Traveling solo is a wonderful experience. It can easily open doors that would have stayed closed, if you were traveling in a group. People will approach you more easily, and who knows, you might even get invited to a local wedding or an event just because you are alone. Something interesting is women and men who travel solo are treated differently. It brings the question – who has it easier, men or women? I did some research to answer this question by getting perspectives from both men and women.
Solo Traveling: Who Has It Easier?
Advantages of Being a Solo Female Traveler: Guys’ Perspective
It Is Easier To Complaint
I asked few guys from my family and friends for their view on who has an advantage in complaining. Surprisingly enough, they think women have an advantage over men who complaint. When a lady goes to dine at a restaurant in a foreign country, they are bound to be treated like a princess. For instance, if you don’t like the food, the waiter would be happy to cater your needs. They may even serve a free dessert just because you are a woman who is traveling alone. After all, men don’t complaint as much as us women do :)
Easier Social Integration
When you are a woman, especially when you are traveling solo, you won’t be seen as threatening as if you were with five others. Solo women are welcomed more often to houses and events without hesitation. It is amazing to see how ladies bond, even if the two doesn’t share the same language and culture. On the other hand, a solo male traveler would be often looked upon cautiously.
Being A Woman
A male friend of mine told me an incident he witnessed while waiting at a reservation counter. Apparently he had been waiting as it was ‘fully booked’. However, when this solo woman approached the counter with a smile and fluttering eyelashes, a vacant spot had magically appeared. The guys I talked to said even if it was a woman at the counter, a woman would get priority because of the female solidarity. Of course a solo male traveler with deep pockets would be treated differently but that’s out of the boundaries.
Disadvantages of Being a Solo Female Traveler: Girls’ Perspective
It’s Not Easy When You Have To Go
When you travel to developing countries, sometimes you will feel a toilet is a luxury. You may come across squat toilets (yes, they still exist in some parts of the world), which women may find it disadvantageous compared to guys. A solution to this would be Freshette or female urination device but it is not quite ‘subtle’.
Safety is the primary downside to solo female travelers. While men have their own share of issues to worry about, it is undeniable that it is far more dangerous for a woman to travel alone than a man. When I was a solo travel, I spent bit more to stay in a central location or somewhere well lit and keep away from drinking, if I don’t know the crowd. It all comes down to common sense and we ladies have to be extra cautious when it comes to safety.
Traveling In Conservative Societies Is Difficult
When you travel to a country that is male dominated from a cultural perspective, traveling as a solo woman could be difficult. Not all such countries are the same but in many such countries it does. There are places where men address only men. When a woman comes to the picture, you are not necessarily well regarded. So if there is ever a time where you want to get from point A to B, you are being ignored because there is no way a man will answer your questions. This would be the best time to bang your head against the closest wall to release your frustration :)
Who do you think are at an advantage when traveling solo?