1. Before you take a big solo trip, try something short and a little closer to home so you can test the waters.
2. When choosing a destination, do your research! Check travel advisories, enroll in STEP*, figure out which shots you need, and look up the country information if you're traveling abroad.
3. Join female travel Facebook groups to get insights, tips, and contacts in other cities.
4. If you need to do a hostel for budget purposes, search places with single rooms or all-female dorms.
5. If you go with an Airbnb, always look for places with lots of reviews AND reviews from women.
6. Pack a mini first aid kit, especially if you're traveling to a country fluent in a different language.
7. In case of a mugging, bring a decoy wallet (with some cash) and a cheap flip phone.
8. Oh, and don't keep your phone in an easily accessible pocket. Try placing it in the zipped compartment of a purse.
9. Keep a notes tab in your phone with all emergency contact information, including numbers for local police and the embassy.
10. Figure out the customs, culture, and dress codes in the destination you're visiting.
11. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid headphones, texting, and calling at night on the streets.
The more alert you are, the safer.