Solo travel, for women, is not just about the experience. It is also about empowerment, education, and excitement! It frees you up to do the things you want in the places you want, without being bound by the constraints of home or office. There is plenty of information and advice out there about solo trips for women.
While some speak about the ‘safest countries for women’, others showcase exotic destinations as the ‘best solo vacations for females’. Using your discretion is key here and so is making all the plans for travel right from flight bookings to accommodation and transport at your destination.
Zeroing in on the perfect destination for your solo sojourn is not easy, irrespective of whether this is your first time or not. So, before you start packing your bags, check out this list of best places for solo female travel!
Best Places for Solo Women Travelers
Apart from the stunning landscapes that you will chance upon here, Reykjavik is one of the safest cities in the world. The low crime rate coupled with the impressive travel infrastructure make this a must when looking for destinations for solo trips for women, especially the first-timers. From snorkeling and horseback riding, there’s plenty of adventure awaiting you here. After each day of fun, hit the charming cafes located all across the city and sample their exotic concoctions. Take along a book if you’d like and spend a while people-watching. Get your fill of Viking history at National and Saga museums. Enjoy rejuvenating in the mineral-rich geothermal water of the Blue Lagoon.
A must for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike, this beautiful city offers easy access to miles and miles of hiking and cycling trails. Admire the scenic landscape of the western coastline of the US with your choice of activities. With the snowy peak of Mount Hood as a backdrop, this scenic city has a bustling theater, music, and art scene. When you are done browsing the numerous charming art galleries, stop by popular eateries for a taste of local flavor. Portland is a foodie paradise where Southeast Asian restaurants rub shoulders with steakhouses. Don’t forget to check out the vibrant food truck scene!
The first thing you’ll notice about Tokyo is how systematic and organized the city is. Efficient public transportation makes it easy to get around and there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy each day. From themed cafes to fascinating museums, you get to take you pick of places to explore. Settle down in one of the tranquil parks to people watch and pop into the elegant restaurants for unique dining experiences. The plus point, no one will give you a second look just because you’re dining alone! Besides the capital city, Kyoto and Osaka are also great destinations to include on your solo travel list.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
This is an ideal destination for first-timers to get their feet wet, as you don’t have to travel too far from home. US dollars are accepted as currency and you are saved the hassle of getting your money exchanged every now and then. English is understood and spoken too. At the same time, it’s in a different country with plenty of unique cultural experiences and attractions to explore. The pristine coastline offers a choice of splendid beaches such as Playa del Carmen while Mayan ruins beckon you to Tulum. Yoga retreats and all-inclusive resorts ensure that there is no dearth of accommodations to suit ever budget and taste.
Besides being known for its vibrant live-music events, Austin is known for its fine museums. Sprawling parks and water bodies abound making it a great place for pursuits such as boating, swimming, hiking, and cycling. For a dash of adventure, you could try kayaking, indoor skydiving, and Segway tours. The diverse culinary scene make the capital city of Texas a must-visit for foodies. From food trucks to elegant restaurants specializing in barbecue delicacies, there’s plenty of stuff to get your taste buds tingling.
Counted among one of the safest destinations for solo trips for women, Taipei in Taiwan is also quite affordable. Getting around Taipei is easy given its well-connected public transportation network including the metro. There are plenty of hostels and hotels that cater especially to solo women travelers. The city is a dream come true for culture and arts enthusiasts with a smattering of museums available for exploration. Traditional night markets, religious shrines, and malls co-exist in harmony. Signboards are provided in English and metro platforms have specially marked zones for women commuters that are closely monitored by CCTV cameras.
Lombok is a lesser-known albeit beautiful destination that is often overlooked for its more popular neighbor, Bali. Private cars and taxis are the primary means of commuting on this island. You could also rent scooters and get a taste of how the locals live and get around. Since this island is primarily dominated by Muslims, modest attire is recommended. Soaking in the sun on pristine beaches bordering the crystal clear water sits at the top of the list of things to do while here. Apart from this, you can explore the rugged countryside and stop by the numerous ancient shrines around.
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
A solo trip to the beautiful archipelago is a great way of communing with nature in solitude. Along with the opportunity to get up and close with unique species of wildlife and birds, these islands give you the chance to meet up with fellow solo explorers. This UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site is perfect for outdoor recreation with its splendid beaches and crystal clear water. Try snorkeling, island cruises, and kayaking. You could also simply soak in the sun on the sand or try out the local restaurants with their range of special treats.
Quite often, the first image that comes to mind when one thinks of Europe are the rolling hills of Switzerland. A blend of natural beauty and sleek modernity, Zurich will leave an everlasting imprint on your mind. Majestic old buildings and bridges dot the city and offer plenty of picturesque photo opportunities. Jogging, cycling and walking trails by Lake Zurich, boating tours and cruises, are some ways of enjoying the outdoors. An extensive network of trams, buses, and trains make it easy to get around the city. A trip to the old town area, farmers’ markets, and vantage viewpoints are some ways of making the most of the city.
Washington, D.C, USA
When you are in the capital city of the United States, there will never be a dull moment, ever! One of the top destinations in lists of solo trips for women, Washington D.C. has accommodations to cater to every need. From long-stay options to hostels, you are spoiled for choice. Set off to explore the mind-boggling array of museums, historic monuments, and huge shopping complexes such as the National Mall. The diverse cultural make-up of the city ensures it has a happening culinary scene.
Singapore City, Singapore
The city is often counted among the safest for solo women travelers given its low crime rate and efficient public transportation network. Buses and the subway are the best ways of seeing the city. It won’t take you more than half an hour to travel from one end to the other of the city. Even the heavily populated areas such as Chinatown and Little India are pretty safe. Being a hub of air transport, it offers direct flights to numerous major cities across the world including San Francisco, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Bangalore to name a few.
The fun and entertainment capital of Europe, Netherlands is a good choice for solo trips for men. Besides the excellent local transit system, this pulsating city is also a hub of museums and quirky attractions. Hostels and hotels tend to be booked out during peak season and you might want to book well ahead to avoid any disappointment. Browsing the street markets and exploring the museums are just some of the thing that await you here. Shopping and pub-hopping are other activities that might interest you.
Traveling alone, be it men or women, comes with its own sets of challenges. Being aware of these before you head out and arming yourself to face them can smoothen the way and ensure you have a memorable vacation.
- Take the path less trodden – Look at your solo trip as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. It is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of the place you’re visiting and to experience life like a local. Try the local cuisine, opt for homestays or vacation rentals, and participate in local festivals or events.
- Add a dash of adventure – Try out new things that you’ve always wanted to but never got around to doing. Zip lining, scuba diving with sharks, walking safaris, and overnight hikes are all up for grabs. It’s okay to be adventurous but try to find a support group or program in case you need any help. Keep your family and group members informed of your whereabouts, especially when out on adventure activities.
- Create a visual record – Don’t forget to take along a really good camera to capture those memorable moments and fantastic places you stop by. Someday, you could compile all of these images into a storybook or similar memento to be preserved for posterity.
- See that you don’t overshare – While it’s a good idea to keep family and friends updated about your whereabouts when traveling solo, see to it that you’re not broadcasting every single move. When making social media posts, ensure that you’re not providing detailed information to online predators in any way. Sharing too much can prove dangerous in some instances.
- Make use of technology – Download all necessary phone apps that could come in handy when you’re far from home. For instance, an app such as Google Maps can help you with directions and road maps. Similarly, you could opt for a language translation app that helps you get the message across even in a strange, new environment.
- Watch the cash – While you might want to keep a small amount of cash handy for emergency transactions, it is not advisable to carry huge amounts irrespective of your destination. Be wary of traveling to secluded spots and seedy localities in the cities you visit. Flashing around a lot of cash is sure to catch the eye of unscrupulous and unsavory individuals and that is best avoided.
As women, we would love to believe that the world is our oyster and we are free to travel anywhere we wish. Technically speaking too, a woman is free to travel alone so long as she has the means and all necessary travel documents! However, common sense and statistics dictate that not every place in the world is safe for solo trips for women. While New York City (NYC) and Los Angeles top the list of American cities popular with solo women travelers, Paris in France and the city state of Singapore are preferred international choices. Rome, Italy, and Barcelona in Spain follow closely.
What seems like a good vacation to one woman might not seem that way to another! We all have our likes and dislikes, and individual preferences. If you’re looking to get away from it all and simply relax, then heading to a tropical destination with plenty of sunshine, azure water, and never-ending margaritas might be the ultimate vacation! For those seeking adventure, destinations off the beaten path such as mystical Morocco, the desert landscape of Jordan, and the laidback lifestyle of Laos might be good choices.
Your definition of ‘best solo vacations for females’ is likely to differ from that of the next person. So, what appeals to one may not be the preferred choice for another. Some vacation ideas popular with solo women travelers are island getaways, cultural escapades, foodie tours, themed cruises, and adventure tourism.
There are plenty of safe destinations around the world that are perfect for women traveling alone. They include cities such as Zurich in Switzerland, Kyoto in Japan, Bergen in Norway, and Singapore City. New York City, Vancouver in Canada, and Austin in Texas are some of the cities in the North American region.
The list of safest countries for women is quite a long one and you do have plenty of options. Some noteworthy mentions on this list include Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, Portugal, French Polynesia, Japan, and Iceland.