The solo traveler looks for liberation. They love to set out into the great big world, passport and plane ticket in one hand, dusty luggage in another, an exciting itinerary awaiting and only themselves to experience it with. For some, that may seem lonely, but for others, like myself, I love a little (or major) solo adventure every now and then. Unfortunately, there are some places that are not exactly solo-travel friendly, and some that are perfect for it. Have a little solo vacation time on the books? Check out these solo-friendly travel destinations!
If you’ve never been overseas, and you just want to get your traveling toes wet, the UK is a perfect place to start. It’s English speaking, dead easy to get around, and one of the most welcoming corners of the planet. With the excitement of London, Scotland’s majestic highlands, the mysticism of the Emerald Isle and the awe inspiring National Parks of Wales, the only issue you may have traveling here is finding enough time to see it all!
Calling all outdoor enthusiasts, Chile is seeking new adventure applicants, especially solo tavellers! Bring your best gear and join a Patagonian climbing expedition, explore the jagged rock of volcanoes and geysers in the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, or sea kayak up and down the coast of Chiloé Island. Feel like hitting the slopes? Check out Portillo resort, a single lodge where all visitors feel more like a family than crowd of international strangers. Be sure to take a meander around the capital city of Santiago, a cultural and culinary playground for history buffs and food enthusiasts. Delight in some legendary Chilean barbecue, and to feel more like a local, try doing a homestay rather than hotel accommodations.
Though Fiji and it’s surrounding idyllic islands has long been a draw for star-crossed lovers, it is one of the most backpacker friendly countries, and some of the lowest incidences of tourism crime in the world. An impressive inventory of inexpensive boutique hotels, and beach side family run guest houses await the weary solo traveler. If crowds aren’t your thing, Fiji should move to the top of your list. Its South Pacific locale doesn’t attract the young, rowdy crowd, so rest assured you’ll be able to get some serious R&R here. If you are looking for something a little more luxurious than a hostel-like stay, luxury is also Fiji’s middle name! Spend an afternoon at the beach bar getting the lowdown on all the most fabulous dive spots and be sure you leave yourself enough time to explore some of the most beautiful reefs in the world.
How can you not love a country where the Gross Domestic Product is measured in units of happiness? A trip to Bhutan is like hopping in a time machine. This medieval kingdom is very slowly inching its way towards the 21st century, and it’s attitude towards tourism is cutting edge. Bhutan is not an inexpensive visit, with tourists having to pay a minimum of $200 per day, this fee makes it cost prohibitive for the wrong crowd! It is hailed as one of the most peaceful corners of the world, and has been described a Buddhist paradise by many. A visit to the Buddhist sites in Bumthang Dzongkhag is a must, and if you have enough time, a multi-week expedition is one of the most popular and beloved activities on offer.
Have you ever visited your neighbors to the north? Call me bias, but I think that Canada is one of the most solo traveler friendly destinations in the world. From coast to coast, Canada is both geographically and culturally diverse. Ski and surf in the same day in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, hang out with some cowboys during the Calgary Stampede, get lost in the circumpolar Boreal Forest, dance your tush off at North America’s largest Caribbean festival in Toronto and check out the highest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy in Atlantic Canada! If you think you know Canada, you have no idea!
I’ve traveled to other parts of Indonesia extensively, and as much as I adored the exotic Sumatran jungles, and Java’s staggering geography, Bali is the easiest places to navigate for the solo traveler. Affectionately known as the pearl of Indonesia, if you can ride a motor bike, you can get from one end of the island to other with great ease. If not, hire a driver for next to nothing and explore all the treasures of this Hindu isle. The sweet scent of frangipani will lull you into a state of quiet tranquility, its cuisine will feed more than just your belly, the endless calendar of festivals will delight you, its beaches will spoil you and its affordability will entice you to come back as soon as you can.
Iceland’s out-of-the-way locale means its often overlooked by most, and if you’re a solo traveler who prefers a destination devoid of roving camera-wielding crowds, you can find yourself standing in front of panoramic glacial views out on the frozen tundra all on your own. While this is one of the more expensive countries to travel to, a visit to the Blue Lagoon, a trek on an Icelandic Pony and culinary tour around Reykjavik is worth every last Krona you can spare.
New Zealand and the word ‘adventure’ are one in the same. Any adrenaline junkie and solo traveler worth their salt knows that a visit to New Zealand is a whole other level of thrills. With over 350 hostels available to travelers of all ages, despite its reputation for being costly, the solo traveler can rest their head for about $10 per night as a starting price. There are numerous hop-on-hop-off buses that connect to New Zealand’s most sought after destinations and the buses are all designed for solo travelers and backpackers, so what are you waiting for? Get down there!