As a female traveller, going solo is a huge step to take in your travelling career. I’m sure you have already heard an array of echoing concerns from your loved ones. How do you set their minds at ease when you have never set foot in the Gilis either? Lucky for you, we are one step ahead of ya!
We, The Gilis, are a group of travellers who were once in your shoes. We didn’t have an article like this back in the day but we took the intuitive leap and jumped into paradise. And now we are happy to share with you what we know!
So are the Gilis safe for solo female travellers?
As a collective, the consensus is yes! None of us have ever felt unsafe on the Gili islands. The Gilis are absolutely safe for solo female travellers!
An important fact to note is that the three Gili islands are INCREDIBLY small. Even the biggest of the three, Gili Trawangan, houses only 1500 people. It measures 3 km long and 2 km wide! These islands are so small there are no cars or motorbikes, only bicycles and horse carriages.
With that in mind, you can imagine how tight knit the local community is. Everyone is watching each other and word does get around! There is not much room for a local to risk their reputation and livelihood in the community. We believe this is a huge factor that contributes to the overall safety of everyone.
This applies to all three Gili islands. Each island has so much to offer and you can be sure to feel safe on any of them. It is however even more of a guarantee on Gili Air and Gili Meno since they are smaller and quieter than Gili Trawangan.
If this isn’t enough to convince you that the Gilis are safe, please continue reading to learn about precautions you can take as a solo female traveller.
Be social and avoid doing things solo at night
We all know that one of the best things about travelling solo is that you get to meet other travellers. So do exactly that! Find accommodation where you are able to meet travellers to go out with at night instead of going out solo. Follow your gut and stick to people who you share commonalities with. This goes for anywhere in the world, not only the Gilis. By being in a group, you can avoid getting hassled on the streets by men at night.
We recommend hostels since there are plenty of pub crawls, tours and social events you can join in on.
Be a responsible traveller and do not over intoxicate
Now we know you are here for a good time and you are bound to drink a couple of Bintangs. Just wait until you discover Joss shots… You are bound to have a couple of those as well! This means as a solo female traveller, you need to be responsible for your own safety at all times, even when tipsy.
We are sure you have heard these before but here’s a friendly reminder. Never take drinks from a stranger, never leave your drink unattended and don’t get too drunk.
Bars are so prevalent here and some offer so much more than just your average rum and coke. So a general rule to remember is to make sure you are only ordering drinks from reputable bars in the Gilis.
Dress modest in the Gilis
The predominant practicing religion here on the Gili islands is Islam which means the Muslim locals dress modestly. As visitors of this land, we recommend that you respect their customs.
Since you are on an island, a good rule of thumb is to always wear something over your bikini. You are of course welcome to wear a bikini on the beach but please make sure to cover up in residential areas. You will find signs around the islands instructing you do so.
By following this tip you are showing respect to the local community and also ensuring your own safety by not drawing unwanted attention to yourself. We guarantee you will feel more confident strolling down the streets and in connecting with the locals!
Ultimate foolproof solo female travel tips
We did our research and asked seasoned female travellers for their best tips. We are quite sure you will not have to use these in the Gilis. But they are helpful to have in your arsenal if you ever feel the need to!
1. Always carry a rape whistle with you and make sure it is in an accessible place
2. Wear a ring on your wedding finger
Unfortunately, some men respect an imaginary husband more than women. But make sure it is a cheap looking ring because you could also become a target if you look like you are made of money!
3. Tell them you are married, your husband works for the embassy and he is coming soon!
(You may find this excessive but we thought we’d include it because some women have found success with this. How interesting!)
4. Most importantly, exude confidence
Always know where you are going and walk with a purpose, especially at night. If you are using Google Maps, listen to the directions instead of looking at your phone.
Get out there and enjoy the Gilis!
We trust that by now, you feel confident about joining us in the Gilis. Not only are the Gilis are safe but you have just been equipped with some of the best solo female travel tips. Now all that is left to do is to actually get to the Gilis!
We hope that this article has empowered you as a solo female traveller and we can’t wait to have you join us in paradise. See you on shore!