In-depth masterclasses, interviews and panel discussions with martial artists, doctors, national parks specialists, pilots, security experts, photographers, female empowerment advocates, travel professionals and more on every aspect of travel safety, before, during and after a trip.
Experienced psychologists, therapists and certified yoga and meditation instructors have prepared practical and insightful sessions that will improve your overall mental health before and during a trip, and also your understanding of the causes behind fear, anxiety, guilt and shame.
Non judgmental, open and honest conversations with doctors and dating experts on sexual wellbeing and safe dating when traveling. You'll learn what you need to know about protection, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to meet people safely. We give you the tools to make informed decisions.
OPENING KEYNOTE: Adapted from Jennifer Cassetta's inspiring talk that has empowered women from all walks of life, this opening keynote walks us through karate belt levels making a parallelism with solo travel, and will inspire you to tap into your innate power, harnessing it in order to live your most badass life.
SAFETY: Research, research, research! Travel safety begins with understanding the potential risks and challenges of a destination so you can better prepare for what could happen. In this masterclass, Mar will lay out the foundational elements of the travel planning stages and show you the tools and resources at your disposal to build your own plan B and C.
WELLNESS: Gabriela Sirbu is a therapist, speaker, and writer specialising in the fear, worry, anxiety, guilt and shame that comes from preparing and going on a solo trip. Her masterclass is two-fold:
1 - A more reflective and theoretical beginning that explains why we feel that way; why we get anxious and scared when thinking about traveling on our own and why, when the first solo trip or the 10th solo trip are approaching, we feel so much anxiety and overwhelm.
2 - Once we have gained this important understanding, the second part of the class will jump to practical and specific tips you can implement when you do experience anxiety and overwhelm; techniques you can use when you suffer from travel anxiety, and materials which will help you resolve/improve/minimize your feelings of overwhelm.
SAFETY: Nicole Snell, CEO of Girls Fight Back, is dedicated to empowering women around the world with personal safety and self defense education. As a solo adventurer and traveler herself she offers simple and practical self-defense skills that anyone can use as they go out and explore their world. We ARE worth fighting for, and we are each our own best protector, so this session will teach you how to unleash your inner badass and live the confident, empowered, free life that you deserve!
SAFETY: Jude lives and travels around New Zealand in a tiny, purpose-built house on a truck, and in this inspiring interview, she invites us into her home.
After living in a campervan for years, Jude decided to upgrade and now lives in a tiny house on wheels. In this interview, she speaks to us about how (and why) she chose this lifestyle, how it compares to a regular house and to a campervan, and about the unique challenges and sacrifices of living this way.
Join us for a tour of her home, and an open conversation about managing such a large vehicle, about safety on the road as a solo woman, and about the most magical moments of living in a tiny home on wheels.
WELLNESS: The objective of this panel is to help women who come from more conservative backgrounds to open a dialogue with those around them in order to gain the confidence, comfort and support to travel solo.
When we refer to conservative backgrounds, we are not necessarily talking about countries or nationalities but rather about cultural values, collective values and family values, be it from a small town in Eastern Europe or from a big city in South Asia.
From a societal point of view, we will discuss how more patriarchal and conservative environments condition women’s ability to negotiate their independence, and provide tips, tools, and knowledge for negotiating your freedom closer to the immediate decision maker (convincing your parents / spouse / family to let you travel solo, where their influence may be a defining factor).
SAFETY: Women should be able to travel safely everywhere, however the reality is that there are different considerations for women traveling alone as there are for men. This masterclass will teach you everything you need to consider as an independent traveler to stay safe.
We dive straight into safety tips and tools you can use to plan a trip with safety in mind, avoid common scams, keep your money safe, move around safely and minimize risk when participating in activities.
SAFETY: Qin Yunquan is a social activist, national wrestler and CEO of Kapap Academy Singapore, a social enterprise committed to teaching women and the most vulnerable practical and easy self-defense techniques using their proprietary system, Modern Street Combatives.
This practical session will equip you with a variety of techniques that you can use (hopefully never!) to avoid or get away from danger when you are alone, regardless of age, height, or strength level. Your body is enough, and we'll empower you to feel confident without having to carry weapons.
WELLNESS: As a certified yoga and meditation teacher, Davina will take you through meditation tips and techniques designed to manage your anxiety while traveling. She will show you how to use your breath, a free and always-available tool, to soothe your body and mind. Her easy breathing exercises can be done anywhere - on a bus, on a plane or in a long queue, without drawing attention to yourself and without the need for any equipment.
SAFETY: With 10 years in the hotel industry, working in reception, housekeeping, overnight security, and resort cocktail bars, and a further 10 years as a travel writer reviewing properties from hostels, B&B’s, to 5 star resorts, Meg will be checking you into a masterclass on hotel and hostel dorm safety.
Accommodation is one of the most central parts of the travel experience, and it’s so important for solo female travelers in particular to make sure the place you’re staying is safe. This masterclass will cover the things you need to look out for when researching and making your booking, how to choose a safe room, how to inspect it once you’ve checked in, tools you can travel with to make your experience safer, where to keep your valuables, common scams to avoid being sucked into, and the side of safety we rarely think about; things like bed bugs, using public hotel WiFi, and when to close your windows so the wildlife doesn’t break in (it happens!).
SEXUAL WELLBEING: In this Q&A with Dr Deborah Bateson from Family Planning NSW, we have an informative, no-judgement discussion about everything you need to know relating to sexual wellbeing on the road.
Specifically relating to the issues faced by Solo Female Travelers, and the unique obstacles brought on by travel, this talk covers safe sex & contraception (and the pros and cons for travelers), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and how to protect yourself as you travel, and period related issues including the best types of menstrual protection for the road.
The aim of this talk is to provide you with as much information as possible, for you to make your own, informed choices about sexual wellbeing on the road. There's a healthy dose of myth busting included!
WELLNESS: Everyone's favorite topic! Dr. Mireia Roca has the most glamorous session on our agenda - a masterclass on food safety, and guide to traveler’s diarrhea.
It’s not something anyone likes to talk about, but it’s something every traveler will experience at some point, regardless of whether or not you have an adventurous appetite. 40% of travelers will experience traveler’s diarrhea annually, so what do you do if you find yourself with Delhi belly / Montezuma’s revenge, and have to make a sudden break for the bathroom? In this masterclass you'll learn about food safety, what you should and shouldn't eat during travel, and what you can do to avoid traveler's diarrhea.
WELLNESS: As a certified yoga and meditation teacher, Davina will teach you 5 simple stretches that you can do while seated on a long journey, and 5 simple stretches you can do after your journey has come to an end.
It's so important to listen to the body when traveling, and beyond promoting good blood circulation to avoid clotting, stretching helps to relieve muscle fatigue and cramping that so often comes from long flights, bus journeys, and roadtrips. This session will equip you with stretches from 5 - 20 minutes so you can support yourself when you're on a long trip.
WELLNESS: An inspiring interview with Janice Holly Booth, about beating your fear to travel. This interview covers adventure, risk, facing down fear, and how to get rid of your excess baggage to figure out how you really want to live your life.
For a lot of women, solo travel can be really scary, and it requires an incredible amount of courage to break out from your comfort zone cage. So we’re thrilled to be joined by Janice Holly Booth, who is an expert on beating your fear, and talks to us about her journey to becoming brave.
Janice has spent more than a decade traveling solo, and has had to overcome many fears in her quest for adventure. After a botched surgery that bought her close to death she began her 15-year journey to understand the nature of fear, and to figure out how to conquer it, ultimately realizing that her comfort zone up until that point had been her cage.
SAFETY: Your mind is one of the most powerful tools to keep you safe, though once you've empowered yourself with the safety basics, there are an additional range of physical tools you can travel with for security in a wide variety of situations.
This masterclass discusses tools like theft proof bags, personal alarms, door wedge alarms for accommodation, bear spray, money belts and bra pouches, portable safe boxes, and the good old fashioned lock. Mar will also dispel myths around pepper spray, guns, knives, and other weapons / devices that may provide a false sense of safety, and not actually be legal to travel with in the first place.
SAFETY: Susan took her first flight in 1978, and has been a flight instructor and a pilot for the last 3 decades. In this interview we chat about her story as a female pilot and about life in the air, from advice for managing jetlag, understanding and dealing with turbulence, and advice for those who are afraid to fly, or who may suffer from anxiety from getting on a plane.
Less than 5% of pilots in the world today are women, so we're incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to Susan, and look forward to sharing her most treasured memories as a pilot.
SAFETY: Phil Sylvester is an independent travel safety advisor and expert commentator on travel insurance, having previously worked at global travel lifestyle brand WorldNomads.com.
This session will take us through the most common FAQ's around travel and medical insurance. We'll learn what travel insurance covers and what may not be covered, how to identify a good travel insurance product, what you should look for in travel insurance coverage, and bust the most commonly held myths about insurance for travelers. What might be typically considered to be an otherwise dry topic, Phil makes travel insurance fun!
SAFETY: We’ve already heard about the importance of travel insurance, and how to choose the right policy, but now we’re going to dive into the exact process of making a claim, and things to know if you actually have to rely on your insurance.
Cora Oo is an Operations Analyst from Mapfre Assistance Insurance Services. She joined Mapfre initially as a claims assessor for InsureandGo travel insurance product and has two years of travel claims experience. She knows the PDS of the insurance policy like the back of her hands, and loves to help the customers and other claims assessors understand the policy wordings. She is currently working with senior management on improving claims and assistance experiences of vulnerable customers.
SAFETY: Every year millions of people participate in outdoor activities, most without serious incident. But do you know the basics of safety in the wild?
In this masterclass, National Parks expert Jennifer Melroy talks to us about how to stay safe when camping, hiking / backpacking, drinking water, or encountering wildlife. Learn the hazards you should be aware of when spending time outdoors, the gear you should have with you at all times, the risks associated with wildlife, including insects, poisonous / venomous snakes, herbivore and carnivore animals, and lastly, what to do if something bad happens to you.
The knowledge and tools from this masterclass offer excellent learning in risk awareness and prevention, but will also give you the confidence to react calmly in the outdoors should you find yourself in a survival situation.
SAFETY: Photography is something we all take on our travels; whether you’re snapping photos with your phone camera, or shooting on a DSLR, it’s important that you do so respectfully, and safely.
This masterclass will empower you with the awareness necessary to understand when taking photos might be a culturally sensitive topic, or even land you in trouble with the law. Meg will dive into ways to stay safe when taking aerial photography and when shooting in the wild, and will provide tips on cultural etiquette and on asking for permission to take someone's photo. She will also discuss the risks around posting your photos and locations live.
WELLNESS: Never underestimate the importance of traveling with a solid first aid kit – in fact, this should be one of the very first things you pack.
According to a recent survey, a massive 80% of us are not equipped to deal with minor medical emergencies in our own homes – let alone when we’re traveling. So in this masterclass, Brittany Lewis will cover why packing a first aid kit is important, and exactly how to build one from scratch; the essentials to include, things you need to know about prescriptions, extras for activities that present unique risks, creating an emergency contact sheet, and maintaining your kit once you've built it.
SEXUAL WELLBEING: Made up of dating and relationship experts, our safe dating panel discusses safe dating tips for Solo Female Travelers who may intentionally or otherwise meet a handsome stranger, or go out looking!
It kicks off with a light hearted exchange of the panel's most memorable and most ridiculous dates, before jumping into some of the risks, challenges, and scams of online dating, the safest apps to use, information to include on your dating profile, how to spot profiles that are suspicious or fake, things to always check before meeting with someone, and the best safety tips for dating someone you've met online, while you're abroad.
SAFETY: Moderated by LoAnn Halden of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), this panel will inform, normalize and bring awareness to the community while encouraging and inspiring LBGTQ+ travelers who may be hesitant or worried about being who they are when traveling solo.
In an open and honest conversation, our panelists discuss whether or not to reveal your sexual orientation when traveling, when coming out can enhance your understanding or experience of the destination, safety concerns in countries with anti-LGBTQ+ laws and when to modify your behavior, the challenges for queer woman who aren't cisgender, top tips for lesbian/queer women solo travelers to stay safe, as well as the most welcoming destinations.
SAFETY: An inspiring interview with Kelcie Miller-Anderson, who is an acclaimed innovator and social entrepreneur, and a disability advocate who continues to travel solo despite having struggled with chronic illness her entire life.
Despite having to sleep up to 20 hours in a 24 hour period, and recently transitioning to a wheelchair, Kelcie doesn’t let her sickness dictate her life, and doesn’t view her disability as a limiting factor. While most people might see someone in a wheelchair and think that their life has been changed for the worse, her perspective is that her wheelchair has changed her life for the better, allowing her to start living and seeing the world again.
This interview covers how travel has changed for Kelcie since transitioning to a wheelchair, how she built up her confidence to travel again, how she handles fear in vulnerable situations, how accessible the world truly is, and how people reshape the way they think about what disability and illness means. For everyday travelers who want to make the world as accessible as possible, we also talk about how abled travelers can help the disabled community.
SAFETY: Isabel has been working for Doctors Without Borders for almost 6 years with missions across the Middle East, Africa and Central America, and in this interview speaks with us about the reality of working with an NGO in challenging countries.
In her role, Isabel has traveled solo through many conflict zones and difficult destinations, and shares her best solo travel tips from these experiences. We learn about her personal solo travel journey, and what motivated her to join Doctors Without Borders, as well as what the organization is about, what kind of projects they participate in, and the types of missions she has been on in her role.
SAFETY: Solo female travelers all have similar experiences traveling solo but women-of-colour face additional challenges on the road.
Led by Dr. Elaine Yang, this panel aims to increase awareness around the challenges of traveling as a woman of colour, and shares tips on how to make the most of the travel experience while staying safe. Our experienced panelists share Asian, Indian, African and Latin American perspectives on the solo female travel experience, how their racial/cultural identity influences their travel experience, their main concerns and their best tips for travel safety as a woman of color.
SAFETY: Are you planning a road trip? If yes, you’ve come to the right place! Led by Becky Wood, our panel of expert and diverse roadtrippers have experience driving across 5 continents, and share their tips and stories to encourage other women to set off on their own.
We cover stories from the road, apps to use during your trip, weird road rules and situations around the world you may encounter, best safety gear to have in the car, how to deal with situations which make you feel unsafe, and the best destinations for solo female roadtrippers!
SAFETY: Amanda was raised in the United States and has been living in Morocco for the last 8 years. With her unique cross-cultural perspective, she writes about travel to the country and organises food tours of Marrakech for travelers.
This masterclass will address the considerations for traveling alone to conservative countries, and how you can do so safely, including the cultural nuances to bear in mind, how to adapt your wardrobe, and commonly held myths that may or may not be true.
This session will empower you with the cultural knowledge and understanding of more conservative cultures, as well as tools and resources you can use to stay safe and be a more culturally aware, respectful and mindful traveler.
WELLNESS: Josefina is an internationally published photographer and retoucher who was adopted from Chile to the USA at 6 months old. Growing up shy, adopted & "different" from those around her, Josephina speaks to us about what it's like to travel as someone who does not conform to traditional appearances, some of the challenging situations she has found yourself in because of her appearance and heritage, and conversely, some of the best experiences she has had that were facilitated by her looks.
SAFETY: Do you know what to do if the worst case scenario happens while you're abroad? Do you know who to contact for assistance? While it's not common to find yourself in a worst case scenario, it's still very important to have the knowledge and preparation in case it does happen to you. How you react in an emergency can make a huge difference to the overall outcome, and so this session revolves around what happens if you are attacked or assaulted, if there is a coup, if there is a natural disaster, if you are robbed, or if you need to be evacuated.
Brittany Lewis from the AIG Travel security team has more than ten years of experience in the corporate security and risk mitigation industry and is a Certified Protection Professional with ASIS International and a Member of The Security Institute.