From India to Italy, these bloggers have been all over the globe. // © 2015 Rachel Jones
Feature image (above): An increasing number of females are traveling solo. // © 2015 Jodi Ettenberg
It’s safe to say that females — and even females on their own — love to travel. Sixty-three percent of Intrepid Travel’s bookings were made by women, and Small Luxury Hotels saw a 53 percent increase in demand for single female bookings from 2011 to 2012.
In order to help you learn more about the preferences of this thriving demographic, we interviewed five female travel bloggers that we think you can learn from — they might just inspire your next solo journey.
A Dangerous Business
Amanda Williams’s blog, A Dangerous Business, began in 2010 as a creative outlet away from her full-time job as a newspaper copy editor and layout designer. Unlike a lot of travel bloggers, Williams writes from the perspective of someone who can’t travel full-time — a position occupied by most readers, and a point-of-view that’s relatable and fresh in the crowded world of travel blogging.
Favorite Trip: New Zealand
Dream Trip: Africa
On Why Women Should Travel Solo: “Strangers tend to look out for me more when they see that I'm by myself. I've had fascinating conversations with people from all over the world who have started chatting with me just because they were curious as to why I was by myself.”
Expert Advice: “The world is a lot less dangerous than the media would like you to believe. In most cases, you're in no more danger when you're traveling than when you're doing anything else on your own.”
Flora the Explorer
Flora, of Flora the Explorer, started her blog in February 2012 to keep friends and family in the loop while she traveled for six months through Asia. The blog quickly grew into what it is today: a place where Flora shares her insights about how women are treated abroad, the challenges faced by those going solo and how travelers can have a positive impact on the world through volunteering.
But Flora’s writing isn’t just informational — it’s also beautifully descriptive. As you read, you feel like you’re traveling alongside her.
Favorite Trip: South America
Dream Trip: Bhutan
Expert Advice: “Trust your gut! It's not expert, but it's the absolute gospel when I'm alone abroad. There are so many situations that turned out to be less than positive, which I could have avoided if I had just paid more attention to my squirming insides at the time.”
Hippie in Heels
When Rachel Jones found herself in India with no job and dwindling funds, but a ton of Facebook messages asking her about life in India, forming a blog seemed like a natural idea. With the urging of her boyfriend and a few friends, Jones created Hippie in Heels, about traveling “glamorously” in India. After a year of blogging, Jones found she had gained a significant following.
While Hippie in Heels mainly focuses on India, Jones also offers tips on other locations such as Santa Barbara, Calif., and Hawaii. India is the main draw to the blog, however, as it’s a destination where many women are still afraid to travel alone.
Favorite Trip: Immersing herself in the culture of India, from Goa to Mumbai to Kerala
Dream Trip: Nagaland, India
Expert Advice: “Be more aware: Don't wear your headphones when you're walking alone, and be vocal if someone is bothering you. If you're wrong, you look crazy, but if you're right, you could have saved yourself from something bad.”
Jodi Ettenberg only meant for her trip around the world to last for a year — that was in 2008, and she hasn’t quit traveling. Initially Legal Nomads was a way for the ex-lawyer to keep her family updated on her whereabouts, but it soon changed when Ettenberg realized her audience kept building.
Legal Nomads covers a wide variety of destinations in Ettenberg’s engaging, yet lighthearted, tone. She’s especially knowledgeable about foodie destinations and traveling with dietary restrictions. Ettenberg has celiac disease herself, and has helped other celiacs with “The Food Traveler’s Handbook,” an informative and interesting guide to eating gluten-free around the world.Favorite Trip: Ho Chi Minh City
Dream Trip: Trans-Siberian railway through Lake Baikal and Mongolia
Don’t Stand in Your Own Way: “The goal for me is just to provide something to learn from, and also to demystify parts of travel that might intimidate people with similar issues as me — that is, who have celiac disease as I do, or who are small ladies who like to travel alone. I always say I can only travel in the body I've been given, so I don't focus on those two things. But they are also part of who I am, and it feels great to get emails from celiacs who say, ‘I was scared to travel, but thanks to your guides I feel less intimidated.’”
Expert Advice: “If you are traveling in a country for more than a few days, register with your local embassy. Most consular services do include registration for citizens abroad, and it is very helpful in the event of emergency or even natural disasters.”
Gray Cargill started her blog for two reasons: to inspire others to try solo travel, and to work on her creative writing. It’s safe to say she’s accomplished both with her successful website, SoloFriendly.com, which includes hotel reviews, expert tips and even interviews with fellow travelers. She first discovered her love of travel on a three-week trip to England, when she took a class on Shakespeare through her university, and hasn’t quit exploring for the past 15 years.
Cargill’s blog explores locations that are a little more off-beat for the typical traveler, which makes her site a useful tool for those who want to explore underrated destinations from Mestre, Italy, to Burlington, Va.Favorite Trip: A cruise that took her through Venice, Athens, Turkey and Croatia
Dream Trip: New Zealand
Change Your Life With Solo Travel: “Traveling solo has really brought me out of my shell. I have this whole other extroverted side that I didn’t know existed. I’ve never had a scary experience traveling alone. You would be surprised how kind strangers can be — until you travel alone and experience it firsthand.”
Expert Advice: “If there’s a place you want to visit, don’t let fear stop you. Figure out how to make it happen. You won’t be the first woman traveling to that place alone, and you won’t be the last.”