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Famous Female Travelers & Travel Safety Tips for Women
The team here at Her First $100K is made up of travel junkies – so much so that we even have a “Travel” slack channel where we share destination recommendations, affordable flights, and of course #humblebrags about what travel perks we earned with our travel credit card points. We all love to explore new countries, experience different cultures, and learn more about the world around us (all while trying desperately to have a Timothee Chalamet encounter).
So needless to say, we are all incredibly inspired by the female travelers who came before us and those that carry on their legacy to make travel safe, accessible, and as rewarding as possible for women everywhere.
As we continue to honor and celebrate Women’s History Month, we want to bring attention to some of our favorite female travelers of past and present who remind us to keep exploring, learning, and growing while also sharing some of our team’s favorite tips for traveling safely as a woman in 2022!
An investigative journalist, industrialist, world-traveler, and feminist icon. You can think of Nellie Bly as the OG travel blogger, and I have a feeling she would feel right at home with team Her First $100K.
Born Elizabeth Cochran, Nellie got her start in journalism in 1880 when, at just 18 years old, she responded to a misogynistic newspaper column entitled “What Girls Are Good For”. Her impassioned response completely dismantled the original article and was so well written that the editor of the newspaper invited her to write for the newspaper full time. #queenshit
When the newspaper tried to assign Nellie to “women’s pages,” she refused and opted to serve as a foreign correspondent in Mexico instead. In addition to reporting on the lives and customs of the Mexican people, Nellie also unashamedly published criticisms of the Mexican government and the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. Her reporting was so bold that the authorities threatened her with arrest, causing her to return to the US where she continued to protest the dictatorship and advocate for political reform in Mexico.
Most famously, in 1888 while writing for the New York World, Nellie decided to attempt something no woman had ever done before in the spirit of journalism and exploration. Inspired by Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, Bly set out to take a trip around the world with the hopes of beating the 80-day record. Traveling by steam ship, train, and any other form necessary and providing journalistic reports on the road, Bly successfully circumnavigated the world in just 72 days.
Yeah, safe to say we are all obsessed with our girl Nellie.
Alyssa Azar is a world traveler, adventurer, and the definition of badass.
Following in the footsteps of her accomplished adventurer-father, Alyssa started adventuring at just four years old. By age 8 she had completed the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, and at 12 had climbed Australia’s 10 highest peaks.
See what I mean about badass? But don’t worry, there’s more.
In 2016, Alyssa became the youngest Australian to summit Mt. Everest, and – if that wasn’t enough– she went on to become the youngest woman to do so from both the North and South sides which she accomplished at age 21.
Alyssa’s adventures inspired her to launch a podcast called Girls Can Do Scary Things Too on which she interviews women and girls who have overcome hardships, achieved greatness, and persevered through things that scared them. She wants to expose girls everywhere to the idea of “can”: that they can do scary things, hard things, and even seemingly impossible things.
Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita
Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita is no stranger to hearing the word “first.” She was the first female Nepali mountaineering guide ever, and happens to share a name with the first Nepali woman to climb Mt. Everest. After successfully climbing Everest herself, she went on to join the first Nepali women’s team to summit K2, the mountain that has a 25% rate of death amongst climbers. She was also one of the first people on the ground offering support and aid after the April 2015 Nepal earthquake distributing blankets, organizing medical facilities, and helping establish temporary housing for those who were displaced in the tragedy.
Most recently she has developed a foundation that assists with women’s education in Nepal because, “…once a woman has an education, she can be whatever she wants. I want to support what women want to become.”
Oh, and she casually was voted National Geographics’s People’s Choice Adventure of the Year in 2016. Talk about girlcrush material.
Are you feeling inspired to grab your passport, book a flight, and explore the world? Well if so, make sure you check out our list of tried-and-true travel tips that come from the HFK team of travel-lovers themselves!
HFK’s Best Safe Travel Tips for Women
A note: women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ folks face a disproportionately high rate of harassment, prejudice, and violence, especially when traveling. We, here at HFK, wholeheartedly believe that the responsibility for being safe while traveling should not be placed on the oppressed; no one should feel responsible for harassment or violent acts done against them. But we, as travel enthusiasts, want to provide resources to ensure the safest travel possible.
Have a plan
Whether you are trying to figure out how to get from the airport to the hotel, pick a restaurant for dinner, or explore the best sights of a new city, having a plan can be one of the best ways to protect yourself. While having a plan can still leave room for spontaneity, it will help eliminate confusion or finding yourself in a situation that you’re not prepared for.
Keep cash, your passport, ID, and other important documents in a safe place.
If possible, keep these items on your person at all times. If you are unable to do so, try to secure them in a zipped pocket within a purse or backpack, and make sure they are hidden out of sight when staying in hotels, AirBNBs, or hostels.
Connect with other female travelers
If you are traveling solo and start to feel uncertain or unsafe, try to connect with other female travelers. It is likely that they are just as concerned for your safety as you are and may have the resources or information you need to stay safe.
Pay extra for safety
There may be instances where your safety may cost you a little extra, such as taking an uber back to a hotel late at night instead of walking. Remember that while we are all about saving money, this is not the time to do so. It is always worth it to spend extra for safety.
Nothing will ruin a trip faster than seeing “declined” after swiping your card. Make sure that you create a budget sheet for your trip and stick to it so that you never find yourself out of money and pulling an Anna Delvey in a hotel lobby. Need a budget template? Check out our Badass Budget Spreadsheet!
One of the best ways our team prepares for travel is by using travel credit cards. Not only are they a very secure form of payment in the US and beyond, but they also help you earn valuable travel perks such as airline miles, hotel upgrades, travel insurance, and more!
Doing some traveling in 2022? Make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck and start preparing for your trip with a travel credit card. Click here to see a list of my favorite credit cards so that you can start racking up those rewards!