Solo travel is fast becoming one of the top ways to get out and explore the world. It may seem daunting or overwhelming to go alone, but those who’ve done it say it’s the most freeing thing you can do. The key to doing it right is to pick the best solo travel destinations for you by considering the experience you want to get out of the trip, and doing your research beforehand.
When you’re looking at the best places to travel solo, take into account how easy it is to communicate with the locals, how safe the city or region is, how you’ll get around from place to place, and what kind of sights you can see. Finding out how friendly the locals are and the presence of other solo travelers is also important. Just because you want to travel solo, doesn’t mean you want to be alone for the entire journey! Let’s take a look at a range of different destinations that we think are the best places to travel solo this year:
Bali is so often at the top of the list of solo travel destinations thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular memoir Eat, Pray, Love. But just because it’s an obvious choice, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on your bucket list. The island is stunning, with so much to see and do—visiting the temples in Ubud, hitting the beaches, going surfing, hiking, or just soaking up the beautiful culture. It’s very safe too, although like in most places, women should be mindful of their surroundings if they go out alone at night.
The locals are very friendly and just about everyone involved in tourism speaks some English, so you shouldn't have any issues communicating. It’s a good idea to learn a few words in Balinese, even if it’s just to say hello or thank you.
As the island is geared towards promoting tourism you'll find it easy to get around, and there are taxis and “Bemo” (public buses) that run regularly. Hiring a scooter is a popular option for many tourists as it makes you more independent and lets you explore at your own pace.
Pro Tip: Bali is a hotspot for digital nomads & remote workers. Swing by a coffee shop or restaurant with Wifi and you’ll be sure to run into other solo travelers eager to hang out.
If a city vibe and good nightlife are more your thing, then Berlin is the place to go. The city is super friendly and the beer gardens are the perfect place for the solo traveler to make friends and learn about those hidden gems. As the city is so diverse, most Berliners speak at least a little bit of English as it’s essentially their second language.
Berlin is a hub of culture, history, cuisine, and so much more. It’s also apparently easier to get into Berghain, the most famous nightclub in the whole city, if you go alone, just be alert if you walk home afterwards. During the day, walking around is very safe and the city’s network of S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses, and trams make traveling around simple.
Masai Mara, Kenya
For a bush adventure, you can’t get better than the Masai Mara in Kenya. As a solo traveler it’s perfectly safe as there are plenty of group tours that you can go on. You don’t have to join one of those massive overland buses if you still want that solitude feeling. Simply go for a smaller, more intimate tour with a minimal number of fellow adventure seekers.
Just remember that there is no real public transport or local infrastructure, and walking around isn't advisable - but it’s not other people you need to worry about, it’s wild animals!
This is a great spot for the history buffs. Walking through Rome is an adventure all on its own. The city is full of historical sites, architectural wonders, art galleries, museums and some of the best restaurants in the world. It’s perfectly safe to walk around at any time, but always be cautious at night, Rome’s pickpockets are out in full force after dark.
You’ll be hard-pressed to feel lonely or bored in such a vibrant city and you’ll likely meet other travelers at many of the popular sights and attractions. There shouldn't be too much of a language barrier, but Italians have a heartwarming habit of speaking Italian to those they know don’t understand the language. When this happens a friendly attitude will help you to smooth over any communication issues.
Portland, Oregon, USA
Portland has become a thriving hub of culture, food, and great city socializing. All in all, it’s a brilliant spot for a solo city break. You can visit the wineries, the microbreweries, the excellent coffee shops and all of the restaurants.
The city is also really easy to navigate, with a bike-share program and top-quality public transport. Another bonus is that it’s a safe destination for solo travel for women. Plus, there’s no language barrier as every American speaks English. You won’t have any problem communicating, no matter where you go.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
The city of Chiang Mai offers visitors to Thailand something a little quieter than the capital of Bangkok, but you can still shop till you drop in the markets. Additionally, the food available in Chiang Mai is possibly the best in the whole country. It’s a foodie’s dream spot. The region is also completely safe for solo travelers, meaning you can wander through the night markets and eat up a storm at all the small vendors. Getting around is easy and there are tuk-tuks, taxis, scooter rentals, rail transport, busses and bicycles for hire.
Thai people are very warm and friendly, but they don’t all speak English. However, in Chiang Mai, many of them understand the language, and will happily help you find someone to talk to if you need assistance or have questions.
Top tip: Try one of the cooking tours to connect with other travelers. These take you to the best markets, introduce you to the local ingredients, and show you how to make Thai food like an expert.
East Coast of Australia
If a road trip is what you want, then the East Coast of Australia is the perfect place to go. There is an incredible stretch of road that runs between the cities of Cairns and Sydney. Between the two, you’ll get to see the Great Barrier Reef out to sea, the Daintree Rainforest, and the iconic Bondi Beach. There are even tours that are led by the Aboriginal communities in the area that show you parts of Australia that most people never see.
For solo travelers, this part of Australia is extremely safe and everyone speaks English. The best way to get around is to rent a car, but you can also get a bus pass that you can use not just on the East Coast, but all over the country.
Patagonia, South America
There is so much to explore in the Patagonia region of South America that you could easily take several months to solo travel here. The region is geared towards overlanding with plenty of great travel hubs off the beaten track. If you’re going on a road trip on your own you can rest easy that there are well-established spots where you can get assistance if you need it, and can safely refuel and rest up.
You may find communication a bit of a struggle here, as it is in almost all Latin American countries. It’s a good idea to learn a little Spanish so you can ask basic questions if you get lost, need a place to stay or are hungry.
Most people agree that this is the safest part of South America for solo travelers, and if you don’t rent a car, then there are local buses that run at regular intervals every day.
Redding, California, USA
Redding isn’t the most obvious place for a solo adventure in the USA, but it’s one you have to add to the list if you’re keen on exploring untouched nature. The town is surrounded by forests, parks, and the incredibly beautiful Lake Shasta.
In the town you’ll find the friendliest locals, so you won’t be exploring alone for long; making it one of the best places to travel solo in the USA. Everyone speaks English and it’s safe for travelers who want to explore off the beaten track. However, if you’re planning on exploring the nearby forests and lake, it’s always advisable (no matter where you are in the world) to take someone with you in case you run into trouble.
Renting a car is a great idea here, but you can also walk and cycle around, or use Uber and Lyft.
Dalmatian Coastline, Croatia
If it’s crystal-clear blue waters you’re after, Croatia’s Dalmatian coastline is the place to go. You can rent a car and drive from village to village or you can take one of the buses that run day and night. You’ll find some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste and the region is also well-known for its cheeses and wines.
The beaches here are excellent too and you can ferry between the islands at your leisure. You can also find the perfect price point for your budget as there are a wide variety of accommodation options available. Approximately 81% of Croatians speak English as a second language, so you shouldn’t have too many issues communicating or even making new friends.
Thinking of Traveling Solo?
Solo travel is a wonderful way to see the world on your terms, at your pace. You can travel light and see exactly what you want to, when you want to!
About the Author
|Donna Jefferson is a writer, editor, and health and wellness enthusiast covering topics on parenting and senior health. Donna leads a fairly active lifestyle, and enjoys sweating it out at the gym or going on hikes with friends during her free time.|