Wander Wisely: 14 Countries To Avoid as a Solo Female Traveler
Your gender shouldn’t dissuade you from traveling, but it is no secret that solo female travelers face unique challenges. Most often, it’s by men not respecting their boundaries.
Recently, women met in an online forum to discuss which countries to avoid due to a higher risk of dangerous encounters. You may be surprised by some of the choices, but the commentators speak from personal experience and deserve to have their perspectives heard.
Paris may be renowned as the “city of love” to most, but one female traveler visiting with a friend reports countless unpleasant encounters with men around the city. This ranged from the areas surrounding famous landmarks to the underground metro. Granted, outside the capital may be safer, but one too many incidents gave this traveler a sour note.
Honduras is another country where solo female travelers should be wary, particularly on the mainland, which holds a risky reputation even among locals. The Bay Islands are generally more tourist-friendly, but even there, women describe uncomfortable interactions with overly persistent men.
Like many Middle Eastern countries, Turkey is behind the times regarding women’s rights. In fact, Turkish men are known to invade foreign travelers’ personal space – making visits to Turkey full of uncomfortable interactions for any female solo traveler.
Women should avoid Morocco, especially if they lack experience navigating through extremely oppressive cultures. “I did Morocco on my own as a woman,” reveals one lady. “It’s exhausting fending off financial scams and harassment all day long. But probably some of the best shopping, food, and architecture I’ve ever seen. You can do it if you are a savvy traveler with lots of foreign country experience, but it was not a relaxing travel experience for me.”
Crime against women is rising in certain Central American nations, especially in Guatemala. Despite the region’s breathtaking beauty, it is home to a record-high number of assaults against foreign female travelers. Like many countries on this list, it’s best to travel in a group instead of solo.
Despite being a tourist destination for many Americans and Canadians, Jamaica is behind the times regarding equal rights. Countless women report that, outside of high-end Jamaican resorts, they were constantly harassed by residents when visiting.
7. United Arab Emirates
Testimonials from women who experienced harassment are essential reminders of which nations to avoid traveling to. “Went to the UAE with a group of girls to visit a friend’s family over New Year’s Eve,” explains one lady. “We went to the Berj to watch fireworks and had to keep physically moving away from a couple of men trying to touch us inappropriately. On the walk back to the hotel, two separate men try to follow us.”
Solo female travelers are near-unanimous with their assessment of Egypt: from constant scams to continuous harassment from men, it’s a country best avoided. Ladies, listen up: I don’t think subjecting yourself to potentially dangerous harassment is worth seeing the Great Pyramids, do you?
The inclusion of Italy on this list may seem surprising – until you hear what one woman says about the country. “It was one of the scariest times of my life, honestly,” she reports. “I assume the hate is due to the influx of African migrants, but it was one of the first times I felt my skin color spoke for me. I researched and found many black bloggers cautioning about traveling to Italy. Disappointing.”
Many women advise avoiding Afghanistan at all costs — and for a good reason. Between being stalked by strange men to constantly having their photos taken by strangers, it’s an environment that solo travelers should avoid! That doesn’t sound like a recipe for an unforgettable adventure.
Over the years, India has developed a reputation for being a country that doesn’t have females’ best interests at heart. “During my stay there, even though my husband was with me, I felt incredibly unsafe,” confesses one woman. “And I’ve been all over the world — I’m not one to throw that word around lightly.”
12. South Africa
It’s not just rising crime rates against women that are concerning in South Africa — all crime is rising. From petty infractions like pickpocketing to more serious crimes like burglary and assault, South Africa has a significant safety issue. It’s best for everyone, not just female solo travelers, to avoid visiting anytime soon.
Multiple travelers admit they made a mistake by traveling to Tunisia, as they felt generally unsafe everywhere they went. “I went as a 20-something to Tunisia,” recalls one woman. “It was the first place I had been frightened for my safety. I was constantly grabbed in the street and harassed the whole time.”
With U.S.-Russian relations at historic lows, female travelers should think twice before visiting Russia. Many females report that Russian authorities will use any excuse to detain Americans, which is a good enough reason as any to avoid traveling there. Why risk being thrown in jail without any justification?
“Once Is Enough!” 12 Travel Destinations Travelers Don’t Want To Return To
The “Most Popular Tropical Travel Locations” lists are so played out. Let’s flip the script. How about travel destinations frequently serving as a visitor’s final destination? These are the one-hitter quitters of tourist spots, leaving a sour enough taste in enough travelers’ mouths to discourage any return trips.
While many of these locations attract millions of tourists yearly, you rarely hear about the poor experiences. When evaluating potential vacation spots, the harsh reviews are as critical as the glowing ones. Here they are according to some travel stories (in no particular order).
15 States in the U.S. Perfect for a Colorful Weekend of Leaf Peeping
Who wouldn’t want to capture the trees changing color, the crunch of dry leaves underfoot, and a pumpkin-spiced latte in hand?
“Leaf peeping” is an informal term to describe the activity of visiting areas to see the fall foliage, and these 15 states in the U.S. are perfect for this kind of activity.
Urban Gems: Americans Think These 16 U.S. Cities Deserve More Recognition
What makes a city worth visiting? We all have different answers. Certain U.S. cities already get swarms of tourists. I’m looking at you New York, Los Angeles, and San Fran. But there are plenty of charming urban gems that deserve more recognition.
Would you explore an underrated city? The lack of crowds would be refreshing, and you might find treasures you hadn’t expected. For those who are feeling spontaneous, these 16 destinations are seriously underappreciated, according to Americans themselves.
15 Travel Destinations So Difficult To Visit They’re Worthy of Your Bucket List
Sometimes, you have to “risk it for the biscuit” (as we say in South Africa), which travelers often do to get to a beautiful or bucket-list destination. These 15 off-the-beaten-track destinations are so challenging to get to that it’s an achievement when you reach them.
10 States Foreigners Think Are “Boring” When Visiting the U.S.
There are several regions that foreign visitors to the U.S. enjoy, leaving dozens of perfectly good states behind. For example, New York, Florida, and California all receive an unfair share of tourists, no doubt looking for contact with Mickey Mouse, the Empire State Building, and Floridian golf.
However, I love the idea of seeing places no tourist will ever tread. Who needs Disneyland when you have Alexandria, Indiana’s world-record ball of paint?
A recent online post shares people’s picks for the “most boring” states to visit. Here are their conclusions.
Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.