In the spirit of global girl power, we think our readers should take the plunge and travel solo. While travelling solo can be daunting and loneliness, organisation and crucially, safety, are valid concerns, we see it as a rite of passage and experience you can be proud of.
In the words of pioneering aviator Amelia Earheart:
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
Check out Holidayguru’s Top 10 destinations for female Solo travel, according to our savvy female staff members and friends.
The Best Destinations for Female Solo Travel
Australia | South of France | Thailand | Sweden | Turkey | Slovenia | Canada | Costa Rica | Tanzania | Japan
Cosmopolitan cities, sandy beaches, rugged wilderness and the Great Barrier Reef. Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to see Australia? Of course, it’s expensive to get to and pricey once you’re there ($12 for a beer, anyone?) but this shouldn’t put you off taking the plunge down under for your big solo adventure.
“There are so many backpackers there that the tourism industry is really tailored to solo travel,” according to Online editor for Holidayguru Netherlands Willeke van Doorn, who’s been twice.
Having been to Australia twice, Willeke says: “If you are open to meeting new people you’ll never really be alone. It’s also one of the safest countries to travel too, I always felt comfortable going out and about on my own. Plus, koalas are adorable!”
South of France
For first-time solo travellers, European cities are probably a good way to test the waters. But who says you have to just see one? The glitzy Cote d’Azur is a great way to enjoy some beachside glamour and delicious food – both Italian and French! Inland, there are beautiful wildlife parks and mountain-top medieval towns.
Astrid Klaver is an SEO manager at Holidayguru. She said: “I booked a one-way ticket to the South of France. There is so much to see and do there, I went to a different town every day.
“Monaco, Nice, Cannes and the artist village of Saint-Paul de Vence are all unique in their own way. I didn’t get bored for a second and at the end, I just booked a flight back.”
While Thailand is a well-worn backpacking trail, its undeniable beauty, friendliness of the locals and ease in which you can travel around makes it perfect for the solo adventurer. Not to mention, it’s got some mouthwatering food with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
“Whether you want to explore the North with its amazing temples and wild nature or the paradise beaches in the South, you will never feel lonely,” says Rosella di Gioia from Holidayguru Italy.
“Travelling in the country by bus or plane is super easy and if you enough have time, you could also easily reach Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar or Laos with low-cost flights.”
Sweden’s modern cities, coupled with its reputed safety and laid back atmosphere, make it a great place for a solo city break. You’ll be enchanted by Stockholm’s waterside buildings and modern touches!
Ella Carroll from Holidayguru.ie took her first solo trip to Sweden last year. She recommends adding in a trip to the North as well. She said: “It is an incredibly remote and wild region, but in the end, it ended up being my favourite part of the trip.
“People were so welcoming – people were happy to tell you about life there and will be more than happy to help you if you’re a bit stuck.”
As the meeting point between Europe and Asia, Turkey offers plenty of architectural treasures from empires past. The Turkish Riviera offers the perfect sun holiday, while Pamukkale offers the chance to see Roman ruins amongst white travertine terraces. Istanbul’s international vibe makes it a great place to party after a day of sightseeing.
Nerea Gutiérrez Ruiz is online editor for Holidayguru Spain. She says: “If you prepare your trip a bit in advance the language doesn’t need to be a problem. I’ve been in four different cities in Turkey and the people will try to help you all the time.
She has a solo travel tip for counteracting unwanted attention too: “You just need to know how to be polite, and tell them you would like to be alone.”
Slovenia’s efficient and well-connected rail network means you can enjoy solo travel from city to city and even over to Italy with ease. From the eco-friendly elegance of Ljubljana to the Venetian beauty of seaside Piran, Slovenia’s cities are perfect for the any budding photographer on the go. Omega Love, founder of lifestyle blog Love Scribe says: “The streets of Ljubljana are buzzing because of the university but the city isn’t boisterous – it’s subtly elegant and charming.
“In Piran, there’s a gorgeous castle and centuries-old cathedrals dotted around the city. The main square is an Instagrammer’s dream.
“As a female traveller, I felt really safe even though I was alone. The highlight of Slovenia is that you can travel around so easily and that made me feel really empowered.”
Canada’s mix of urban and woodland charms give it constant variety. You can go hiking in the mountains of Alberta or be astonished at the picture-perfect lakes in Banff National Park. Want to practice your French? Go to the East Coast and visit Quebéc and Montreal.
Marit from Holidayguru NL travelled through Canada last year. She said that the “mind-blowing” North American country lives up to its reputation of friendliness and natural splendours. “Canadians won’t hesitate for a second to help you out or have a chat with you,” she said.
“Keep your eyes on the road and before you know it, you could see a momma bear with cubs or an elk with giant antlers!”
With a population of less than five million, Costa Rica is small but it certainly packs a punch. This critter-filled Central American America is home to a variety of ecosystems and 28 national parks. Chill on tropical beaches, hang out with a sloth or zip line through clouded forests.
Marit says: “Costa Rica has it all. People are friendly and helpful and will do anything to make you feel welcome.” What is great about this country when you travel solo, you won’t stay solo for long. It’s a popular route for backpacking and you meet loads of young people in hostels. But not only that, “You can book a cool hostel on the beach or in the rainforest and meet like-minded travellers. Also getting around is not very difficult.
“Travelling around the country is super easy and safe because you can usually book a direct shuttle to your next destination from your hostel.”
Tanzania must have been the inspiration behind Toto’s “Africa”. This East African country will definitely have you singing to the top of your lungs! From the tropical islands of Zanzibar and Mafia to marvelling at the Big 5 in the Serengeti, Tanzania is a mishmash of cultures and colours.
As an English teacher Daire Louise Ni Dhubhda has lived in Abhu Dabi, Vietnam and Australia. Having mastered the art of solo travel, she says Tanzania is by far her favourite destination.
“People are so welcoming and hospitable,” she said. “‘Karibu sana’ is their local phrase in Swahili, meaning you are most welcome.”
What amazed her is the multiculturalism but also the darker side of history that she encountered: “There’s a mix of African and Arabic cultures as it used to be under Omani rule. There’s also its history of slave selling to learn about.”
Daire says her solo travel tip is to “make friends with a local and get a driver – they will haggle on your behalf!”.
This is a destination for the more advanced solo traveller. You won’t get very far with English in Japan, but the good transport in and between the cities and the famously low crime rate make this Asian country a must for a solo holiday. Enjoy a meal for one at a steaming ramen counter. Challenge yourself as you navigate signage and maps. Grab the bullet train to travel cross-country. Stay overnight in hostels to save some costs and meet other travellers. Be warned, it is a bit isolating but ultimately rewarding.
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