There are many reasons why you might want to explore the world on your own. Perhaps you’ve just gone through a difficult breakup, and you’re looking to try something new. Or maybe you’ve finally saved enough money for that dream vacation, but all your friends are busy. Or it could just be that you enjoy your own company.
Whatever your reasons for taking a solo trip, it’s only natural to feel a little anxious. We’ve all heard horror stories.
But solo female travel doesn’t have to mean getting scammed out of all your spending money or being tricked into becoming a drug smuggler. There are plenty of travel destinations where solo female travelers not only feel safe but are also well-catered for. Here’s our list of the best.
What are the best holiday destinations for solo women?
If you are a solo woman, some of the best countries to visit are:
9 of the best solo travel destinations for women
If you’re a female traveler seeking inspiration for your next solo adventure, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out what makes the countries listed above the best for solo female travel.
A well-trodden tourist trail, Thailand is the ideal travel destination for solo women. The country’s economy relies on tourism, which means it is geared up to accommodate every type of traveler, and the local people are used to people taking trips by themselves.
From beaches, national parks, and temples to street food, floating villages, and full-moon parties, there’s plenty to see and do in this Southeast Asian country. Plus, as a backpacker’s paradise, it is one of the best places in the world for meeting other solo travelers.
Like Thailand, Australia attracts hundreds of thousands of backpackers each year, making it a great place to visit if you’re traveling solo and want to make friends.
Because it is an English-speaking country with Western culture, you’ll feel at home in no time, but there’s still plenty to see if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, marveling at Uluru (Ayers Rock) — one of the natural wonders of the world — hiring a campervan to explore Western Australia’s rugged landscape, and cruising the Whitsunday Islands are just a few activities that females solo travelers will enjoy.
As the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia might sound daunting to female solo travelers, but the locals here will soon put you at ease. Friendly, helpful, and full of national pride, they’re usually more than happy to help out a lost tourist.
Thanks to its abundance of hotels, restaurants, beaches, and sightseeing tours, Bali is the obvious choice for most visitors to Indonesia, but the main island of Java has much more to offer. From the bustling capital city of Jakarta to Borobudur (the largest Buddhist temple in the world) to sunrise hikes up the active Mount Bromo volcano, you’ll immediately be planning a return trip so you can experience it all.
Not only that, but the Gili Islands offer some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world, and the nightlife isn’t bad there either.
Considering its long and fraught history with the US, Cuba might sound like an odd choice for solo female travelers — especially those from America. But, even though landing in Havana might be a bit of a culture shock at first, scratch beneath the surface of the run-down buildings and disorderly grocery stores, and you’ll find a rich, colorful culture based around music, rum cocktails, and stylish classic cars.
The laws are strict in Cuba, with harsh punishments for anyone caught breaking them, so — while you should always stay vigilant — it feels relatively safe to walk around alone, even after sunset.
Before you book anything, though, it’s wise to check the latest travel advice, especially as there are extra restrictions for US citizens.
Like most other Scandinavian countries, Iceland is known for its high standard of living. This should be reassuring for women who are traveling solo because when measuring this, the country’s low crime rates are taken into account.
Additionally, the country has a reputation for being a gender equality champion, and for the most part, you will find the locals are friendly and interesting, thanks to the country’s high-quality education system.
As a solo traveler, it is a good idea to use Reykjavik as your base and take day trips to explore the surrounding area from there. There are plenty of hostels in the capital, so you’re bound to find other travelers to go on road trips with you. If not, it’s best to book yourself onto some organized tours, as hiring a car alone can be expensive.
Some of Iceland’s main attractions include the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, the Golden Circle Tour comprising the Geysir, Kerid Volcanic Crater, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, and the Northern Lights from September to April.
But whatever you decide to do, one thing’s for sure: Iceland will give you a new appreciation for the power of nature.
France is one of the most-visited countries in the world, meaning all types of tourists — including solo female travelers — are welcomed and well-catered for.
The iconic city of Paris is usually at the top of every first-timer’s list (particularly hopeless romantics who love to shop). But while the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame are well worth seeing, France has so much more to offer.
If you have time, you should venture out of the city to explore the country’s quaint villages, sprawling vineyards, and beautiful beaches. It may be 500 miles from Paris, but if you want a taste of the high life, head to the French Riviera, and it would be almost rude not to partake in some wine tasting in the infamous Bordeaux regions.
You won’t feel out of place in England, as the country has a reputation for welcoming people from all walks of life. This is especially apparent in the multicultural, diverse capital of London.
Like Paris, London has many tourist attractions. Some of the most famous include Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey — but it’s not all about the capital city. Some of England’s other notable cities include the university towns of Cambridge and Oxford, the historic city of Bath and Brighton, which is the LGBTQ capital of England.
If you want a break from city life, England offers traditional meals in cozy countryside pubs, as well as sandy beaches in Newcastle in the north and Cornwall in the south. Be warned, though, that the weather can be unpredictable at all times of the year, so be prepared to leave your bikini in your suitcase and wrap up warm to enjoy a scenic walk along the waterfront instead.
Laos is a great place to go if you want to travel solo because it is another backpacker hotspot, meaning it’s easy to meet new people. As with the other Asian countries on this list, traveling by minivan instead of public bus will give you more chances to meet up with other solo female travelers.
If you are a first-time solo female traveler, you might feel more confident sticking to the main tourist trail, eating croissants and baguettes in the French-influenced Luang Prabang, exploring the peaceful island of Don Det by bicycle and tubing, and partying in Vang Vieng.
Some solo women travelers can find partying in Thailand overwhelming, but Laos nightlife is more laidback. That said, you should still be wary of the extremely potent Laos “whiskey”, which is readily available and even offered for free at some hostels.
9. The US
There’s a lot to be said about holidaying in your own country, and some travelers believe that since the US is so diverse, there’s not much point leaving. And, if it is your first solo trip, there’s no doubt you will feel much more comfortable in a country that speaks your own language, where you understand the culture so you won’t get into trouble for accidentally offending the locals and where you already know the number for the emergency services.
If you’re planning a city trip, the obvious choice is the bustling city of New York, with its award-winning Broadway shows, world-class shopping, and iconic Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building landmarks. Then there’s Las Vegas, where it is perfectly acceptable to spend a day on your own trying your luck on the slot machines before heading out for dinner at one of the many restaurants with single-friendly bar seating.
Otherwise, you might prefer Alaska, at the other end of the spectrum. Here, you can explore nature and get off the beaten track, visiting fjords, seeing bears in the wild, and going on whale-watching tours.
If you are a solo female traveler, it is only natural to feel a little anxious about planning your trip — especially if it’s your first solo adventure.