know the average costs of transportation
You need to know the average rates in the areas you will be traveling to or exploring. Erica Villas of Girl Unspotted tells the story of being ripped off by a cab driver and says it could have been avoided had she known what the average cab costs were. Also, do some research to learn where you can exchange currency without paying huge fees. Renuka Walter of Voyager for Life also warns about costly transportation that can be budget busters.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: 20 hotel safety tips for women traveling alone How I flew for free: Round trip NYC to India using Chase Ultimate Rewards This strategy is how I started earning major travel rewards