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Should Solo Women Travelers Pretend To Be Married?


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Kelsi Davison



Traveling solo as a woman can be an incredible and empowering experience. It allows you the freedom to explore new places, meet new people, and immerse yourself in different cultures. However, it is important to acknowledge the unique challenges and safety concerns that come with solo travel. One question that often arises is whether solo women travelers should pretend to be married while on their adventures. The idea behind this is that by presenting themselves as married, they may be seen as less vulnerable and less of a target for harassment or unwanted attention. But is this strategy truly effective, or are there better alternatives to ensure your safety while traveling alone? In this article, we will explore the benefits of pretending to be married, the safety concerns faced by solo women travelers, the pros and cons of adopting this strategy, alternative approaches to consider, and provide actionable advice for solo women travelers. It is important to note that while there are general safety concerns for all travelers, women are often subjected to specific risks and challenges. The intention of this article is to provide guidance and empower solo women travelers to make informed decisions that align with their personal comfort levels and individual circumstances. It is crucial to prioritize your safety and well-being while still enjoying the enriching experiences that solo travel can offer.


Benefits of Pretending to be Married

Pretending to be married while traveling solo can have its advantages, particularly for women. Here are some of the benefits that come with adopting this strategy: 1. Deterrence of Unwanted Attention: By introducing yourself as a married woman, you may signal to others that you are not available and are off-limits for any unsolicited advances or harassment. This can help deter potential harassers or individuals who may have ulterior motives. 2. Perception of Safety: In some cultures or countries, a woman traveling alone may be seen as more vulnerable, making her a potential target for scams or even assault. By presenting yourself as married, you may be perceived as having a support system and being under the protection of a partner, which could increase your safety. 3. Ease of Interaction: In certain situations, pretending to be married can make it easier to navigate social interactions. Some people may feel more comfortable engaging in conversations or providing assistance to a married woman, as they may perceive it as a safer and more socially acceptable context for interaction. 4. Cultural Sensitivities: In conservative societies where gender roles and expectations differ from those in your home country, pretending to be married can help you navigate cultural sensitivities more smoothly. It can help you avoid misunderstandings or uncomfortable encounters by adhering to local norms and customs. 5. Peace of Mind: Traveling alone can sometimes be daunting, and having the added layer of pretending to be married can provide a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that you are projecting an image of being more protected and less vulnerable. While these benefits may seem appealing, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks and limitations of pretending to be married as a solo female traveler. It is essential to make an informed decision that aligns with your personal values, comfort level, and the specific destination you are traveling to.


Safety Concerns for Solo Women Travelers

Traveling alone as a woman can pose unique safety challenges. It is important to be aware of these concerns and take proactive measures to minimize risks. Here are some common safety concerns for solo women travelers: 1. Physical Safety: The physical safety of solo women travelers can be compromised in unfamiliar environments. Women may face the risk of theft, assault, or harassment. It is crucial to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or isolated areas. 2. Sexual Harassment: Unfortunately, women often experience various forms of sexual harassment while traveling alone. This can range from verbal catcalling to more serious incidents. It is important to assert boundaries, avoid risky situations, and be prepared to respond assertively if confronted with harassment. 3. Scams and Fraud: Solo women travelers may be targeted by scammers seeking to take advantage of their vulnerability. Common scams include fake tour operators, overcharging for services, or pickpocketing. It is essential to research and book activities and accommodations with reputable providers and remain cautious of offers that seem too good to be true. 4. Cultural Norms and Expectations: Different cultures have varying norms and expectations regarding women’s behavior and attire. Women traveling alone may inadvertently violate these cultural norms, unintentionally inviting unwanted attention or judgment. It is important to familiarize yourself with local customs and dress respectfully to minimize cultural misunderstandings. 5. Transportation Safety: Public transportation can pose risks for solo women travelers, especially at night or in more remote areas. It is advisable to use licensed transportation options and research safe modes of travel ahead of time. Sharing your travel itinerary with a trusted contact can also provide some peace of mind. 6. Online Safety: With the reliance on technology and social media, online safety is a concern for all travelers, including solo women. Personal information shared online can make you a potential target for scams or other malicious activities. It is important to exercise caution when sharing details of your travel plans on public platforms and avoid divulging sensitive information. It is important to acknowledge and prepare for these safety concerns while maintaining an open mindset and embracing the joys of solo travel. By being proactive, informed, and taking necessary precautions, solo women travelers can have a safe and empowering journey.


The Pros and Cons of Pretending to be Married

Although pretending to be married can have its advantages, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks and limitations of adopting this strategy as a solo female traveler. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision: Pros: 1. Enhanced Safety Perception: Pretending to be married may project an image of being less vulnerable and provide a sense of safety, deterring unwanted attention or potential harassers. 2. Cultural Adaptability: In conservative cultures, pretending to be married can help you navigate social interactions and adhere to local customs and norms more smoothly. 3. Ease of Interaction: Presenting yourself as married may make it easier to engage in conversations or seek assistance from others who may feel more comfortable interacting with a married woman. Cons: 1. False Sense of Security: While pretending to be married can give a perception of safety, it is important to remember that it is not foolproof. It should not be solely relied upon as a means of protection, as it does not guarantee complete safety. 2. Limited Independence: Pretending to be married may inadvertently restrict your freedom and independence, as it may attract unwanted attention or curtail certain activities that would be considered unacceptable for a married woman. 3. Ethical Concerns: Some argue that pretending to be married is not an honest representation of oneself, questioning whether it is the right approach to address safety concerns. It is important to consider your own values and ethical standpoint when making this decision. 4. Potential Backfire: In some instances, pretending to be married may lead to further questioning or heightened interest from individuals who are curious about your marital status. This could potentially create uncomfortable or awkward situations. 5. Personal Comfort: Each individual has different comfort levels and preferences when it comes to pretending to be married. It is essential to assess whether this strategy aligns with your own values, beliefs, and comfort level. Ultimately, the decision to pretend to be married while traveling solo is a personal one. It is important to weigh the potential benefits against the drawbacks and consider alternative approaches to enhance your safety while maintaining your authenticity and independence. Stay true to yourself while taking necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.


Alternatives to Pretending to be Married

While pretending to be married is one option for solo women travelers, there are alternatives worth considering. Here are some alternative approaches to enhance your safety while traveling alone: 1. Research and Plan: Thoroughly research your destination ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with local customs, cultural norms, and potential safety concerns. Plan your itinerary accordingly, avoiding areas with a higher risk of crime or harassment. 2. Dress Appropriately: Pay attention to local dress codes and norms, especially in conservative regions. Dressing modestly can help you blend in and reduce unwanted attention. It is also a sign of respect towards the local culture. 3. Use Technology: Take advantage of various travel safety apps designed to enhance your security. These apps can provide safety alerts, emergency services, and even allow you to share your location with trusted contacts. Additionally, ensure your phone is fully charged and has a local SIM card for easy communication. 4. Stay in Safe Accommodations: Research and choose reputable accommodation options that prioritize the safety and security of their guests. Look for well-reviewed hotels, guesthouses, or hostels with good security measures such as a 24-hour front desk, secure entry systems, and well-lit common areas. 5. Connect with Fellow Travelers: Consider joining online travel communities or forums for solo travelers, specifically for women. These communities allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, seek advice, and potentially find travel companions or groups to join for certain activities or excursions. 6. Trust Your Intuition: Listen to your gut instincts and trust your intuition. If a situation or person feels off or uncomfortable, remove yourself from it. Your safety should always take precedence over anything else. 7. Learn Basic Self-Defense: Enroll in a self-defense class or learn basic self-defense techniques. Being able to defend yourself and having the confidence to do so can provide peace of mind when traveling alone. 8. Blend In with the Local Culture: Embrace the local culture and try to blend in as much as possible. Learn a few basic phrases in the local language, be respectful of customs, and observe the local behavior. This can help you avoid standing out as a tourist and make you less of a target for scammers or unwanted attention. Remember, there is no foolproof method to guarantee your safety while traveling solo. The key is to be prepared, vigilant, and adaptable to different situations. Trust yourself, be confident, and have faith in your abilities to navigate the world as a solo female traveler.


Advice for Solo Women Travelers

Solo travel can be a rewarding and transformative experience for women. To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, here are some valuable tips and advice for solo women travelers: 1. Research, Plan, and Share Itinerary: Thoroughly research your destination, including local customs, safety concerns, and relevant travel advisories. Create a detailed itinerary and share it with a trusted friend or family member, keeping them informed of your whereabouts. 2. Trust Your Instincts: Listen to your gut instincts and trust your intuition. If a situation or person feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from it immediately. 3. Pack Light and Smart: Travel with minimal luggage to stay mobile and reduce the risk of being a target for thieves. Pack important documents, cash, and valuables in a secure and easily accessible place. 4. Stay Connected: Carry a fully charged mobile phone with a local SIM card and store emergency contacts. Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers and range of assistance available. 5. Blend In: Respect local customs and dress modestly to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. Observe and adapt to local behavior to blend in and minimize standing out as a tourist. 6. Secure Accommodation: Book accommodation in safe and reputable establishments. Prioritize security features such as 24-hour front desk, secure entry systems, and well-lit common areas. 7. Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption: Be cautious while consuming alcohol, especially if you are alone. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and do not accept drinks from strangers. It is important to maintain control and make responsible decisions. 8. Stay in Public and Well-Lit Areas: When exploring a new destination, especially at night, stick to well-lit and populated areas. Avoid isolated or poorly lit streets, particularly in unfamiliar or unsafe areas. 9. Learn Local Customs and Basic Phrases: Familiarize yourself with local customs and learn a few basic phrases in the local language. This can help you navigate cultural sensitivities and communicate more effectively with locals. 10. Connect with Other Travelers: Consider joining online travel communities or seeking out solo female travelers groups. These platforms allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and potentially find travel companions. 11. Be Cautious with Strangers: Exercise caution when interacting with strangers, even if they seem friendly or helpful. Maintain a level of skepticism and avoid sharing personal information or travel details with people you do not trust. 12. Act Confident: Project confidence and be aware of your surroundings. Walk with purpose and assertiveness, which can help deter potential wrongdoers. Remember, your safety is a priority. It is important to strike a balance between embracing adventure and taking necessary precautions. Stay informed, trust yourself, and have the courage to explore the world on your own terms.



Solo travel can be a transformative and empowering experience for women, allowing them to explore new cultures, build confidence, and discover their own strengths. While safety concerns are valid, it is crucial not to let fear hinder the joy of solo travel. The idea of pretending to be married as a safety strategy is one approach that some solo women travelers consider. While it may offer certain benefits like deterring unwanted attention and enhancing perceived safety, it is essential to weigh the potential drawbacks and limitations of this strategy. Instead of solely relying on pretending to be married, there are alternative approaches to enhance safety while maintaining authenticity and independence. From thorough research and planning to trusting your instincts, staying connected, and blending in with the local culture, there are various measures you can take to ensure your safety. Ultimately, the decision to pretend to be married or adopt other safety strategies should be a personal one. It is important to assess the risks, adhere to your personal values, and prioritize your comfort level. Remember that there is no foolproof method to guarantee your safety, but with appropriate precautions and a dash of self-confidence, solo female travelers can embark on incredible journeys and create lifelong memories. So, if you have the desire to explore the world, don’t let safety concerns hold you back. As a solo woman traveler, arm yourself with knowledge, be prepared, and trust yourself. Embrace the adventure, savor the freedom, and create unforgettable experiences on your solo travel journey. Safe travels!