Traveling Alone

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July 30, 1996 EvaS: Our topic is traveling alone. Our scheduled guest, Jay Ben-Lesser, wrote a marvelous, little book about it. Jay is not here yet, but we can start our discussion while we wait. Her book is called, "A Foxy Old Woman's Guide to Traveling Alone Around Town and Around the World". :) Jay is now 72, I believe. She said she started traveling alone at 40.

SueBD: Hey, so did I. :D

EleanordeW: I like to travel alone, but usually take my sister.

CAMBPam: A dear friend of mine recently passed away at 89 and she traveled til the end! :)

EvaS: Pam, that's what Jay says...The worst that can happen is you die. So, travel! :) DXSMac: When you say travel, do you count business travel? I travel alone a lot for business. It doesn't bother me.

EvaS: Mac, any travel, yes! Doesn't bother you at all?

DXSMac: Nope, I learned how to amuse myself.

EvaS: Mac, great! :)

LYNNDEEA: I want to travel, but I'm scared.

EvaS: Lynn, a lot of us are like that. Maybe there'll be some clues to how to overcome that tonight. :)

JDLite623: I traveled alone for the first time about 4 years ago.

CAMBPam: I have traveled alone A LOT..both business and pleasure. I treat myself right... good hotels...good restaurants. It helps, too!

EvaS: Pam, and how do you manage it? Are you scared at all? Or were you when you started?

CAMBPam: No, not scared, but I am careful. I make sure that I don't go to unsafe places. And I don't like to leave my room late at night.

EvaS: Pam, what do you do? How do you know how to assess that?

CAMBPam: Usually I ask the locals! Really!

EvaS: Yes, that's surely one way.

DXSMac: If you must travel a lot for business, it helps to take along a AAA Motor Club guide. So you have ideas to amuse yourself on weekends or after work.

CAMBPam: Great hint, Mac.

EvaS: Good idea, Mac!:)

DXSMac: However, my co-workers laugh at people who do this, so I don't tell anyone, but it does help!

JHirsch29: I've found if you stay at hotels with a concierge, it's much better. I once got very ill on a business trip and the concierge kept bringing me soup and pills from the local pharmacy. She was wonderful!

EvaS: JH, that's a good idea.

DXSMac: Some of the "gadget" stores sell these devices that you can jamb into your door as a doorstop. And if someone tries to open your door, it lets out a PIERCING screech. It's called a wedge. I carry one with me all the time, because I often have to go to small towns waaayyyyy out in the middle of no where. Usually small town people are nice, but you never know. So, if you are fearful of someone opening your door, just get a wedge door jam.

EvaS: Mac, good idea.

SueBD: I am such a wallflower (honest ;) that I have trouble interacting with the natives when I travel alone. I usually don't talk to them, and I know I am missing out on the best part of the trip! ::sigh::

EvaS: Sue, I'm sure you are.

LynnCSE: I drove alone to a conference in Canada this summer motels kept saying asking if I was alone. I guess they think women can only drive with someone else in the car.

EvaS: Lynn, that's true. Some places are difficult that way.

LynnCSE: Then on the bridge coming back to the states, they wouldn't believe me when I said I was alone.

EvaS: Lynn, sounds like the parts of Canada you drove through were very retro indeed! Women do travel alone a lot these days.

LynnCSE: I told him I was at a conference on female sexuality. Freaked him out!

EvaS: Lynn, ROFL!! I'm sure it did!!!

LynnCSE: My story about Canada is funnier when you know that I am 73 years old, little and white-haired.

EleanordeW: LOL!

EvaS: Lynn, oh, my. I love it!!:)

LynnCSE: I travel everywhere alone.

EvaS: Great! :)

CAMBPam: I was on the Board of our local Rape Crisis Center several years ago and took classes there in Self Defense and Assertiveness. That really helps and I would recommend them to anyone traveling alone!

JHirsch29: Once I made the mistake of staying in a small motel while on a business trip. When I asked for a wake up call, they gave me a funny look. The next morning, someone banged on my door yelling, "WAKE UP!" LOL! So, I guess the moral of the story is don't stay at small motels!

SueBD: LOL!!

EvaS: JH, LOL!!!!!!


Melba toes: LOL!

EleanordeW: I love driving places alone, but I recently had second thoughts about driving to Florida alone. Anyone else have the same problem?

READ MORE ABOUT IT: Women and Travel (rev. 6/23/96 - jlc)

[NOTE: These brief bibliographies are not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of a topic .... instead they are intended to provide a starting place for reading on the topic.]


Ben-Lesser, Jay. A Foxy Old Woman's Guide to Traveling Alone : Around Town and Around the World. Freedom, CA, Crossing Press, 1995.

Chaiet, Donna. Staying Safe While Traveling. New York, Rosen Pub. Group, 1995.

Moss, Maggie. Handbook for Women Travellers. Rev. ed. London, Piatkus, 1995.

Rough Guides. More Women Travel : Adventures and Advice From More Than 60 Countries. London, Rough Guides [serial]

Season of Adventure : Off the Beaten Track With Women Over Fifty. Seattle, WA, Seal Press, 1996.

Wilen, Tracey. Asia for Women on Business. Berkeley, CA, Stone Bridge Press, 1995.

Zepatos, Thalia. A Journey of One's Own : Uncommon Advice for the Independent Woman Traveler. 2nd ed. Portland, OR, Eighth Mountain Press, 1996.


Chittister, Joan. Beyond Beijing : the Next Step for Women. Kansas City, MO, Sheed & Ward, 1996.

Ekey, Barbara N. Blind Trust : A Story of Adventurous Dreams and Triumphs Over Adversity. U.S., A. D. Clarke Publishers, 1995.

Foss, Jody A. Mules Across the Great Wide Open : a True Western Adventure. Tomales, CA, Mules Across America, 1995.

Frederick, Bonnie. Women and the Journey : the Female Travel Experience. Pullman, WA, Washington State University Press, 1993.

Kaye, Evelyn. Amazing Traveler, Isabella Bird : the Biography of a Victorian Adventurer. Boulder, CO, Blue Penguin Publications, 1994.

Lovell, Mary S. A Scandalous Life : The Biography of Jane Digby el Mezrab. London, Richard Cohen Books, 1995.

Morris, Mary. Maiden Voyages : Writings of Women Travelers. New York, Vintage Books, 1993.

Robinson, Jane. Unsuitable for Ladies : an Anthology of Women Travellers. New York, Oxford University Press, 1994.

Tinling, Marion. With Women's Eyes : Visitors to the New World, 1775-1918.

Hamden, CT, Archon Books, 1993. Without a Guide : Contemporary Women's Travel Adventure. Saint Paul, MN, Hungry Mind Press, 1996.

Women's Voices on Africa : A Century of Travel Writings. New York, M. Weiner Pub., 1992.


Robinson, Jane. Wayward Women : a Guide to Women Travellers. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.

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