When I was 28, I took my first solo trip. I spent a week and a half in Greece by myself because I was sick of waiting around for a friend or a boyfriend to travel with me. While I was planning my trip, I decided taking only carry-on luggage was the way to go. I thought it would be one less thing to worry about while I tested out solo travel.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made. Here’s why I think solo female travelers should go carry-on only.
It makes you less of a target
Hopefully you won’t ever have to deal with being mugged or pickpocketed while you’re traveling, but the possibility does exist. You will stand out more and be more of a target if you’re dragging a huge, heavy suitcase behind you. Dealing with all that luggage can distract you, and you might miss the red flags of a potentially bad situation. Reduce your luggage and reduce your chances of becoming a victim of theft.
>>Read more about safety tips that are worth the splurge.
It’s easier to deal with bathrooms
When you have a travel partner, one person can watch the luggage while the other goes to the bathroom. But you can’t do that when you’re traveling alone. You’ll have to bring your luggage into the stall with you, and those stalls are usually cramped enough without dragging a giant suitcase in there. By traveling carry-on only, you and your backpack will have a little more breathing room in the bathroom stall.
Your luggage will fit easier into lockers
Staying in hostels is a great way to meet other travelers when you’re solo. I recommend giving the dorms a try for this reason. But sometimes the lockers are small, and having less stuff means you won’t have to worry about fitting it all in. Having a large suitcase that doesn’t fit in the lockers will leave you constantly nervous about your belongings while out exploring.
It’s easier to manage without help
It’s always important to be able to manage your own luggage, but even more so when you’re traveling by yourself. Having to depend on someone else to lift your suitcase leaves you vulnerable, so you’re better off with a smaller bag. You’ll meet lots of friendly people as you travel, but you shouldn’t have to rely on strangers to help you with your luggage. Traveling alone can make you feel nervous, especially if you’re new at solo travel, and juggling too many bags will add to that.
>>Her Packing List has tons of helpful reviews on carry-on sized backpacks for women.
It’ll give you more confidence
In general, solo travel is an amazing way to build confidence. It shows you that you can do so much more than you thought you could. Traveling carry-on only when you’re by yourself adds to that confidence even more. Suddenly you realize you can get by with fewer things, and you can rely completely on yourself without a bunch of unnecessary back-up items. And I’ll admit, it’s kind of awesome when people say to you, “That’s all you’re traveling with?”
You’ll enjoy the moment
There’s a freedom that comes with having less stuff. You can really be in the moment and enjoy the experience of travel without worrying about heavy luggage. You’ll have fewer decisions about what to wear, so you can get out the door faster and explore the city. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a different outfit in every picture, or if your hair and makeup are perfect. You’re there to see the sights and taste the food, and you don’t need tons of luggage to do that.
Traveling by yourself comes with many rewards but also a few stresses. Don’t let luggage be one of the things that causes you anxiety while you’re exploring new places on your own.
Are you a solo female traveler who travels carry-on only?