Being able to travel to a new country on your own is the best experience of your life. It’s a liberating experience! As an independent woman, you should be proud of yourself for taking the plunge and setting out of your comfort zone to explore a different world full of opportunities. Albania is a beautiful and relaxing place for female solo travelers and has a lot to offer.
This slice of heaven on earth, however, has been a victim of negative stereotypes. As a result, many female solo travelers have second thoughts when it comes to visiting this part of the Balkans. But you cannot experience new things unless you let go off your inhibitions. In this article, we will share some tips for solo female travelers in Albania to make their trip less stressful and enjoyable.
Is Albania Safe?
This question is often on the minds of travelers. There is no doubt that throughout the 20th century, Albania remained secluded from the rest of the world. The communist regime in the country created an unfriendly image of the country in the eyes of globetrotters. But, the Albania of today is not interested in living in the past.
The country is taking steps to promote tourism. In fact, locals also show gratitude to travelers who come to their country and make sure that they create good memories in the country. Crimes against women – which include harassment of women in the streets – are rare in the country. This is a plus for solo female travelers as they can explore the new country without any fears.
Tips for Solo Female Travelers in Albania
Planning a solo trip, nevertheless, takes a lot of courage. The internet is full of horror stories of what can possibly go wrong in an alien country, which can easily give you jitters and make you reconsider your decision. However, anything is possible if you have the will. If visiting Albania is on your wishlist for long, it’s time you traveled to the country which is famous for its beaches.
Even though the country is safe for women, here are some tips that you should follow when you are out in a foreign country all by yourself.
1. Accommodation Options
From Airbnb and hostels to hotels and homestays, the country has a variety of accommodation options. When choosing a hotel, make sure that you read the uncompromised reviews of the place. Pick a hotel that is near public transport and that enjoys high ratings. For solo travelers, a homestay is a good option. You can stay with a local family who may even offer you to eat lunch and dinner together. This is a great way to make new friends in a foreign country.
2. Public Transport
If you are the kind of person who gets lost in navigation, public transport is the right option for you. But here’s an important thing to note; Albania is one of the least developed countries of the Balkans region and doesn’t have a robust transportation system like the one found in other European countries. While you may not have access to world-class Metros, etc., you can find buses and furgon running on major routes. This a cheap mode of transportation and is best for solo travelers who don’t like traveling alone in taxis. There are buses for intra-country traveling as well. But their operating hours could be a catch. For example, buses in Tirana, the capital city of Albania, run until 5 pm – or 6 pm during summer.
3. Group Tours for Remote Areas
This is a precaution that you’d exercise in your home country as well. Going to remote areas all by yourself doesn’t seem like a good option. It is not only about the dangers that might be lurking in the deserted areas. In fact, you may also find it overwhelming to explore an area with a scant number of tourists or even locals. If you are interested in visiting any remote area, you should check out with your hotel reception if they have any guided tours. If not, search on the internet for some group tours. You will definitely find one. Traveling with groups is ideal for making new friends on your trip.
4. Beware of the Bars
There are so many stories of tourists who have ended up paying thousands of dollars for their drinks. This is not limited to Albania, though. Bars in every country are notorious for overcharging tourists. If you are planning to visit a local bar, make sure you keep tabs on the drinks you have.
5. Respect to the Culture
Albania is a Muslim-majority country. This comes as a surprise to a lot of people. However, the country considers religion and state separately. There is no dress code that you have to follow in the country. However, if you are visiting mosques, you should be respectful of the place. Wear loose clothing and cover your legs, hands, and head when you are inside the house.
6. Curious Locals
Even though the trend of solo female traveling is rapidly growing, there are still a large number of people who get surprised to find that you are exploring a country on your own. There will be times when you’d get asked why you’re traveling alone to the extent that you’ll get slightly irritated. But, this question is nothing more than the curiosity of the locals.
7. Border Crime
Political uncertainties are rampant across the world. In the northeast of Albania, the situation is hostile. The Albania-Kosovo border is unsafe for both foreigners and locals. Heavily-armed Albanians rob people at gunpoint. Even though these armed gangs spare foreigners and tourists, for solo travelers, going to the region is a big no-no.
The Final Word
There is no denying that traveling alone is fun yet anxiety-inducing. Before setting out on the life-altering trip, it is vital for you to research the country and take note of the things to avoid.