Traveling Alone to Palestine: Western media often portrays the Middle East as a very dangerous place for solo travelers, particularly solo female travelers. However, there is no reason to be worried about traveling alone to Palestine. There are so many wonderful things to experience here in Palestine. The food, the culture, the beautiful landscape, the lovely people, and the unbelievable hospitality are among those things. We would hate for worries to get in the way of experiencing life in Palestine. Therefore, we want to share our advice for traveling alone to Palestine, as well as some things travelers will likely experience. We hope after reading this article you will see that there is nothing to worry about in coming to Palestine as a solo traveler.
When traveling, no matter where you go, having street smarts is always a good idea. Using common sense to determine what to do, where to go, who to get a ride from, etc. is vital for any place that you travel to. Being careless can get you into trouble, but as long as you remain alert and aware of your surroundings, you will be very safe. When traveling in the Middle East, specifically, female travelers should be conscious of their dress. In Palestine, it is not necessary for women to wear a head scarf, but it will be necessary to wear shirts with sleeves and long pants or skirts. Dressing conservatively will show respect to the local culture.
When it comes to shopping at the marketplace, haggling is custom. Most Westerners expect to see a set price at shops. However, in the Middle East, you can expect to do some bartering. Whether you are shopping at the market or taking a taxi to your destination, do not be afraid to bargain with the shop owner or taxi driver. However, keep in mind that it will be disrespectful to drop the price too low. You do not want to insult the person you are bartering with by doing this.
Another custom to get used to as a solo traveler is the way people greet one another in Palestine. The phrase “Asalamu alaykum” is often exchanged, meaning peace be upon you. In response, you will hear people say “wa alaykum asalam.” Another way to greet someone in Palestine is with a simple “Marhaban,” meaning hello. As for interactions between men and women, it is not typical for men to shake a woman’s hand unless she extends her hand first. However, when a woman is traveling to Palestine, she can expect to greet other woman with a kiss on each cheek.
You will find that traveling alone to Palestine is very easy and far more safe than the media portrays. Palestinians are a welcoming people who are happy to help you find where you need to go and even lend a phone if you need to make a call. Of course, trust your instincts anytime you are in a country you are unfamiliar with. But with that said, you have no reason to fear solo traveling to Palestine. Palestinians will be glad to welcome you with, “ahlan wa sahlan.” You will hear this phrase repeated again and again during your time in Palestine.