Making the decision to travel solo- even if it’s slightly scary at the time- is often the easy part. The harder part is figuring out the best place to go!
Of course, you can go wherever you want in this big wide world on your own! But there are some places especially suited to solo travel- places you’ll have amazing adventures, unforgettable experiences and meet incredible new people (remember, travel friends are often life friends!)
So, if you’ve made the decision to hit the road by yourself but you’re not quite sure where to go, I’ve got you covered. I’ve rounded up the best spots for solo travelers around the world, what ever your interests or travel preferences may be!
You’re a Nervous First Timer
If you’re feeling nervous about going solo, try somewhere with a well developed tourist industry like Portugal or Thailand. Both offer amazing cultural experiences, great food and beautiful scenery as well as decent infrastructure and lots of other tourists/travelers to connect with!
You’re a Reasonably Confident First Timer
It may be your first solo trip but you’re reasonably well traveled and looking for somewhere a little challenging. Stick to South East Asia but avoid anywhere with a direct flight from Europe; try Vietnam or Cambodia. Though they can’t be described as ‘off the beaten track’ they still provide plenty of opportunities for adventure! They also attract lots of solo travellers, backpackers and people looking for something a little more adventurous meaning you will literally never be short of some company!
You’re looking for a new Tribe
Looking to meet cool, like minded people?
Try a hipster summer camp like Maderas Village in San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua (see featured image). This darling of travel magazines is all about the ‘experience’, with the emphasis on good food, good design and good wifi in a beautiful coastal setting.
Or go for a co-working/living space like The Onion Collective in Ubud, Bali for a welcoming place with heaps of extras- great onsite restaurant, swimming pool and lots of events- in one of the most beautiful places on Earth!
You’re an adreneline junkie
New Zealand. With stunning scenery and a ridiculous wealth of activities on offer – skiing, hiking, kayaking, bungee jumping, skydiving, white water rafting- New Zealand is the place for you!
You’re feeling a little adventurous but don’t want to go too crazy!
This isn’t your first solo adventure. Maybe you’ve backpacked through South East Asia or Central America by yourself and you’re feeling brave; but not bungee jump brave or completely off grid brave. More ‘I’d like a little more off the beaten track’ brave. Try Mozambique. It has the most stunning coastline; plenty to see and do; enough of a tourist market to make sure you’ll meet other travelers along the way but still not entirely overrun.
You’re looking for some luxe
Even if you’ve been happy enough to rough it in the past, sometimes we all just like a bit of comfort with our adventures! You lead a busy life and you want to be able to relax on your holidays, while still do something a little unusual. So try a yoga cruise in Greece or Turkey! I’ve been obsessing over the idea of a yoga cruise for a while now, inspired by Nadia -The Daily S’elf.
Also great for solo luxe breaks? Mediterranean cities like Tel Aviv, warm in temperature and welcome with lots of great accommodation options or glam Greek islands like Antiparos. Or if you’ve got some proper cash for a seriously luxe break anyway try GHM hotels like the Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam or the Chedi in Muscat, Oman.
You just want Beach, Beach, Beach!
Sri Lanka. The Phillipines. Greece. Portugal. Costa Rica. Mozambique. Brazil. There are so many great beach destinations out there!
As a solo traveler, try to avoid package holiday destinations. They’re typically full of couples, families and drunken groups (nothing wrong with that of course but not great for mixing). Go for chilled out surfer towns like Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka (above) that attract more solo travelers or chilled out types.
You just want to party!
Looking to just let loose? Then try Ibiza or Croatia. The White Isle also has a whole host of wellness options and chilled out spots so you can combine a detox with a retox! Croatia’s Adriatic coast hosts a whole heap of festivals and parties every summer.
Thailand is always an option of course but in my opinion, not quite worth the flight from Europe if all you’re interested in is drinking and dancing. Stick closer to home and save your cash for more booze!
First Timer: Africa
You’ve travelled solo before or are well travelled but it’s your first trip to Africa and you’re not sure where to pick? This is a hard one as there’s so many great options!
Uganda was the first African country I visited and I still think it’s fantastic! But Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Zanzibar and Mozambique are all great options. South Africa is one of the best all-rounders offering beautiful beaches, stunning safaris and plenty of culture.
Obviously at the moment, West Africa should be avoided for security reasons but that still leaves you with a whole host of amazing options!
Kombi Tours is a unique tour company based in Uganda with an extensive range of safari and tour packages exploring Uganda, Rwanda and DRC- in a Kombi! Definitely a safari with a difference.
You’re all about the food
This is a hard one to narrow down! Singapore is probably the most food obsessed city in the world but Hong Kong isn’t too far behind it; Italy is a classic in terms of quality and variety of produce but Israel is the place to go for great fusion! The Basque region in Spain is also a culinary hotspot!
First Timer: Middle East
Try Jordan- Rough Guides calls it ‘a gentle introduction to the Middle East,’ Explore ancient cities, float in the dead sea, camp in the desert, soak up the atmosphere of the cosmopolitan capital Amman. I always recommend Oman as a holiday destination too but it’s not ideal for solo travel, as it has poor public infrastructure and is pretty expensive!
You’re a Bit Basic
Thailand, of course. (There’s no judgement!).
You want to REALLY go off the beaten track
Then the ‘Stans are for you! That’s the five Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan -although if you didn’t already know that, then you probably won’t want to go! Lying between Russia, China and India, the ‘Stans offer a unique travel experience! Intrepid travelers who did South East Asia way back are now exploring this part of Central Asia.
You want full on adventure!
Check out Secret Compass. They’re an independent expedition company and their website is one of my absolute favourite ‘dream trip planning’ hits! Offering activities such as hiking, biking and water rafting in truly exotic destinations like Gabon, Burma, Mongolia and Bhutan, this is one for the truly adventurous!