Got the travel bug but no one to travel with? Not a problem.
No really, travelling alone as a woman is not only safe in thousands of places around the world, it’s a lot of fun once you take the leap and just go. Plus, there are no whims to cater to but your own.
You doubt us? Fine. Here are some of the best places to go solo. You’ll be booking a trip faster than you can say “For one, please!”
1. Turn yoga into a vacation
There is certainly no shortage of yoga retreats to choose from, and for good reason — an escape that lets you delve into your mind and body might just be the ultimate solo vacation. You can do a straight-up traditional yoga retreat, where silence reigns supreme, or combine almost any other activity with your yoga for the perfect getaway. Best bet: just start Googling.
2. Finally learn to surf
It’s about time you gave surfing a try, isn’t it? Dozens of surf camps around the world are entirely dedicated to teaching women the craft — from Bali, Indonesia, to Tofino, BC. Pretty much wherever there are waves, there’s a surf camp waiting for you.
3. Get your volunteer on
Voluntourism is a great way to see a new part of the world on your own and give back at the same time. Help out in a school, build houses or work with wildlife conservation — just to name a few of the options. There are many, many more.
4. Learn to cook in Chiang Mai
Thailand ain’t all full-moon parties (though it can be, if that’s your thing). Head up north for a special side of Thailand and learn to cook all your favourite Thai dishes at a cooking school in Chiang Mai.
5. Hire a female guide
Want to head out alone but don’t mind a bit of guidance? Hire a female guide! Journey Woman, a longtime travel site and blog for women, has lists and referrals to guides all over the world — whether you’re looking for a hiking guide or just a local to show you around a new city.
6. Actually go on a cruise
Cruises are typically the realm of lovey-dovey couples (especially ones who have been married for longer than you’ve been alive), but you can luck out. Keep an eye out for singles cruises where people may choose to stay up later than 10 p.m.
7. Bathe your troubles away in Budapest
Budapest, Hungary, is steeped in history…and old-world bathhouses. The Rudas Baths in Budapest have a ladies-only day where you can enjoy the thermal and medicinal baths that date back to 1550.
8. Grab ladies-only perks at your hotel
Keep an eye peeled for women-only floors in hotels, which are becoming more and more popular, like at The Fleming Hotel in Hong Kong, the Bella Sky Comwell in Copenhagen and the Crown Princess in Kuala Lumpur. These are usually aimed at female business travellers and often come with extra perks like spas, salon-quality hair dryers, in-room yoga mats and even complimentary wine or champagne.
9. Go adventuring in New Zealand
New Zealand has a lot going for it. Not only is it safe and totally welcoming to solo female travellers, it crams a ton into a small landmass and it thrives on adventure. That means you can try out many, many different things — from skydiving to rafting to hiking to kayaking to surfing to Hobbit spotting.
10. Re-do Europe (the right way)
Did you do a backpacking trip to Europe in your early 20s with your best friend? Yeah, thought so. Still, you probably don’t remember much about Amsterdam. Turns out it’s not as hazy a place as some believe and with its art, its affinity for the bicycle and cozy, quaint streets along canals, it’s a great spot for a quick European getaway.
11. Discover Iceland, an underrated island treasure
Oh, Iceland. This little island nation became super affordable in recent years and while things have changed slightly, it’s still very reasonable on the wallet. Plus, the country’s national airline, Icelandair, flies direct from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. So there you have it — no reason not to go.
12. Go swanky and small in the South
Forgo the sprawling all-inclusive resorts of Mexico and Cuba and opt for something a little smaller and swankier away from the tourist trail. We’re thinking British Virgin Islands. Try Jost Van Dyke, the smallest island, for a secluded getaway.
13. Do whatever you want in Japan
Japan constantly finds a place on lists of the safest travel destinations. But it’s also got so much to see and do for the solo female traveller, and it’s super-accommodating for English-speaking tourists in major cities. If you like karaoke, check out Roppongi, a district in Tokyo. Hey, in a private room, there’s no one there to judge!
14. Kidnap your BFF
Single but in good company? Take your BFF on vacation at a Beaches resort in Turks & Caicos. The BFF Getaway Package comes with all the perks of an all-inclusive plus free yoga, a free massage and a private catamaran cruise.
15. Keep it real in Croatia
Croatia has a perfect mix of Mediterranean appeal, old-world culture, incredible food and hospitality that make it a great off-the-beaten-path destination for women. Use your time learning to sail or just getting your beach on along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
16. Go back to summer camp
Head back to summer camp, grown-up style. More and more of these camps are popping up across North America. The deal is simple — it’s exactly like summer camp for kids, only you’re older now and you don’t have to hide the booze. The rest is the same — swim, do crafts, learn to canoe, sing campfire songs and sneak away after hours to the
boys’ men’s cabin.
17. Finish writing that book
Still working on that novel or tell-all memoir that you started a decade ago? Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a retreat to Southern France, just like F. Scott Fitzgerald did. La Muse Inn offers one-or-three-week artists and writers retreats near Carcassonne.
18. Saddle up, partner
Dude ranches aren’t just for dudes. Saddle up at a ranch retreat for solo women to get the perfect combo of action-packed time out in the field and quality relaxation time. Try the Cowgirl Up retreat at Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Montana.
19. Get your Eat, Pray, Love on
Go all Julia Roberts on your travels and get in touch with your inner yogi at an ashram in India. Though it’s never been confirmed, rumour has it the real Elizabeth Gilbert attended Gurudev Siddha Peeth, a Siddha Yoga ashram in Maharashtra, India.
20. Go on safari
Who needs travel companions when you’re in the middle of the Serengeti spotting the Big Five? Small-group safaris make it easy to meet people while you’re marvelling at the lions surrounding your jeep. Safari camps range from budget, rustic options to sprawling luxury retreats. Choose your comfort level and head off.
21. Skip the single supplement
One of the biggest drawbacks to solo travel is the single supplement — the extra fee you pay as a single traveller staying in double-occupancy rooms. Fortunately, lots of resorts, hotels and tour companies run special offers that waive the single supplement, like Club Med Turks & Caicos. Shoulder season is the best time to snap up these deals.
22. Talk the talk in Scandinavia
Safe, stunning and a little bit sexy, Scandinavia is also full of people who can probably speak English better than you can — making it a great spot for solo travel to foreign places where you don’t know a speck of the local language.
23. Take the train
Train travel is amazing for solo travellers. There’s not much to do but sit with your thoughts and admire the world as it goes by, plus you never know who you might meet. The Bangkok to Singapore route on the Eastern & Oriental Express is considered one of the best train rides in the world. During the two-night, three-day trip, you’ll sleep in an ornate sleeping compartment and dine in a luxurious dining car. You can also relax in the piano bar, or take in the scenery in the open-air observation car.
24. Forget Sydney, go to Melbourne
Australia is definitely all about beaches but for a different take on the country, head south to Melbourne. There’s no other Aussie city like it, with a vibrant coffee culture, good shopping, tons of arts and, of course, Aussie Rules Football.
25. Trek in the Himalayas
Looking for big-time adventure? Support local ladies in the Himalayas and get your epic hike on with 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking. While most sherpas in the area are men, this group of women is turning the adventure industry on its head with female guides happy to show you the ropes.
This is a big wide world, with lots of stuff for the solo female traveller to do. What are you waiting for? Get out there.