One thing I get asked about a lot is solo travel. I hear a lot of “I could never do that. I am not brave enough.” I don’t consider myself to be brave or particularly adventurous to be honest. So why do I travel solo? I do it because I don’t have someone to travel with regularly and I refuse to sit at home and let life pass me by while I wait for a travel companion that may never come.
To date, I have traveled on my own a couple dozen times and have some amazing and funny memories from these trips. I have found a peace in traveling solo, problem solving on my own and not having to please anyone else along the way.
If you find yourself contemplating taking a solo trip but are not sure where to start, I have some ideas for you! Below, I list 10 amazing destinations for solo travelers.
Three Things to Consider Before Booking a Solo Trip
In general, there are three things in particular that I consider before booking a trip as a solo female traveler. They are:
- Is the destination “safe” and how does the country treat women?
- What is the native language and will I encounter people on a regular basis who can speak some English?
- What is the transportation situation? Is renting a car or driver necessary or is public transportation easily accessible and reliable?
10 Amazing Destinations for Solo Travelers
I know that Hawaii doesn’t seem like it would be an amazing destination for solo travelers but it is my favorite place to go as a solo traveler. I have been to Hawaii four times, three times solo. Yes, you will be surrounded by lots of couples and families. However, there is plenty of beach and pool space for everyone.
I like Hawaii because I feel very safe there. The weather is almost always nice. You will get the occasional rain shower but it means there is likely a rainbow to follow.
Renting a car in Hawaii is necessary but the rental process is easy and most of the driving is small towns and paved so it is easy. If you do go somewhere you are not comfortable driving (ie. the Road to Hana), join an organized tour and let an expert do the driving.
There are lots of restaurants with great food and the Hawaiian people are wonderful. I do encourage you to learn about the Hawaiian culture before you travel so you understand Hawaii’s history. It is key to respecting that culture while you are visiting.
I booked a trip to Greece in 2014 to meet up with some friends who were visiting there. While I spent several days with them on the island of Skiathos, I traveled through Athens, Santorini and Mykonos on my own.
I found exploring Athens and then traveling to and around the islands to be fairly easy, other than one evening when all of the ferries were canceled as I was trying to get from Mykonos to Santorini. The islands were small enough that I felt like I could walk around and see most of what I wanted to see, even without a car. There were restaurants everywhere with delicious Greek food.
Australia is a GREAT option for solo travelers. There is so much to see and do. The one thing to keep in mind is that Australia is a huge country, so you will need to pick and choose what you want to do.
I started my trip in Sydney where I met up with a couple of friends. We toured the opera house, climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge and did the Coogee to Bondi Beach coastal walk. After a brief stop in Canberra to see a friend and her mom, I spent time on my own visiting Uluru and then scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
I flew from place to place within Australia since the country is so big but when I was in different areas of the country, I was able to walk to restaurants for dinner each evening with no problems.
While I traveled to and from Croatia on my own, I traveled through the country as part of an organized tour with Trafalgar. This was my second time traveling as part of an organized tour. I was much more comfortable with splitting off and doing my own thing this time. I did a lot of my own exploring and ate meals at restaurants I wanted to try this time.
I liked that my transportation around the country was taken care of. Croatia is filled with great people and good food. It has an interesting history as well. Dubrovnik. Split. Hvar. These are just a few of the places you should check out while you are there. While you’re at it, add Slovenia to your Croatian itinerary. Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited.
This one definitely isn’t a secret. I have been to Italy twice and definitely think it is a good option for solo travelers. Rome, Florence and Venice are all easily accessible by train. All of them are easily walkable too.
I would recommend going during the shoulder seasons (April and September or October) if you can to avoid the massive crowds. Also, make sure to plan ahead. I am all for going to a place and then deciding when to do things but Italy is not the place for winging it. If you want to check out the Colosseum, the Vatican and the museums in Florence, make reservations ahead of time so you don’t waste hours of your trip waiting in lines.
London is my favorite international city to visit and definitely one of the most amazing destinations for solo travelers. It is also the first city I visited solo. I landed in London in 2013 to meet up with my Contiki travel group. It was my first time abroad and I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe, even with minimal travel experience.
There is so much to see and do in London. This is one city where the hop on and off tours buses are popular. I recommend joining one of them to start you visit so you can get the lay of the city and then plan to hop off and on accordingly.
New York City, USA
New York, New York! One of my favorite cities to visit. I have been there several times and still don’t feel like I have even scratched the surface on all there is to see.
Go to a Broadway show. Check out Times Square. Walk through different neighborhoods. Visit the Top of the Rock. Meander through Central Park. Explore the museums. Take the subway.
Your feet will be sore when you leave but it will all be worth it.
I can’t write an article about amazing destinations for solo travelers and not mention my favorite city – Chicago. Obviously since I live here, I love it and think it is a great place to live and visit. I admit to my biases.
There is so much to do here! Take an architectural cruise via a boat on the Chicago River. See the Bean in Millennium Park. Have a drink at the Signature Room in the former Hancock Tower. Step out on the ledges at Willis Tower. Go to a baseball game a Wrigley Field. hang out at one of the many beaches along Lake Michigan. Enjoy delicious food all over the city.
Chicago is also a great place for a girls’ weekend if you are looking into destinations for that as well.
There are a lot of great places to visit in the Caribbean. However, I am very picky because I do not like staying at all inclusive resorts. I think they are the worst for solo travelers to be honest because options are so limited and I tend to feel trapped on the resort. While many islands in the Caribbean are full of all inclusive resorts, one that is not is Grand Cayman. And therefore, I think it is a good option for solo travel.
I flew to Grand Cayman to finish my open water scuba diving certification. It seemed like a much more pleasant way to do it than in a local quarry in rural Illinois.
I stay at the Sunshine Suites, which was across the road from Seven Mile Beach. Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman is one of the nicest, most picturesque beaches I have been to. The sand it white and the water was clear. I did not rent a car but was able to use the buses to get around. They have some great restaurants worth checking out too. Diving was great too if you are a fan of scuba diving.
I visited Alaska as part of my quest to visit 50 states that I finished in 2018. I spent a week in Alaska, visiting Anchorage, Kenai Fjords National Park, Denali National Park and finishing my trip in Fairbanks (where it was 90 degrees F the day I left!).
I did not rent a car, instead choosing to utilize organized tours and the Alaskan Railroad to get around. I LOVED LOVED LOVED taking the Alaskan Railroad through the Alaskan countryside. I splurged and got a seat on the first car where food and drinks were included. The best part was the little balcony off the back of the train car. I spend a lot of time out there during the trip admiring the Alaskan scenery as it went by, looking for moose and breathing in the fresh air.
If you are going to Alaska, I highly recommend taking the train for at least part of your journey. You won’t regret letting someone else do the driving while you relax and gaze at the scenery.
Amazing Destinations for Solo Female Travelers
There you have my list. I hope it inspires you to go for it! Solo travel can be so rewarding. There are many benefits to traveling solo. You can check out some of them here.
As for me, I can’t wait to keep traveling solo. Some of the places I hope to visit soon include Switzerland, Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand and Japan!
I cannot wait to start planning and take off!