We all know that traveling in general can have amazing benefits, but have you ever considered taking a trip… alone? If you’ve never gone on a trip by yourself before, the prospect might seem scary. No one (except the strangers in the street) to help you read the map if you get lost… No one to share the cost of a hotel room… But solo travel is actually a growing trend. A 2015 study by Visa found 24% of people surveyed took their most recent trip alone, up from 15% in 2013.
Check out the Fodor’s Travel list of ten great reasons you should embrace the chance to travel alone. And if that’s not enough to convince you, maybe the pictures below will do the trick! Ready to go? Here are some of the best cities for all different kinds of people who might be interested in solo travel.
Get Away – By Yourself! Why You Should Consider Solo Travel for Your Next Trip
For the outgoing solo traveler:
If you have a naturally outgoing personality, shipping off to a new city alone can be a great opportunity to meet new people.
Sydney consistently ranks in the top three friendliest cities in the world. So if you’re out to meet new friends, look no further. Surf lessons or a guided walk across the Harbour Bridge are two great ways to get to know locals and tourists alike in a small group setting. The city also hosts tons of official festivals and events each year, great settings for making friends. Sydney Festival lasts almost the whole month of January, and provides something for everyone. Check out the city of Sydney’s events calendar and get out and meet some new people!
Hostelworld determined the friendliest cities of the world using three criteria: social activity, attitude to socializing, and social milieu (tolerance and trust). Cities in Sweden took both the number one and two spots (Gothenburg just barely beating out Stockholm), making it a great country to visit if you want to make new friends. Another perk for solo travelers is that 9 out of 10 Swedes speak English, so the language barrier is minimal. Consider buying a Stockholm Pass, which gets you into over 60 attractions, museums, and tours.
For the single-and-ready-to-mingle solo traveler:
Speaking of meeting people, a change of scenery might be just what your love life needs. Take advantage of solo travel to these cities, whether you’re looking for a quick fling or a long-term relationship.
San Francisco, USA
This is the perfect city for solo travel if you are a single woman or gay man. One source even described San Francisco as having “streets paved with single young men.” Studies have found that over 20,000 more single men than single women reside in the Bay Area. San Fran is also one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the world. If you’re at all into baseball, head to a Giants game during your trip. It’s a great place to meet eligible bachelors and have fun! Check out this list of bars and other events to look for love, or Refinery 29’s advice for meeting your match, whether you’re into hipsters, professionals, or outdoorsy men.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires’s nightlife makes it a great destination for single solo travel. Tango, a sensual partner dance, originated in Argentina, and has become a deep part of the city’s culture. It’s easy to meet your potential match at a milonga. There are over 100 of these authentic tango venues throughout the city! This travel site has recommendations for the best milongas to check out, a list of tango do’s and don’t’s, and even some history and fun facts. You started your trip solo, but who knows, maybe you won’t go back home alone! ¡Muy caliente!
Honorable Mention: Boston, USA
Nearly 70% of this city’s adults are reportedly unmarried!
For the solo female traveler:
Don’t discount solo travel if you are a woman, either. Traveling alone can help women boost confidence and gain a sense of independence. It’s always a good idea to be alert when exploring a new place, but these cities are especially safe and female-friendly.
Tokyo was named the world’s safest city in 2019, welcome news if you’re a lady looking for her next solo trip. While you’re there, chow down on some delicious ramen. Eating out alone is a totally normal activity and most places have counter seating, so you won’t feel strange grabbing a bowl by yourself. Even grown women can enjoy the adorable Hello Kitty indoor theme park, Sanrio Puroland! If you’re curious to know more about what makes Tokyo a great city for solo travel as a woman, check out Alyssa Ramos’s observations about the city’s culture.
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand is another very safe destination and is perfect for the outdoorsy solo-traveling woman. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, but you can still get away from the crowds and close to nature. Spend time appreciating the country’s natural beauty while hiking one of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones. Another fun activity for women traveling alone is a visit to one of Auckland’s wineries. Pick from one of over 100 vineyards and wineries, enjoy a tour, and taste the fruit of the land. Here’s to you!
For the traveler who travels alone for a reason:
When traveling alone, there is no one to pressure you to keep a strict agenda. Experience the destination your way. It’s your vacation, after all! Solo travel works especially well for cities that have tons of things to do and see, or activities that your friends might not be adventurous enough for.
Rome is so big that it actually has an entire independent country within the city limits: Vatican City. So especially for history buffs, this is a great city to explore on your own. With over 2,000 years worth of history, you’ll have to pick and choose what sites to see (like the Sistine Chapel or the Colosseum) and which to skip (we’ll let you decide). Leaving your family and friends at home gives you full freedom to plan your itinerary exactly how you want. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be able to eat as much delicious gelato as you want without anyone judging you!
You could stay in Paris for a whole year and still not manage to experience everything. Especially if your trip is short, this is another great city to tackle alone. If you’re an art lover, block out an entire day (or two or three) to explore the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, or my personal favorite, the Pompidou Center. Alone, you won’t have to rush through like you might if your travel companion doesn’t share the same passions. If you’d rather avoid the tourist crowds, spend your afternoons reading or journaling on the banks of the Seine, or in a café with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a travel buddy when you have specific passions or activities in mind for the trip. This destination is probably not for the amateur solo traveler, but if you are up for some serious hiking and some seriously beautiful views, go! Hiking alone, or exploring nature in general on your own, is a great opportunity to push your limits and also to get to know yourself better. You’ll have plenty of time to reflect on your life during your peaceful mountain adventures. Before you go, read this woman’s story of her month-long solo journey, and these helpful tips for how to make the most of your trip.
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