You Can Travel Alone-and Love It!
When her plane lost an engine over the Andes, Teresa
Rodriguez Williamson, 36, vowed to start tangodiva.com, a website to help solo
women travelers. Here, her best secrets.
FYI In the past 10 years, the number of females traveling abroad has
increased as much as 200%, especially among solo travelers.
1. NETWORK BEFORE YOU GO
Send an e-mail to all your friends saying, "I'm going to Brazil. Do you
have any contacts there?" It works. Before I went there, my ex said he knew
a guy who knew a guy, so I e-mailed him. He met me at the Rio airport with a
cute little sign and said, "By the way, it's carnival, so all the shops
will be closed tomorrow. If you want any new bikinis, we better go shopping
right now!" Without him, I'd never have known that.
2. PUT SAFETY FIRST
Check government websites (such as state.gov/travel and cia.gov) to make
sure there wasn't a "little bombing" in Cairo two days ago. I once went
on a vacation in Fiji . . . while Fiji was in the middle of a military coup.
There was lots of tension, and a military guy spat on me when I refused to
dance with him.
3. BE PICKY
Our biggest commodities are time and money, so when choosing the
destination, you have to decide, What do I want to experience? I have a
checklist, which I call CAWS- Culture, Activity, Weather, Social level. At
tangodiva.com, you can take the quiz "What's Your L'Atitude?" It will
pick the five best destinations for you, based on your needs.
4. START SMALL
There are different levels of traveling alone. Start with level one: group
tours or cruises. All you have to do is show up with a suitcase. Level two is
destination trips, like Club Med, horse ranches, and spas. When you reach level
three, you're ready to truly fly solo!
5. ACT LIKE YOU OWN THE PLACE
Travel with self-confidence, and you won't have a problem with unwanted
attention. Eye contact is important. If the locals connect with your eyes, they
know you're human. And hold their stares-that helps in places where men can be
aggressive, like Morocco.