Travelling alone to a country for the first time may seem a little daunting but solo travel can give you the freedom to have the holiday you desire. With endless possibilities to choose from, though, how do you determine which country is right for you? Not every country that is suited to solos may appeal and thinking about whether you prefer adventure, culture, cities or ancient ruins will help you narrow down your must-see destinations.
Great places to travel solo;
Australia is one of the easiest places to travel to alone and because of its ease, many younger travelers choose to visit here to experience life Down Under before entering the job market. Australians are incredibly friendly and you’ll never be short of company. With an outdoors culture and a more relaxed vibe, Australia will feel just like home only much further away. The east coast is popular for backpackers or visit Melbourne for chic boutiques and a maturer crowd.
An abundance of gorgeous scenery and easy-going folk create a winning destination and if it’s adventure and the great outdoors that you’re searching for, New Zealand could be for you. There is a large choice of hostels, campsites, hotels and wooden lodges and getting around the country couldn’t be simpler. Jump aboard an organised tour, hire a car or rent a motor home to travel around the two islands; perfect for those who prefer solitude. Visit the North Island for whale and dolphin watching or the South Island for glaciers, waterfalls and Queenstown – the adventure capital of New Zealand and a mecca for travelers.
Thailand’s hospitality is known as one of the friendliest in the world. If you choose to travel solo here you are guaranteed royal treatment and service fit for a king or queen. Well-preserved culture with tropical hideaways make this a destination to kick off your shoes, remove your watch and just let time slip by…plus it won’t break the bank. Completely geared up for the tourist industry, Thailand is incredibly easy to visit, with great transport links, stunning accommodation and the guarantee of meeting many other like-minded solos. Choose Northern Thailand for culture and hill tribes or visit Ko Samui or Ko Phangan if you prefer beaches and nightlife.
If you’ve never traveled alone before, America is a great starting point. The United States may not be as exotic as Asia but what it lacks in ancient culture, it makes up for in world-renowned buildings and vibrant cities…and they love the British accent! For sunshine, visit Florida or California (Miami has a vibrant party scene and is a great place to meet others) or try New York for a wide range of hostels and guaranteed company.
Africa may not seem like a continent suitable for solos but there is one country which welcomes internationals with open arms. The Kingdom of Swaziland is untouched by mass tourism and with Swazis believing that greeting foreign guests is a way of gaining wisdom, you can be sure of an enlightening and cultural stay. Swaziland is mainly for game parks and culture and the best way to see the country is to join an organised tour.
Bhutan is one of the most cultural countries in the world and entering the kingdom is only possible on a pre-booked tour. Not only are you escorted around, put up in four-star accommodation and treated to amazing cuisine, you have your very own personal guide to teach you about this country and its Buddhist roots. Although Bhutan is very peaceful, Thimpu is the best place to meet others and has surprisingly good nightlife.
Top tips for travelling solo
Whichever country you choose to explore, here are some general tips for travelling the globe as a solo:
1. Research the countries before you travel to learn local customs and etiquette and for advice on any areas that you should avoid.
2. Ensure you are aware of the laws of the countries. Certain places have very strict policies and even standard medication can be illegal in some destinations.
3. Leave a copy of your itinerary and a list of contact numbers with friends or family before you travel.
4. If travelling with a tour company, check the demographics of the group beforehand to ensure they are not mainly couples or a younger crowd.
5. Pre-book your first night’s accommodation and airport transfer before you travel for ease.
6. Obtain a business card for your accommodation or ask them to write the name in the local language in case you stray off-course or need a taxi.
7. Leave your expensive jewellery and valuables at home and dress modestly in the main areas.
8. Attend free walking tours once you arrive in a city to get your bearings and meet others.
9. Be aware of appearing like a tourist and when walking alone, act confident even if you don’t feel it.
10. Take each day as it comes and make the most of every minute.
And finally, just because you may start your trip as a solo traveller doesn’t mean you will always be alone. In fact, travelling by yourself enables you to meet more people than you would in a group or as a couple so whether you’re looking for company or prefer your own, you simply cannot beat solo travel.