Solo travel is an enriching experience that everyone should consider at some point in life. Sure, traveling with a partner or a group of friends can provide wonderful memories, but they can also become a distraction. With the freedom to decide how you want to spend your time and budget, solo travel can allow you to focus less on others and more on the exciting culture, sights and scenery of your destination.
Many people dismiss the idea the traveling alone because they assume, they may be lonely or worse yet, unsafe. However, there are certain places that wonderfully accommodate a solo traveler, and some spots are even better experienced by oneself.
Here are seven exciting destinations worth visiting the next time you want to jet off without a plus one.
The “City of Love” may be the last place you would think of visiting alone. But solo travelers will find Paris is a city where they will thrive thanks to the abundance of classic architecture in the streets, renowned food, and famous art collections that demand ample time to truly admire.
Pass several hours people watching like a Parisian at one if the many famed cafes sprinkled throughout the city. Or, take your time imagining the lives that have passed through the hauntingly beautiful cemeteries and eerie skeleton-lined catacombs underneath the city. Plus, another perk to solo travel in Paris is that you can visit world-class museums at your own pace without having a person or a group tugging you away from an art piece that catches your eye.
Don’t let the initial language and cultural barrier of Japan fool you. The entire country is easy to navigate for any single traveler thanks to its renowned bullet train network. Major cities like modern Tokyo, foodie Osaka and historic Kyoto can all be explored with efficiency by purchasing a single pass.
When traveling by train, you’ll get to sample many parts of an iconic culture. Japan offers a taste of both old and new, from ancient Buddhist temples in the countryside to eclectic shopping districts in its famous metropolises. What’s more, the socially discreet and respectful culture of the Japanese make it comfortable to blend in if you’re traveling alone. There is also an abundance of sushi and ramen restaurants with bars where you grab a bite, so you’ll never feel out of place sitting eating and drinking solo.
Canada has a reputation for offering majestic beauty and if there is one city in the country exemplifying that, it is Vancouver. Sitting on the lower west coast of Canada, Vancouver offers stunning nature and the convenience of cosmopolitan amenities that make it safe and accessible for outdoor-loving solo travelers. The city offers activities all year for nature buffs, such as winter sports on the nearby Whistler Mountain to whale watching off the coast of Vancouver Island.
Despite the natural offerings of Vancouver, the local culture simply cannot be overlooked. Vancouver has a rich Native American heritage and it has become to several large immigrant communities from various countries Asia that have all left unique, and tasty, flavors on the city. Canadians also have a reputation for being nice, so you’ll surely have no problems making friends during your time spent in and around the metropolis.
Belize is emerging out of the shadows as a must-visit destination in Central America due to its unspoiled scenery, diverse wildlife and authentic culture that offers a blend of ancient indigenous and Latin cultures. Belize boasts more ruins of the ancient Maya Civilization than any other country — and some of the least visited — making it a great bang for any adventure-loving travelers buck. With a variety of outdoor excursions to enjoy and a low crime rate outside of the large cities, any single traveler can safely go days exploring sight after sight.
Adventure travel is what Belize has a name for thanks for its world-class beaches, tropical islands, and reefs that are a hotspot for divers and snorkelers. But the tasty cuisine to sample and friendly locals make it an ideal place for anyone who wants a relaxing getaway too. With neighboring countries becoming more crowded with tourists, look to Belize for a real Central American experience that is becoming harder and harder to find.
Morocco has taken the limelight in recent years as a must-visit destination for travelers. Located in Northern Africa and next to Spain, it offers a distinct culture that blends traditions from Africa, Europe and the Middle East in one small country. To most visitors though, Morocco will feel like step back in time with its imperial architecture, ancient cuisine and traditional social customs.
The people of Morocco are welcoming to foreigners and the country has a highly developed tourism industry due to a long history of political stability, so it is undoubtedly a secure place to visit. Whether you’re browsing stalls in the spice markets of Casablanca, taking in the the coastal views of Tangier or trekking the vast Sahara dessert on the back of a camel, you’ll likely find plenty of fellow travelers to connect with while exploring.
Australia should be on every solo travelers radar and especially for women traveling alone because it was recently named the safest country in the world for women. While the city of Sydney receives international acclaim as a destination because of its beaches and iconic skyline, we recommend solo travelers head Melbourne so they can feel the cultural heart beat of Australia.
Melbourne has a reputation for embracing diversity and personal expression, making it a haven for the arts. Expect to find plenty of hip restaurants and bars, edgy galleries, live music, and trendy fashion as you walk around the city. Melbourne is also bursting with streets of pristine Victorian architecture that beg to be marveled at. And, if you get tired of being on your feet, the city has an expansive tram system to help locals and visitors great around — and there even is a free travel zone within the grid that will save you a few bucks.
If raw and untampered natural beauty is what you seek in a travel spot, look no further than Iceland. The country repeatedly gets mentioned on travel lists as a must-see destination thanks to its affordability, easy accessibility and distinct landscape, which includes as glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and geothermal hot springs. Iceland sits right below the Arctic Circle, so the country is also one of the best places to view the aurora borealis — or what is commonly known as the northern lights.
Keep in mind that nature is all that Iceland has to offer. Solo visitors are sure to enjoy their time in the capital city Reykjavik soaking in the colorful architecture while walking the quaint streets and eating top-notch Atlantic seafood inside cozy restaurants. Iceland is a place where you can contemplate and take in your surroundings, making it perfectly suited for a single traveler rather than a rowdy group. However, since over-tourism is a growing concern for the country, just be sure to do your research to learn how you can visit with minimal impact on the environment.
Some Places are Better as a Solo Traveler
If you caught the travel bug but can’t persuade anyone to join you on a trip, there’s no reason why you should stay home. Consider traveling solo to enjoy world-class destinations without the stress that naturally comes with coordinating itineraries, accommodations, and transportation with others.
While traveling exposes you to new cultures, the added benefits of going solo is for the opportunity to challenge yourself in an unknown place and to step outside of your comfort zone. Without having someone by your side at all times, single travelers may also find it easier to make friends along the way. Travel alone to one of the destinations mentioned in the list above for a rewarding and unforgettable experience that you can have all to yourself.