As a travel writer, I’ve spent long periods of time travelling on my own. One of the challenges can be loneliness. If you don’t have a real dialogue with someone for days at a time, you can start to feel isolated. That’s why it can be very rewarding to strike up conversations with the people you meet along the way. Plus, speaking with locals is the best way to find the hidden gems of places to eat and things to do.
That’s why many of the destinations recommended here in Part Two and in Part One of, Going Solo: Five Great Spots for Travelling Alone are English-speaking. It is much easier to navigate unknown territory and get to know the people you meet, if you speak the same language.
Another concern for solo travellers can be safety issues. People often feel more at risk when they are on their own in an unfamiliar place. That’s why the travel spots listed here – even if they are not English-speaking – are all regarded as quite safe for travellers. The world is full of great spots for having adventures, meeting new people and enjoying different cultures while travelling alone.
If you haven’t ever travelled solo, why not give it a try?
Here are five destinations to get you started thinking about your next getaway. And don’t forget to check out Part One of our series for even more choices.
Australia in general is considered a very safe destination. The culture is warm and friendly to travellers and English is the primary language. It can also be hot and sunny during our cold winters.
Melbourne in particular offers visitors the opportunity to experience the excitement of a bustling city with a thriving arts scene, as well as a beach vacation at the same time. Australia’s second largest city is also known as the country’s “Capital of Culture”. It’s a diverse city and it’s also famous for its world-class restaurant and food scene. As Melbourne is situated on the shores of Phillip Bay on the southeast coast, it is home to some of the country’s best beaches for swimming and surfing.
This friendly city can easily be explored on foot or by bicycle and public transit is efficient and easy to use. These are all great ways for the solo traveller to explore a new city, enjoy the rich culture and take in the scenic coastal landscapes. Since Melbourne is a popular choice for people travelling alone, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded solo travellers in the local hotspots.
New Zealand is smaller than Australia and more affordable, making it very popular for backpackers and travellers on a budget. Widely regarded as one of the world’s safest destinations, it is also a popular choice for people travelling alone.
Follow the dramatic natural backdrop made famous by The Lord of the Rings movies and even enjoy a visit to the Shire – a preserved Hobbit village from the films. You’ll encounter a piece of classic literature come to life and meet fellow Tolkien fans at the same time.
New Zealand is renowned for its outdoor activities from hiking and biking to skydiving, spelunking, ziplining, bungy jumping and so much more. If you love the outdoors and if you are looking for some adventures on such diverse environments as seaside cliffs, mountain peaks, glaciers, and rainforests – all in one destination – New Zealand is a great choice.
Plus, you’ll also be hosted by some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world.
Costa Rica is a great option for experiencing Central America while travelling alone. It has the tropical rainforests, warm oceans and beautiful beaches that the region is known for, at the same as being considered much safer than many neighbouring areas.
Renowned for its ecotourism, Costa Rica offers visitors the opportunity to see local wildlife first-hand, including sea turtles and iguanas, coati bears and sloths, toucans and other tropical birds.
Costa Rica is a great spot for adventures, from surfing and snorkelling to exploring jungles and volcanoes. This destination is also popular for its thermal spas, hot springs and yoga retreats. There’s also the bustling city life of San José. So, whatever you’re looking for in your solo getaway, you’ll likely find it here.
With its friendly culture and beautiful scenery, Bali is Indonesia’s top draw for visitors. As much a spiritual retreat as it is a beach hotspot, Bali is a particularly popular choice for solo travellers.
Bali has amazing beaches and sites for underwater exploration, such as the shipwreck of USS Liberty, making it a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. A spiritual place with a rich culture and history, there are an estimated 10,000 carved temples to explore on the island of Bali. One site to visit is the famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – if you aren’t afraid of monkeys. This is home to three temples dating back to approximately 1350 as well as hundreds of free-roaming monkeys.
Bali is also a hotspot for yoga, spas and health retreats as much as for its beaches. There are inexpensive accommodations catering to backpackers from around the world, as well as luxury resorts dotting the stunning shorelines. For swimming and sunning, exploring ancient temples and all the yoga you can handle, Bali is a great spot for getting away from it all or meeting up with some kindred spirits on a similar journey.
The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia.
The locals in Croatia are incredibly friendly and welcoming and tourism is playing an increasingly important part of the culture and economy. Croatia has become an increasingly popular destination in recent years. This is at least in part due to its being prominent featured in Game of Thrones. But beyond its pop culture appeal, what really makes this country a top spot to visit are the brilliant waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Warm, clear, turquoise waters lap up against towering limestone cliffs or onto sandy beaches. Byzantine-style towns such as Istria, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik are scattered along the coast.
Explore the famous lakes of Plitvice National Park, wander the walled city of Dubrovnik or enjoy a boat tour of the stunning coastline. There’s really no place quite like Croatia and what draws you there, will also be calling like-minded travellers from the world over.
Many people say that travelling alone is the best way to see the world. Finding yourself on your own having to navigate unknown surroundings is a great opportunity to not only meet new people and learn about different cultures, but it also helps you gain a better understanding of yourself. Try it and see who you meet out there.
Looking for more great solo destinations? Check out Part One in our series.
Already picked your dream solo travel destination?
Have a look at all the great deals we have to offer on these destinations, and more that are perfect for the solo traveller in you!