Packing with Style: Tips from an Expert

How can you pack in less than an hour and still look effortlessly fabulous while on vacation? As a solo female traveler, it’s about building out that wardrobe over time. It’s important to understand what fabrics you should invest in, while focusing on building a diverse wardrobe that caters to all of your travel needs. I am Beverly O., and I am an international style consultant. Here’s my guide to help you start!

Fabrics

cotton for style guide

The fabrics you wear play a major role in your comfort and style. When traveling to areas that are more humid and hot it’s especially important to pack lighter fabrics with natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, high quality rayon, or linen. These fabrics are breathable, allowing heat to escape the body, so you don’t end up a walking puddle of sweat. It’s also easier to use wrinkle resistant spray when travelling on fabrics that are natural fibers than synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon and lycra.

How to Pack

packing for vacation

While there’s so many ways to pack, the most efficient and wrinkle preventative way is the roll method! Rolling your clothes not only helps keep creases away, but also maximizes space in your suitcase or backpack. I have designated packing cubes (a travel must) for categories like day-time casual, evening, and lounge wear so I can see what I’m packing and already have an outfit in place for every occasion.

For shoes and accessories, store them in a shoe bag to keep germs and dirt away from the rest of your things and your shoes in great condition.

Invest in a travel jewelry bag to prevent necklaces from tangling, keep earrings from getting lost, to make it easier for you to get ready and start your day!

Keep it Chic

chic packing guide

Scarves

I usually pack 3 scarves on vacation. One I can use as a sarong over a bathing suit. A smaller silk scarf I can wear as a turban or cute head scarf, and one I can wear in the evening that’s a lighter weight as a shrug. I usually go for either a neutral color or a fun bold print, depending on how colorful my wardrobe is.

Jewelry

Layer, layer, layer! I wear it all, anklets with charms, a stack of bangles and sometimes beaded necklaces. Your jewelry finishes the look and adds a playful element to your ensemble. Especially if you’re rocking a neutral color wardrobe, adding that hint of blue or green from a necklace can take your outfit from a little drab to style queen!

Eyewear

This is where you’re allowed to have the most fun. There are so many different shapes, colors and styles that make wearing sunglasses fun and stylish. I always try to pack 2 pairs – an aviator with a fun reflective mirror and a more quirky style that’s a bold color.

Tennis shoes

While on vacation we want to feel comfortable and sometimes sandals can make your feet achey on long walking days. I always pack a cute, simple white tennis sneaker. They are comfy and go with almost everything. Pair it with a romper, a floral print dress or a pair of denim shorts, and it just works.

I hope this guide helps kickstart your travel wardrobe adventure. Remember to start with what you already own, fill in the pieces that are missing and elevate your look with accessories. Most importantly, getting dressed for vacation should be fun!

About the Author

Beverly Osemwenkhae

Native NYC Fashion Stylist BeverlyO is best known for her trendy, innovative and bold style decisions. 

Coming from a public relations background, Beverly has worked with iconic fashion brands such as Lanvin and Christian Louboutin. Shortly after her transition from PR to styling, her editorials were featured in international fashion publications such as Vogue Italia, Elle Vietnam, Made in Brazil, Fault UK and Jones Magazine.

In founding ProjectBee, Beverly sought out to create the ultimate style destination. She offers personal style consultation for women around the world.

 

Bucket List Ideas for Vegetarians

Contrary to popular belief, the world is a vegetarian’s oyster. It’s not difficult to find delicious plant-based yummies while you hop from one country to the other. Here is a list of our favorites, and trust us when we say you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy them!

Idiyappam: Sri Lanka

Idiyappam: Sri Lanka

Idiyappam (string hoppers in English) are a breakfast favorite in Sri Lanka, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t eaten during any other time of the day. A string hopper looks a bit like a flat, round nest of thin spaghetti, each the size of your palm. To make them, white roasted rice flour is mixed with water and a bit of salt to make a dough and then pushed through a sieve or idiyappam press to make the strands. The little matted nests are then stacked inside a steamer, soon to be served. Simple. 

String hoppers are generally eaten with pol sambol (a delicious mixture of grated coconut meat, chili powder, and lime.) Extra add-ons to your meal can be dahl, potato curry, or sweetened coconut milk. Remember to eat with  your hands for the full experience!

Druze pita: Lebanon

Druze pita wrap with labne and za’atar - Israel

This delectable, sort of Middle Eastern wrap, is a contribution to  street food in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan by a small Arab-speaking community called the Druze. Meat is only served during special occasions, meaning their cuisine is generally ideal for vegetarians. 

Walk through an outdoor market and you will come across a small establishment with a woman in a head scarf sitting behind a convex dome-looking griddle. She will be turning out super thin, platter-sized rounds of whole-wheat flatbreads called laffa (Druze pita). On this, she will smear a layer of labneh (Greek yoghurt), along with olive oil, za’atar (a blend of dried herbs), chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, hot sauce and red pepper puree. Then she folds the whole thing into a very edible and mouth-watering open-topped wrap.

Jian Bing: China

A favorite and very popular breakfast among Chinese, especially Beijingers, Jian Bing are large wheat and grain-based crepes, lathered with 2 or 3 savoury/spicy sauces and folded around an egg, green onions, and a piece of deep fred cracker known as Bao Cui. 

These giant crepes get folded into an envelope shape and wrapped around with paper, so it’s easy to grab one to go on the way to work or school, or on your way home at 4:00 AM after a rough night of clubbing. Yeah, you’ll still find the carts around. The vendors know you crave it.

Baklava: Turkey

Baklava - Turkey

The history of baklava is a little hazy and while everyone from the Greeks to the Turks and Armenians claim that they were the first to make it (it’s that delicious!), the credit, it seems, must go to the Assyrians of Mesopotamia (a region made of modern-day Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey). Baklava first came to be around the 8th century BC and since then, many cultures and regions of the world have their own special versions, including the Labanese, Greeks, Iranians, Hungarians and others. 

Baklava is a rich, sweet, and flaky pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts, most common being pistachios. Almonds, pine nuts, and walnuts get thrown in there too, depending on the variation of the recipe. The pastry is then sweetened with syrup made of honey, lemon, and cinnamon. These make for a great dessert after a hearty meal.

Pannkakor: Sweden

Swedish pancakes may look a whole lot like French crêpes, but they are different. Thin, eggy, and just the right amount of sweet, you can top it with absolutely anything, from brown sugar, to berries, whipped cream, jam and maple syrup. Compared to French crêpes, Swedish pancakes are lighter and fluffier as the batter has a higher milk, butter, and egg to flour ratio.

There’s also nothing wrong with eating these for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if you ask us. And the best part is that you don’t need to go to Sweden for them – just drive by to the nearest Ikea and get yourself a frozen pack. While they’re not as good as fresh ones, they’re still delicious!

 

Vegetarian thali: India

Vegetarian thali - India

A thali is the perfect assortment of delicious Indian favorites on a single platter. The different regions of India have their own unique take on this dish, as will each different restaurant that will have their own variety of dishes for you to choose from. 

Thali’s don’t have to be vegetarian but you can opt for only vegetarian dishes on yours. You will get a bit of everything, from appetizers to mains, and even dessert. Your dishes on the thali can include dahl curry, aloo gobi (potato), brinjal, papadam, mango pickle and chutney along with rice and naan, chapati, or paratha. Mix it all together, it’s really a wholesome experience.

 

Saka Saka: Congo

Saka Saka - Congo

Saka saka (or pondu) is found in both the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a dish made of ground cassava leaves, mixed with palm oil or pam butter, onions, garlic, peppers, and okra. You can even add in peanuts, peanut butter, or other greens such as spinach.

Everything is ground together to form some kind of paste with a thick consistency and comes served with rice, bread, fried plantain or boiled yam. Simple, but a roller coaster of flavors in your mouth.

We hope that you get the chance to try every single one of these dishes during your travels around the world as they are loved by our community. Let us know if you have more suggestions to add to this list, as we would love to try them out ourselves!

Quiz: How Adventurous Are You?

Quiz time: Adventure

You may think you are a dare devil or have decided serious adventure is just not for you, but how do you really compare? We’ve put together some of our all time favorite adrenaline inducing activities to see how much of a thrill seeker you are.

Quiz: How adventurous a foodie are you?

Quiz time: food

How do you compare to other solo female travelers when it comes to trying new food? While local cuisine is one of the best ways to immerse in local culture, some delicacies can throw you right out of your comfort zone! You may think you’re a true foodie, but let’s see how far you’ll really go when it comes to trying new food. This quiz will not only tell you how you stack up compared to other travelers, but it also may teach you about some regional meals you didn’t know existed!

How to Handle Loneliness as a Solo Traveler

As a solo traveler, feeling lonely at times often comes with the territory. You’re out in the world and want to experience local sights, sounds, foods and culture. But what happens when loneliness sets in? How can you manage your feelings and carry on? We show you how to handle loneliness while you’re on the road.

Loneliness can hit solo travelers in many different ways. Maybe it will hit the hardest when you lack entertainment in the after-dinner, before bedtime lull. Maybe it’s when you’re watching an incredible sunset, longing for someone to witness it with you. Or maybe it’s the occasions you’re faced with eating dinner alone in a fancy restaurant. 

Whenever it is, know that you’re not alone. 

Most solo travelers experience loneliness at some point during their journey, but thankfully there are ways to mitigate it. In fact, now more than ever help is at hand. Our modern, connected, social world is a source of high-value when it comes to overcoming feelings of loneliness. 

But how?

Use apps and technology

Cuba Solo Female Tour

Let’s talk technology. If you’re lucky enough to be a solo female traveler in the 21st century then – thanks to apps and technology – you’re lucky to have the world at your fingertips, too. Alongside instant travel information, tips, and tricks, there are many apps and tools to help you overcome feelings of loneliness while you’re on-the-go. 

Apps to stay in touch with friends and family: 

First things first. Make sure you, your friends and your family download the apps needed to stay in touch; this may be dependent on your location. For much of the world Skype, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger will do the job well but usage rules vary country to country, so be sure to research your destination and download the apps that are permitted in your location. If you’re visiting China, for example, make sure you have WeChat installed on your phone before you travel. 

A quick call back home can work wonders for overcoming loneliness.

Download Skype for Android | Download Skype for iPhone

Download Whatsapp for Android | Download Whatapp for iPhone

Download FB Messenger on Android | Download FB Messenger on iPhone

Download WeChat for Android | Download WeChat for iPhone

Apps to make new friends:

Facebook groups. Once you’re set up to contact those back home, there are a few more apps and tools you can install to help navigate your new destination while making friends along the way. Facebook groups are a good place to start. Join groups relevant to your interests and destination to find out about local activities – at which there will be new people to meet. The Solo Female Traveler Facebook group is also a great place to look for other travelers in your area; members of our/this group have often met up abroad and become life-long friends! 

CoolCousin. To find out more about your destination and to chat with locals, download CoolCousin. This is essentially a mapped out list of recommendations from locals to help you find the best restaurants, bars, activities, accommodation, and more. But the great thing about CoolCousin is that you can connect with the local content creator, ask questions, and on occasion actually meet up with them too.

Download CoolCousin on Android | Download CoolCousin on iPhone

Women travel together

Meetup. The Meetup app is a fantastic places to, well, do what the name suggests and meet up with others in your area. This app has many, many meet up groups covering a really diverse range of interests. And we mean diverse. A quick search in Mexico City at the time of writing brought up groups dedicated to yoga, wine tasting, board games, coding, and butterfly-spotting! Sign up, set your preferences and go meet like-minded people in your location. 

Download Meetup on Android | Download Meetup on iPhone

Eatwith. Eatwith is the app to install if you’re looking for people to enjoy some good food with. Here you’ll find varying dining groups to join, ranging from supper clubs at a locals’s home to cooking classes, themed dinners, and food-specific tours. We love the sound of London’s Chicken Wing Crawl and the Night of White Truffles hosted in Berlin, for example.  

Download EatWith on Android | Download EatWith on iPhone

Translation apps. With all those new people you’re going to meet, the chances are you may need a translation tool to help you interact with new friends. Choose Google Translate as an all-rounder, TextGrabber to translate written words, or TripLingo to translate both formal language and slang. TripLingo also allows you to connect with a live translator, at an additional cost. 

Download Google Translate on Android | Download Google Translate on iPhone

Download TextGrabber on Android | Download TextGrabber on iPhone

Download TripLingo on Android | Download TripLingo on iPhone

Self-care apps: 

Many people around the world swear by meditation sessions to maintain good mental health (which yes, includes feelings of loneliness). If you can’t find a group to join locally, download some self-care apps on your cellphone and take time each morning to practice meditation and mindfulness. Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer are all great options.

Download Calm on Android | Download Calm on iPhone

Download Headspace on Android | Download Headspace on iPhone

Download Insight Timer on Android | Download Insight Timer on iPhone

MAKE THE MOST OF SOME ‘YOU TIME’

South Africa Female Tour

Speaking of self-care, solo travel is a wonderful chance to step back and make the most of some ‘you time’. If you’re feeling down and lonely, think about things you can do with the time, that you couldn’t otherwise do in your day-to-day life. Take a long lazy bubble bath, get stuck into a good book, or pound the streets with just your own thoughts for company. 

Taking the time to enjoy your own company can work wonders in overcoming lonely feelings. 

Get to know yourself

As you begin to lean into the time alone and the means to do as you please, your rhythm will change. You’ll start to notice the things that make you happy. Perhaps you’ll discover new passions. Perhaps you’ll start to realise how capable you are. Perhaps you’ll begin to distance yourself from negativity. Perhaps you’ll learn to forgive yourself.

The wonderful thing about solo travel is the time it gives us to check in with our internal voice, discovering and reminding ourselves of who we really are.

 

Make new friends by joining an group activity

Group activities are such a great way for the solo traveler to meet other people. If you’re new at your destination join a walking tour of the closest city – this will not only help you meet people, but also help you get your bearings and navigate the location better in the days to follow. But it’s not just city tours that are good for overcoming loneliness – look for any group activity that sparks your interest; participate in an art class, find a hiking expedition, or join yoga class. 

Find your tribe and get stuck in! 

Join a Crowd

If you want the company of people but don’t feel up to actually making conversation with strangers, head for a busy area. Go food-tasting at a street market, spectate at a sporting event, or find a concert to attend. Sometimes just being in the presence of large groups of people will help quash lonely feelings. 

Remember why you’re doing it

Above everything else, remember why you chose to travel in the first place. Think about your alternative; staying at home and missing out on all the rich experiences the world has to offer. 

The life experiences you’re gaining as you travel will almost certainly more than make up for a few bad moments.  

– Loneliness and anxiety can sometimes go hand in hand. If you’re struggling with anxiety about travel read our tips on how to overcome anxiety as a solo female traveler. 

How to Travel Solo with Anxiety

Feeling anxious about travel is a common occurrence. Often the best way to handle trips as a nervous traveler is to accept your apprehension, know that it’s normal, and make the trip anyway. These feelings tend to lessen or even disappear once you realize you can handle anything that comes your way. There are, however, ways to mitigate your feelings. 

They say a picture paints a thousand words but in today’s online world many photos hide a thousand words, too. Look at all those other fearless females, you say to yourself as you scroll through endless travel photos online. They’re jumping on airplanes solo, hiking mountain peaks, exploring off-the-beaten-track villages, dining in fancy restaurants alone. Those girls look happy, they look comfortable, and they look excited to be traveling solo. Why don’t I feel the same? 

The truth is, anxiety about travel is normal. We know it might not feel that way when you’re endlessly viewing curated online-lives, but with around 40% of travelers saying they’ve experienced flight anxiety alone*, not to mention other forms of anxiety, it’s a common occurrence. 

The good news is, there are ways to mitigate your fears – allowing you not only to accept them – but to make that dream trip anyway, and to really enjoy it. Plus, just think how you’ll feel on your return, knowing you can do anything you put your mind to. 

Travel fears come in many, often not well-defined, packages. Starting to understand the elements that are bothering you is the first step to overcoming them. Is it a fear of flying? Are you worried about spending so much time alone? Perhaps it’s the language barrier and perceived lack of of communication while abroad? You may find it’s a combination of these, or more. The fear of the unknown can hit even the most practiced traveler but identifying what it is you’re worried about opens up a space to acknowledge it, process it, and ultimately move through it. Here are some ways to help with anxiety about travel: 

Before your trip

woman traveling with anxiety

Look after your physical well-being: 

In the days, weeks and months running up to your trip, assist your mental health by maintaining your physical health. Work out, eat well, and take your vitamins to boost your immune system. Exercise has been found to have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and more – while better nutrition will help you fight off any viruses for an illness-free trip. No-one wants to be sick while traveling but for those suffering from anxiety it can kick-start more serious concerns while on the road. Quash those bugs before they hit. 

Research your destination:

Fear of the unknown can cause feelings of anxiety but in today’s online and app-heavy world, there are many things you can do, pre-trip, to ease this. For example, download tools including Google Maps and/or local transport apps to plan your airport to accommodation journey before you even set foot off the flight. By planning your airport exit plan, you’re already one step ahead. 

Consider your accommodation - make it a ‘safe space’:

The accommodation you choose can have a big impact on your trip. Would you feel more comfortable somewhere you can meet other travelers to chat with? If so, a hostel might be an appropriate place for you to stay. Do you want somewhere to retreat back to, somewhere you can read a good book in the bath? Then consider booking a room in a hotel, allowing you some alone time. By booking accommodation that will act as your ‘safe space’, you’ll know you have somewhere you can head to at the end – or even middle – of a long day to rest and revive. 

Find a knowledgable community:

Twenty years ago finding out information about your destination was tricky. If you didn’t know someone who had visited, your resources were limited. Today? Even if none of your friends or family have been, you can look up information in a matter of seconds online or, better still, join an online community of travelers. The Solo Female Traveler Network Membership is full of travel resources and community members who will help you every step of the way. Knowledge is power, after all. 

Remind yourself why you want to visit:

Think about why you want to visit your chosen destination. This may sound simple but in pre-trip anxiety mode, the answers are often forgotten. Is it the history? The culture? The food? The lifestyle? Remember all the reasons you had it on your list in the first place and try to imagine yourself there, exploring the things you love. Looking at photos online can help boost excitement, too. 

ON THE JOURNEY TO YOUR DESTINATION

woman staving with anxiety in india

Know your route and build in extra time: 

We’ve covered making sure you know how to get from the airport to your accommodation when you land, but  travelling from home to the airport is often overlooked and can also be stressful. Be sure to know your route and the time it takes to make. Oh, and allowing yourself some extra time to get there will help too. Nothing is more panic-inducing than thinking you’re going to miss your flight. It’s always better to be an hour early than an hour late. 

Breathe: 

Slowing your breathing really does help to reduce stress-levels. An anxious person tends to breathe in quick succession – reducing oxygen intake and upsetting a whole host of physical functions. It can cause increased heart rate as well as dizziness; and this is the last thing you want when you’re already feeling upset. A series of slow inhales and exhales is a simple breathing exercise that can help reduce feelings of anxiety at any time during your trip. Remember to practice it from the outset – and anytime you need it. 

Ask for help if you need it: 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you navigate your way across the world. Not sure where your check-in desk is? Enquire at an information desk. Need to know what time your bus leaves? Ask staff or locals you see on the street. The majority of people will be happy to help. 

AT YOUR DESTINATION

guide to traveling with anxiety for solo women

Book a walking tour (ideally for your first day: 

Whether you’re a first or one-hundredth time solo female traveler, with or without anxiety – group walking tours are a fantastic introduction to a destination. Think about it, you’re showing up in an unfamiliar place, unsure how to plan your activities, and don’t know anyone in the area. A group tour will orientate you with your new destination, plan everything for you, and you’ll meet other travelers. That’s a win-win-win. 

Know your boundaries – but push them: 

As solo females, it’s important to know and understand personal boundaries while travelling. While we urge you to get out and explore, it’s equally necessary to understand your comfort zones and limits. That said and within reason, limits are there to be pushed. If you’re happy exploring solo in daylight but not at night, book a group tour for after dark. If you don’t like dining solo, do it anyway; use a book or your cellphone as back up, but keep yourself open to conversations with other diners or waiters. By pushing your boundaries you’ll begin understand just how much you’re able to overcome, and how great those achievements can make you feel. 

Understand you can deal with anything that comes your way: 

We can’t promise that nothing will go wrong as you travel, but we do know that often having small things go against you can be a blessing in disguise. So you missed your train? That’s ok, find out when the next train to your destination is and get on it. You ended up walking to the wrong neighbourhood? Great, you have somewhere new to explore. Your pre-booked taxi didn’t show? Take another means of transport – perhaps learning how the location’s transport system works in the process. You’ll feel like an unstoppable champion once you figure out how to overcome obstacles. 

traveling with anxiety guide

KEEP SOME MONEY ASIDE:

It’s always tempting to go all out while you’re abroad because, who knows when you’ll next have the chance to ‘go here’, ‘see this’, ‘do that’… But knowing that you’ve got some money set aside for the unexpected will be a huge source of comfort; whether you need to use it, or not. You’ll be able to navigate the streets with a little more ease knowing you can jump into a taxi if needed, or that you can check out of a hostel and into a 5* for some R&R if you’re feeling unwellI. And if you don’t end up using what you’ve set aside – fantastic – it’s in the bank for your next trip. 

IMMERSE YOURSELF INTO THE EXPERIENCE: 

The fear of ‘getting out there’ usually becomes more exaggerated the longer you think about it, while actually being out and about can offer positive distraction. If you’re feeling anxious about facing your destination – take a deep breath, remember your route-plan and step foot outside of your accommodation door. Once you’re taking in all those new sights and doing what you enjoy; exploring historical monuments, shopping at markets, or taking photos at all the best selfie hotspots, you’ll have less time to think about your worries. 

SOCIALISE (BUT ONLY WHEN YOU WANT TO:

For the solo traveler, a common fear is spending time alone. But it needn’t be this way. Socialising doesn’t means you need to be the life and soul of every party, it can be a simple as plucking up the courage to introduce yourself to a fellow solo traveler. Simple questions such as asking someone where they’re from or for local recommendations, work wonders as conversation starters. 

TRUST LOCALS:

We know it can be hard to trust strangers – especially in unfamiliar surroundings. But people are generally kind and helpful, so opening up to locals is a great way to overcome fear. If you need directions or want to know where to find the best restaurant and/or gin bar – locals are the best source of information. We’re sure, once you’ve asked (and found answers!) a couple of times, speaking to locals will become second nature. 

After your trip

woman traveling with anxiety

Congratulate yourself!

First and foremost, recognise what you’ve achieved; you’ve gone from feeling anxious about solo travel to actually doing it! Remind yourself of all your accomplishments – you deserve to feel proud. 

Realise how much you can handle:

Whether your trip was smooth sailing, or whether you had to overcome a few hiccups – be mindful that you you faced your travel-fears head on and survived. Knowing that you can overcome any fears or obstacles as you solo travel is powerful. And know that you can do it again too. In fact, the more you do it, the easier it’s likely to become. 

Look back on the positives:

Remember all the good times you had on your trip. Maybe it was sitting with a book in a back street café, maybe it was joining a group tour and making friends, or maybe it was finding yourself face-to-face with something you once thought you’d only see in the movies. Store the positive memories, you made them and you deserve to remember them. 

Start thinking about your next trip: 

You’ve done it once, you can do it again. Start to think about where you want to head to next. That travel bug is a hard one to shake, but we – and we’re sure you too – wouldn’t have it any other way. 

*Flight anxiety research from Aviation Mental Health

On your travels, you can always fall back on your fellow members for support and encouragement. You can even see who is in the same city as you to meet up when you just need a buddy. Read more.

Mental Wellness Practices For The Solo Female Traveler

Traveling solo builds confidence, self-love, and allows for self-discovery, but the change in routine and being far from home has its downsides. It can wreck havoc on our health, especially our mental and emotional health, but it doesn’t have to ruin our experience. Here are some travel habits to pick up in order to stay balanced.

REST YOUR MIND — SLEEP AND MEDITATION

Missing sleep can be one of the key causes of some of our least favorite mental health symptoms. Sleep acts as the body’s ‘reset button,’ and it necessary for most of us to get the bare minimum number of hours a night if we want to entertain any hope of functioning at full capacity the next day. Snoring hostel mates and fluctuating time zones tend to be the most frustrating causes of sleepless nights. An eye mask and ear plugs go a long way in getting and staying asleep almost anywhere. 

If getting to sleep is the issue, maybe an overactive mind is keeping you up. Meditation is best practiced daily, but it it’s also a useful tool whenever you are overstimulated or in a situation where you need to calm your thoughts. When you find yourself on that crowded bus, turn all of your inward and outward focus on your breath until you find yourself calming.

BE GRATEFUL FOR THE MOMENT

Some people say that depression stems from living in the past, and anxiety from living in the future — so if you’re perfectly settled in the present, there is no worry. If you’re 100% focused on the present moment and doing your absolute best in any situation, then the future takes care of itself.

Whatever your circumstances, take a moment, take a breath, and look around you. You are traveling! Your travel dreams have come to fruition and even though it’s hard sometimes, you are doing. So watch every color cross the sky of that sunset, people watch from a cafe, or pull your camera out and snap away. It’s going to be ok, so let it all go except for what is right in front of you. 

Wellness Practices for Women

Challenge Your Limits

I know you are already stressed, so why would you go and do something that scares you? Because it will pull you right out of your funk and into the present moment! Plus, an endorphin rush will surely perk up your mood.

So try something thrilling if you’re up for up for it. Surfing, hiking, zip-lining, rappelling, scuba diving, check out what is available nearby. It can make a huge difference for your happiness level and remind you why you left home to travel in the first place. 

Go with the flow when things go wrong

The truth of travel is, no matter how much you prepare, you always run the risk of losing control of things. That’s why travel insurance exists, because you can’t possibly predict all the ways that your plans will eventually go sideways. It’s when things go wrong and you handle them, you will discover how capable and strong you really are. In fact, when things don’t go according to plan, that’s when we are more open for help from kind locals and can call upon our community for support. You will find your way, just go with the flow and lose attachments to your plans. 

women traveling solo in Cuba

MAKE NEW FRIENDS

We travel solo for a reason, but that doesn’t mean we always want to be alone. Making friends on the road is one the most rewarding parts of travel. When you are feeling low, it may feel natural to retreat to solitude, but I encourage you to sit outside at a cafe. Lounge around in the hostel lobby, or join a walking tour or meetup. Other travelers are the most friendly, inspiring people to be around. Sharing a deep belly laugh with a person who is unlike yourself serves to remind us how we’re all human and we all have a deep, inherent, implicit value — and, because of that, the world immediately becomes a better place.

Wellness Practices for Women

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DOWN DAYS — EMBRACE BEING ALONE

Just like there are high, happy moments of traveling solo, there are also some low days. We may have traveled many miles from home, we can’t leave our problems behind. Instead of escaping them, sit with the feeling until it passes. Wander around, read in a park, write in a journal, or even totally zone out with a day of Netflix. It’s ok. Self-care is especially important, so eat healthy, regular meals, drink plenty of water, and fill your head with plenty of kind words.

about the author

solo female surfer traveler

Rachel ‘Rosie’ Young

Rosie is a writer and yoga teacher who explores the globe as a digital nomad. She encourages her readers and students to blast through personal limitations and live life to their fullest. Find more of Rosie’s work here.  

11 Travel Beauty Secrets from a Travel Queen

Who says you can’t be pretty while traveling? No more sweaty group photos. No more hiding your hair in a hat. No more exploding shampoo in your laptop bag. As a female digital nomad who travels the world 365 days a year. I’ve absolutely mastered the travel beauty game, and now I’m here to share some of my best travel beauty secrets with you.

Hi, I’m Alexa West – the founder of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide! Planes, trains, and buses – I never sacrifice beauty, and you don’t have to either. So listen up to my best beauty tips and travel hacks that will keep you looking Instagram-worthy, no matter how long and hot your travel day may be.

beauty tips for solo female travelers

1. Save your samples

You know those little samples you get from Sephora when you make a purchase? Save em’ for travel.

Have a little travel bag where you stash those mini moisturizers, shampoo packets, and tiny eye shadows. They offer the perfect amount of product for vacation, save you space, and are guaranteed to be carry-on approved. 

Sneaky Tip: Sephora and Nordstrom’s give away free perfume samples, all you have to do is ask! 

2. Carry baby powder

My secret weapon for greasy hair AND chaffing thighs is baby powder!

Dry shampoo can be expensive and aerosol canisters are not allowed as carry ons. But that’s okay because baby powder does wonders for soaking up greasy hair. Apply baby powder to your scalp before you go to sleep, and you’ll wake up with voluminous locks and no baby powder scent. 

Also, if you’re like 95% of women who don’t have that “thigh gap” then you’ll likely experience the sweaty thigh chaffing nightmare that happens while wearing dresses on vacation. Pat some baby powder on your thighs and violá – no more chaffing. 

Bali Solo Girls Travel Guide

3. Swap your Foundation for a CC Cream with Built-In SPF

Buildable coverage and sun protection! Traveling with a multi-purpose CC Cream saves you space, allows you to customize your coverage for the climate, and protects your delicate skin during long adventure days.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been traveling with IT Cosmetics ‘Your Skin But Better’ CC Cream. The tube is around $44, which may sound a bit pricey, but it literally lasts an entire year (that’s just 12 ¢ per day). 

Pro Tip: Apply with a wet beauty blender for buildable coverage. 

You can also purchase a travel size IT Cosmetics CC Cream …but it doesn’t come with that product-saving pump, which means that you’ll be wasting tons of product in the long-run. Bite the bullet and go for the regular-size tube, which is already the perfect travel size, in my royal opinion.

4. Learn how to do a sock bun

Literally the easiest 5-minute hair-fix, a Sock Bun should be part of every travel girl’s hair routine. It’s cute, comfortable, and keeps the hair out of your face during sweaty adventure days. 

Before you travel, cut your tube-sock and practice rolling your hair into a Sock Bun using an easy-to-follow YouTube tutorial. All you’ll need is a hair elastic and a couple of bobby pins to complete this iconic travel look.  

Bali Solo Girls Travel Guide

5. Use aluminum liquid bottles, not plastic

Is there anything worse than a shampoo bottle exploding in your carry-on bag?

Protect your purse and your products with a no-leak liquid travel bottle!

I swear by these Mini Metal Travel Bottles that have literally traveled across the globe with me. I can shove them in my carry-on and don’t have to secure them in a plastic zip lock bag first…cause they’re not going to crack mid-flight!

They’ve got a mist spray top, which I only utilize for my hair products. I fill the other bottles with my shampoos and face washes – and just unscrew the top to use them. 

6. Always carry exfoliating face wipes

You wouldn’t believe the amount of black residue that collects all over your face, neck and chest while traveling! 

Whether it’s dirt roads in Mexico or riding through traffic in an open-air Tuk Tuk in Thailand, women’s skin breaks out easily. Bring exfoliating wipes with you on all your travels. 

Swipe your face with a white cleansing cloth after a long adventure…and you’ll be horrified (and maybe a little fascinated) by the dark layer of sludge you collect. 

I travel with Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Exfoliating Peach and Willow Bark! I shove one pack in every bag that I carry. They keep your complexion clear and are a refreshing mid-day treat for your skin. 

solo female travel beauty tips photo

7. Bring a Multi-Purpose Facial Mist

Have you ever taken a 5+ hour flight and noticed how tight your skin is afterwards? It’s that gross recycled air! Keep your face fresh, moisturized and protected from absorbing all the icky gunk in the air by regularly misting during your flight with Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater. 

Then, when you’re on the ground, start every morning with a mist to keep your skin hydrated in new climates! 

Better yet, this facial mist also acts as an amazing long-wear makeup primer. Carry it in your purse to freshen up before photos! 

8. Skip the eyeshadow

Instead of carrying an entire eye shadow palette with me on weekend getaways, I bring my Paint Pots by Mac Cosmetics!

I’ve literally been purchasing and re-purchasing Mac’s Paint Pots since I started earning babysitting money at the age of 13. 

The shade “Painterly” acts as a concealer, brightening up my lid so beautifully that I can wear it alone. “Bare Study” adds that bit of shimmer that makes you look super tan! “Rubenesque” is more of my go-to glam night that I’d wear to a barefoot beach bar. Again, all of these can be worn totally naked!

If you do want to bring some eye shadows, the Paint Pots are the BEST primers I’ve ever used. No matter if I’m swimming or sweating, my shimmers stay put all day and my crease doesn’t smear.

Each pot runs around $22 and lasts for a year. Do it. 

solo female travel bali beauty tips

9. Use Travel Perfume Bottles

I used to carry my full-size Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume with me on my travels…and then I lost the entire bottle which was an expensive mistake. Now, I decant my perfume into a mini travel spray bottle for easy carry and low-risk! 

These Perfume Atomizer Bottles are made of aluminum and are refillable – which means years of use. They even come with a little funnel to make the process quick and easy. 

10. Use an Epilator before you go

If you can handle a bit of pain and don’t have terribly sensitive skin, try this DIY hair removal method. Imagine a row of tweezers working together to remove hair quickly. Now image 5 rows on a rotating system that tackle big areas in a little amount of time. That’s an epilator. 

Use it on your armpits, legs, toes, face…I just wouldn’t recommend using it on your bikini area. But hey, who am I to stop you?

An epilator will save you money spent on waxing and save you a bit of space & effort now that you don’t need to carry a razor with you on your travels. 

11. Hydrate

Water, water, water!

It’s so easy to get caught up in margaritas and cervezas that you forget your good ol’ friend, Aqua!

It shouldn’t be a secret (but it seems that it is) that water is the key to glowing, radiating skin! Decrease the dark circles and bags under your eyes, keep your skin from drying out, hold your tan longer, and maintain a supple texture just by drinking 2 liters of water per day…especially in the sun! 

Water is also to thank for less-frizzy hair and fighting chapped lips. 

Bring a Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle on your travels to reduce plastic waste and help you keep track of your water intake; just three refills per day will do the trick. 

beauty tips for solo female travelers

Extra Travel Beauty Tips

Leave your Hair Dryer and Curling Iron at Home

Blow Dryers take up too much space in your luggage and are not compatible with foreign voltage. Plus, many hotels and Airbnbs will have a blow dryer for you! And if I’m being totally real with you…your hair will likely end up in a pony tail or bun during your travels anyways!

Don’t Bring your Entire Makeup Bag

Unless your vacationing in France with your Fiancé, you don’t need that bright red lipstick, highlighter palette, or liquid eyeliner. Pick a travel makeup bag that is half the size of your day-to-day makeup bag and limit yourself.

Use Hotel Conditioner instead of Shaving Cream

Instead of carrying a heavy shaving cream bottle that you’ll only use once or twice during your travels, collect those free hotel bottles to create a shaving cream of your own.

Check Out My Travels On Instagram @SoloGirlsTravelGuide

Coming To Asia? Get A Copy Of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide To Help You Plan The Most Badass (And Safest) Trip Of Your Life.

about the author

solo girls travel guide

alexa west

Living between Thailand and Bali, Alexa West is a best-selling author, travel vlogger, and female-focused entrepreneur changing the way that women travel the world. For the past 10 years, Alexa has been solo traveling around the globe full-time – and now teaches women how to travel the world just like her. 

 

 

Why Digital Nomads Need Community

The journey to become a digital nomad opens up a world of excitement, nerves, hope for the unknown, and the potential to live a life full of rich experiences and people you may never have met in a 9-5 office setting. Becoming a part of this ever-growing new world of business and self-promotion is possible now more than ever before, thanks to tools that can be found through whatever technology you prefer, whether it’s your smartphone, tablet or computer. The concept of a “normal” work life style has forever been changed, and we don’t want to look back.

So how do we make sure we’re successful and fulfilled? Among other things, a huge part of being a successful digital nomad is knowing how to find and be a part of a strong community of other digital nomads wherever you’re living. Tapping into these resources properly can help determine just how successful and happy you are.

guide for women who travel solo community nomad

Finding Your New Community and Keeping In-Touch with the Old

Speaking from my own experience over the past three years as a solo traveler throughout various countries in Asia and Europe, travelling alone can be fulfilling in its own right, teaching you independence, problem-solving skills, quick-thinking abilities, and communication skills.

That being said, at some point it becomes necessary to find other workers who can help support you and comfort you, as well. Fellow digital nomads can offer understanding of your lifestyle, as well as helping you to hone your skills and maybe even help you with any projects or business issues you have. You never know when you could meet a like-minded person to collaborate with!

solo female traveler budget in South Africa

Advice from the pros

One such person who’s been quite successful in doing just that is a Vlogger Andrea Valeria. In an interview she did with remote.com, she talks about how she uses various social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to connect with other digital nomads and how she creates a schedule that works for her to stay on track. This can vary for everyone, of course, but for her she works full days Monday through Wednesday, with more relaxed days on Thursday and Friday working in cafes, rooftop pools, etc., and takes the weekend off for her to meet and have fun with other people in her community.  

community for solo women nomads

eatwithus & Sofar sound

Everyone has to eat, so why not do it and meet people at the same time you’re getting a unique and authentic experience? EatWith offers just that. With this tool, you get to eat an intimate dinner with locals and strangers on rooftops, gardens or wherever! Once you’ve filled up from your amazing meal, you can try Sofar Sounds next for a little after dinner entertainment. Sofar Sounds is great for music lovers, connecting people to secret gigs with only 3-4 performers with an intimate audience. 

meetup.com

Of course, if you want to mix it up and find communities for basically any interest you may have, you can turn to Meetup. This in-depth site connects people of all interests, from mountain climbers to board game lovers to just finding people to go out and drink wine with, this site offers a seemingly endless way to connect with others.

travel for women solo in Cape Town

Choosing the Right Environment and Resources

Human connection is necessary, and a good environment can make all the difference in the world for a digital nomad. To achieve a solid, positive environment, there are always going to be a few things that are absolutely needed to be successful and to help meet others: good internet access, affordable rent, and helpful locals.

solo female traveler in blue

nomadic notes

Thanks to a great page by Nomadic Notes, you can easily check out their list of different cities and countries that have been reviewed by other experienced digital nomads. In general, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for good blogs and podcasts that can help you meet people, grow your business, or market yourself in your new environment, as well.

"making it anywhere"

One of my favorites is a blog called “Making It Anywhere,” that was started by a couple from England who write about business building, life skills, and inspirational travel tips. There are many other blogs out there, though, as well, so if you’re feeling a little stuck, check them out.

solo travel in Egypt for women

While there are many ways to navigate being a digital nomad, you can pick and choose exactly what works for you. There’s no one right way, and you might even discover something new that you want to share with others as you develop your own way to make your digital nomadic lifestyle work. Thankfully, there are more and more tools and resources out there to help make your experience smoother and to help you remember, you’re not alone!

about the author

communities for solo female workers

Annie brown

Annie Brown an entrepreneur, cartoonist and history nerd. She is also the social media director for SafetyWing, the first travel insurance provider made for digital nomads, by digital nomads with coverage plans starting at $37/month. At SafetyWing, we are building a global safety net for digital nomads which includes our first product – affordable, reliable travel medical insurance.