“Before I started reading more into Iran, all I heard about this country were stories about its politics. In the media, Iran seemed like a place where no one would ever want to visit. Can you imagine solo female travel in Iran? After my trip to Iran, I can tell you now that Iran has the most hospitable people and great architecture. Traveling to Iran as a solo female traveler has been safe, rewarding, and fun.” _Anna Karesten
Solo travel to Iran can generally be a good idea for any adult, including both men and women, who are enough mature, have the experience of solo traveling in the own country and not feeling the vulnerability inside. It’s totally understandable what illusional thoughts western media is about to portray to the world which makes false prejudgments for those who have never been in Iran. As an old expression in Persian language claims: Fear is the infant of ignorance! You’ll face nothing but hospitality and safety in Iran, I guarantee. But as there will always be unpredicted events, we glance at all the probable awkward situations here as preparation and prevention.
Before you leave
- Visa apply: Except for British, Americans, and Canadian passport holders, which are not allowed to travel independently to Iran and must reserve a tour, there are simple ways to get Iran visa even on arrival. If you have no clue about applying for an Iran visa, click and read.
- Estimate your travel budget and bring the right amount of money with you, because Iranian banks and ATMs do not give services to the international account owners.
- Looking up basic self-defense techniques on YouTube and practicing them gives you relief before any type of adventure. You won’t have to use them in Iran for sure, but it makes you more confident anyway.
- let your friends know where you are: Share your last position with your friends on Instagram or other social media. This way you’ll reduce risks of a bad experience in case you’ll be lost or face into a problem. Writing a trip plan CouchSurfing can also be useful.
- Try to learn some useful words and expression in Persian, that makes the travel so much easier, because not many Iranians can communicate in English. some really simple but frequent sentences can amazingly extricate you some times.
While you are in Iran
- Dressing like Iranian women will make you more comfortable in society. All you need is a long-sleeved blouse, long jeans or trousers plus with a scarf, that’s it. But if you need more information about dress codes in Iran, click and read the article.
- Avoid hitchhiking at night, and if you’re traveling by other transportations, make sure you’ll arrive at your destination during the day. Being out alone after 10-11 is not common in Iran, especially in smaller towns.
- In case you are going to stay in a local’s house, read all the details on the Couchsurfing account of your host and search for some hotels and hostels in the area and save the address and telephone number as the B plan.
- Trust your intuition, if you’re feeling unsafe or even uncomfortable there is no reason to stay.
- curious looks around you will be somehow inevitable; that’s because you might look different and Iranians traditions ask them to make sure their guest _everyone far from home is considered as a guest in Iran_ is having fun. You may face people offering you a cup of tea or asking if you need any help and so on. If you find it bothering, try to do as Iranians do.
- In case anyone offered you alcoholic drinks or drugs, just reject politely, aside from legal punishments that can seriously put you in trouble.
- Put your small cash in the wallet and keep the valuable object in a safer and closer pocket. And do not talk about the amount of money you carry to strangers.
- Solo traveling is not about being all alone, be sociable, and find a bunch of Iranian friends to hangout and some other solo travelers to share experiences.