Gone are the days when solo travel was limited to a post-college backpacking trip or an overseas business meeting. Traveling alone is on the rise, with an estimated 37% of the U.S. population reporting they ventured abroad by themselves for fun, adventure, and exploring. But if you’re a female traveler who’s worried about safety or unsure of what place to check off your bucket list when you’re a party of one, you might want to take the advice of more seasoned jet-setters.
These 20 women have bravely ventured into all parts of the world, from South America to Australia, without anyone else to consider. Take a note from them on where you should travel alone, because hey, the world is a big place, and you can’t always wait for your best friend, partner or family to give you the green light to book. Sometimes, you gotta do it by yourself.
Here are 19 of the best places for women to travel solo, according to those who have done it.
“In Chamonix, nearly everyone speaks English and it’s truly breathtaking. Also, to be honest, any hike around Mont Blanc, which covers Italy, Switzerland and France is worth the trip alone.” -Ashley R.
“One of my favorite countries to travel alone is the Philippines. Aside from the stunning landscapes, the big draws for me are the Filipinos themselves. They’re about the happiest and friendliest people I’ve ever met. When you’re traveling there alone as opposed to with someone else, you can get more interaction with the locals. They take immense pride in their country and genuinely want you to enjoy their home.” –Elizabeth
Mosel River Valley, Germany
“Take a tour of all the family-owned wineries. You can get a Eurail pass, stay at youth hostels (some of them are in actual castles), make new friends while sipping on wine and partaking of free samples at each winery. You don’t have to look hard to find them. They are everywhere around the town of Fell and Trier. The Auselese and Spatlese white wines are out of this world!” – Stefaine
Read more about wine tasting in the Mosel Valley.
“I really enjoyed traveling in Australia solo. I’m an introvert but met so many people who were also traveling solo, which is nice so you can share experiences together. Take any kind of tour or go out to the reef and you’ll find people of all ages from all over the world. Australia has so much to see and do that the opportunities are endless. There’s something for everyone. I stuck to the east coast but did it over a 6 month period. Do homestays to save money, possibly with hosts your own age and you end up meeting other people through them as well. They also know the local places to go you won’t read about online.” – Steph
Cinque Terre, Italy
“As a single twenty-something female, I went all in my trip there with no regards to the fact that it is one of the most frequented and romantic honeymoon locations on earth. On the train ride over, I met another solo traveler from Baltimore: also a young, single female with a sense of adventure. We did the hike through Cinque Terre together and wound up meeting a set of brothers from New Jersey who finished the hike with us and became close friends. The four of us spent our entire time in Cinque Terre together, drinking the most phenomenal wine and eating incredible fresh pastas. Just because you start a trip alone, doesn’t mean you finish it alone. We’ve remained friends throughout the years and I am very grateful for chance meetings while traveling!” – Kim
Find more places to go in Italy
Siem Reap, Cambodia
“The Cambodian people are honestly some of the nicest, friendliest, and most caring people I’ve ever met. For example, we found a tuk-tuk driver on the street and made plans to go to Angkor Wat in the morning with a 5am pickup. We walked outside to meet him just before five and he had arranged for another tuk-tuk driver to take us because he had something come up. We didn’t have his name or any way to contact him, so he could have easily just flaked. Another example: the small family-owned hotel we stayed at for three weeks practically adopted us as part of their family. The owner brought us fresh mangos and bananas from their trees at home, and gave us a very sweet goodbye gift and handwritten note. Also, I felt 100 percent comfortable venturing out alone there. This goes back again to the culture and the people just being good, honorable people who will do everything in their power to take care of you. I will absolutely go back to Siem Reap again, and I would be happy to go there alone.” – Nikki
“All of Scandinavia is amazing, but if I had to pick a favorite it is Copenhagen. Safe, clean, and lovely. It’s an easy jaunt to the gorgeous Fjords, or you can spend your entire vacation with the many sights of the city.” -Blakely
British Columbia, Canada
“If you’re looking for a place to travel during the summer months, I would recommend British Columbia in Canada. It’s a great place to visit where you can surf in Tofino, eat fresh fish, explore the mountains of Whistler and spend a day in Stanley Park in Vancouver.” – Kendra
“Switzerland surprised me on so many levels, especially how easy it was to get around via public transportation, even in winter. I loved London too, for all the cultural things to check out and again, the easy public transportation.” -Elaine
Learn about the most beautiful places in Switzerland
“Japan is ideal for a woman traveling alone. The Japanese people are incredibly warm, welcoming and respectful. It’s an incredibly clean and safe country, and it’s so easy to get around! Lastly, with delicious food and a fascinating culture, there are plenty of options for every type of traveler.” – Blakely
“I will always say Paris as the best place for solo travel. This advice may seem counterintuitive with the romantic reputation. Paris is a city where every view is beautiful, where storefronts and squares demand audiences , and where whimsical details peek out at cafe-level. I want to absorb all of it – not split my attention with focus on another person – in such an arena.” – Kristin
“I would recommend anyone and everyone traveling alone go to Central America. Armed with a good guidebook and list of helpful hostels and guesthouses, you can feel at home anywhere, and you’ll never be truly alone. Because of the density of travelers, especially along certain routes, there will always be someone to help you find your way. Thailand is similar, though it varies widely depending on what you’re looking for. Go to Bangkok and Koh Samui for all-night parties, but go to Koh Tao for all the same (gorgeous) views but a more relaxed atmosphere and some incredible dive spots.” Delaney
Croatia was so popular that not one, but three different people recommended it
“Croatia truly won my heart as one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. At the risk of sounding cliche, there were moments in my time there that truly took my breath away: hours spent lying on the deck of a yacht with the clear blue Adriatic sea lapping at the rocky shore, house music pumping through the speakers while an electric violinist serenaded the revelers at an outdoor bar in Bol, the wind whipping through my hair as I twirled around the dance floor at Fort George…. The islands and old medieval towns make you feel like you’re traveling back in time and everyone is so friendly it’s impossible to ever get lonely. You can indulge in all of the amazing food of the seaside towns (octopus was a favorite!), walk the streets of Old City in places like Dubrovnik and Split and learn the war-torn history of the country’s military island in Vis. Or, you can just lay on the beach. Croatia is so varied, it gives travelers the opportunity to experience a unique Mediterranean without breaking the bank. And, with the rise in popularity, you’ll be sure to meet many other travelers along the way.” – Brittany
“For a country roughly the size of West Virginia, Croatia offers an abundance of natural parks and historical sites. There are islands galore surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise water so translucent you can spot the sea life below. Not to mention it’s safe, clean and more affordable than many of its European neighbors, making it the perfect choice for any female solo traveler.” – Stacy
“Dubrovnik. This medieval ocean-side town is as culturally infused as it is charming and feels incredibly safe. It has low crime statistics to back up this feeling! There are also plenty of locals who also speak English, which helps you get around Dubrovnik with ease. It’s almost impossible to not stumble across a beautiful stretch of beach where you can see other travelers sunbathing, chatting, or cliff jumping. The museum and city tours are not to be missed. Safe for women solo travelers, and if you ever feel yourself being ogled, a simple firm ‘No’ should take care of it, and you can be on your way.” – Elizabeth
San Juan, Puerto Rico
“After a tough breakup, I booked a solo trip to San Juan. While I did indulge in an all-inclusive resort, I also ventured into the rainforest on a tour, went jet skiing, hiking and even out with the locals to try new foods and drinks. You don’t need a passport if you’re in the U.S., mostly everyone speaks English and are very kind. It was the refresher I needed and I always felt incredibly safe.” -Laura
“For at least your first trip alone, I recommend traveling to a country where you speak the language, or where the majority of the people don’t mind opting into your native tongue. It just gets rid of one piece of anxiety if you’re not using up all your data on Google Translate. I loved my time in Greece, where everyone I met either spoke English or was friendly enough not to care that I didn’t speak Greek.” –Leah
New York City, USA
“Every single time I go to New York, I’m glad I went alone. While some New Yorkers definitely fit the stereotype, it’s easy enough to head to a bar, strike up a conversation and get to know someone. I recommend staying in an Airbnb where you can be part of an apartment and get the advice from locals. With so many restaurants, museums, bars, lounges, tours and sites, you definitely won’t be bored for a second!” – Jane
“When I went with friends, we wanted to ‘check off’ all the different sights – the Vatican, the Roman forum and the coliseum, the Trevi fountain, etc. When I returned by myself, I just walked the streets and took in the city. I ate at whatever restaurant was closest when I was hungry instead of checking a Michelin guide. I went without a map and just wandered the city, finding unique streets that aren’t ‘tourist worthy.’ In essence, I lived in Rome for those five days instead of touring it.” – Jennifer
“My favorite place to travel, solo or otherwise, is usually the place that I most recently visited. I visited the Patagonia region of Argentina last year and fell in love. The Argentine people are lovely, getting from place to place is straightforward and the landscapes are stunning. As a solo traveler, I felt safe and met plenty of other like-minded people from around the world for company when I so desired.” – Katie C
“Iceland is not only ridiculously beautiful, it’s also super safe. In fact, it’s the safest country in the world. English is widely spoken, wifi is everywhere, and it’s easy to get around so it’s a great choice for first-time solo travelers. I’ve traveled there by myself twice and felt totally at easy going hiking and exploring on my own, from hiking and horseback riding to checking out beautiful waterfalls and beaches. Plus there are plenty of activities and day tours to join, like whale watching, glacier climbing, and even snorkeling.” – Katie H.
Read more about Iceland