Road Rage: Couples Who Think Single Traveler Means “Slut”

By Gretchen Kelly

You all know what I’m talking about. You’re minding your own business having a drink at the hotel’s poolside bar. You’re probably taking in the atmosphere, reading a book or writing in your journal. That “cute” honeymoon couple sitting across from you starts chatting. Oh how interesting, you do what? Blah, blah. And where’s your boyfriend? Back home? You don’t have one at present? All of a sudden the newlywed wife’s arms snakes around her precious hubby’s. A wide eyed look of fear gives her that deer in the headlights look, while the husband smiles sheepishly and tries not to ogle your cleavage.

Of course you’re going to try to seduce him. That’s what you’re here for isn’t it?

This is one of my all time high on the list single woman traveler’s pet peeves. And it’s happened frequently enough for me to have to have an exit strategy all ready. Once or twice it has gone in very odd and disconcerting directions as in, the couple ask you to join them in newly married bliss. But the operating principal here is, couples think single woman traveler equals slut. Somehow your very singleness threatens their status as married people.

Let’s just set the record straight right here. Just because I’m traveling alone doesn’t mean I want to a) sleep with your husband, b) sleep with you, c) sleep with you and your husband or watch you two go at it either. I am traveling solo because I like to explore the world and I’m not afraid to do it on my own. And if I hook up with someone it’s going to be someone I choose who is not hobbled at the hip to a chartreuse green spouse whose possessively smug look reminds one of the late Leona Helmsley “standing guard” outside one of her hotels.

While you don’t have to lie, I’ve found these strategies to help others understand that solo traveler doesn’t mean homewrecking ho.

  • When asked where is your significant other, be vague. Say something like he’ll be along presently. Presently could mean next week.
  • Wear a wedding ring. I bought a cheap Lord of the Rings gold replica ring from Barnes & Noble before traveling through Egypt, where single women are constantly harassed. I had to say nothing because no one asked, seeing the golden band on my finger. Little did anyone know that my symbolic spouse was Frodo Baggins.
  • If you do find yourself running into couples and having to socialize with them (unavoidable in places like Tahiti) concentrate your conversation on the wife. Involve others, like bartenders, in the conversation and excuse yourself if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Keep your room key in your bag, not out on a table for people to note down the number.Those are just some of my strategies. Now give us yours! It’s up to us singlemindedwomen travelers to set the record straight. No, we don’t find your husband’s ear hair sexy!

Other great travel articles from SMW

Booking Travel on the Web

Traveling Solo Safely

Single in the City