Let’s be real. Our parents really don’t want us girls to travel solo. My Mom is scared out of her mind that I’m traveling Latin America solo. Her and every other parents' worries are predictable.
They are scared for our safety. They read stuff online, listen to friends and then lose sleep. They don’t understand why we would want or have to travel by ourselves. Even though their reactions are well intentioned (they just love us), it does make it harder for us to travel solo. We need our parents support. Here's how to get it.
Your parents will feel better about you traveling by yourself if you do three things:
1. Tell Your Parents How You Feel About Traveling Alone
You got to tell them why you’re excited to do this! They need to understand why you want to go by yourself, what you dream of doing and why now is the time.
I explained to my Mom that this dream of mine was now or never. I could finally travel for 6 months because I was in between jobs and had saved enough over the last year. My Mom saw my passion and dedication and couldn't deny it.
Also inspire your parents like you've been inspired. Explain what drew you to your destination(s) and show them photos like this! Get out a map and show them potential itineraries.
2. Show Your Parents Research on About Your Destination
Once you get your parents to understand how badly you want to go, make them more comfortable with the idea of a woman traveling alone to your destination. Send them links to articles, itineraries and female solo travel blogs. Let them see or talk to other women who've traveled there so it feels normal, safe and fun.
I Skyped an American living in India and sent my Mom links to HippieinHeels (American blogger who's expertise is India) when I was working and traveling solo in India. Hearing from real girls living there made my Moms and I feel so much better.
Also, give them up to date info on your destination from https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html. Supply real information so they don’t fall for crazy media headlines or whatever their friends post on Facebook. Also enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) so you are emailed updated info and the embassies in each country have your info.
If you’re parents are more logical, try sending them statistics on the likelihood of getting in a car accident v a terrorist attack.
3. Remind Parents that the World Isn't Bad but You'll Still Take Actions to be Safe
Danger does not just lie abroad. Anything can happen anywhere, even in the States. Fear shouldn't hold you back from doing what you dream. Instead of living in fear, you simply have to take precautions, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instinct.
Also remember you won't really be alone. When staying at accommodations you'll be surrounded by other travelers who want to explore with you and local hosts who want to help. That, along with taking precautionary measures, should help you and you're parents feel better.
- Have pepper spray, an alarm or whistle, and a door stopper.
- Get an international plan in case you get lost and need to use GPS.
- Book accommodations with WIFI so you can text and talk to parents often.
- Watch your drink and drink moderately.
- Look for the nearest woman if you need help.
- Read the full list here: 30 Safety Tips Every Female Solo Traveler Should Know
If they’re still nervous, you can always invite them to join you on part of your trip. I just did this with my Mom and I think it helped her a lot. She spent time with me, realized it wasn't that big of a deal and felt in the know of what I was doing.
Help Your Parents Help You
Remember that your parents will feel better when they feel knowledgeable. This is for two reasons: 1. their own peace of mind, 2. to feel prepared with information when family members, friends or Facebook friends question your actions. So hear where they're coming from and give them what they need so they can support your and your dream to travel solo!