Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- How To Choose a Destination as a Solo Female Traveler
- Safest Destinations for Solo Female Travelers
- The 3 Best Destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America for a Solo Female Traveler
- The 3 Best Destinations in North America for Solo Female Travelers
- The 3 Best Destinations in Europe for Solo Female Travelers
- The 3 Best Destinations in Asia for Solo Female Travelers
- The 3 Best Destinations in Africa and Oceania for Solo Female Travelers
- Final Thoughts
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Solo travel travel has skyrocketed in recent years, and females are leading the pack. If you’ve Googled the term “solo female travel” in past years, you’re not alone. According to search engine data, search volume for the term is up 20% compared to this time last year.
If you’re a woman ready to head off on your own, there are some things to consider, starting with your destination. Picking the right destination is key because it encompasses everything important to you — safety, activities, and what type of trip you’ll have. From beachy islands to adventure spots to urban hubs, we detail where you should head on your next solo trip. We also have advice on choosing a destination and some of the safest ones around the world for a female traveling alone.
How To Choose a Destination as a Solo Female Traveler
Consider the following when choosing your next solo travel destination:
Safety: This is a number one concern for many female travelers. Make sure the destination you select seems safe. Consider public transportation options and decent medical infrastructure. The CDC and the U.S. Department of State are helpful resources for general travel health and safety advisories.
Length of Trip: If you only feel comfortable spending a weekend escape alone, you probably don’t want to head to Singapore or Rome. It’s best to stick to nearby destinations if you don’t have much time or prefer not to be alone for long.
Language: Consider language barriers and how at ease you feel leaning on only yourself to translate menus, unknown words, or conversations with taxi drivers.
What You Like To Do: Just like planning any other trip, consider your likes, dislikes, and desired vacation style. If you only want to relax on the beach, a city break in Manhattan isn’t the best choice. Head to the Caribbean instead.
Experience Level: Certain destinations (like those closer to home or not too far-flung) may be a bit easier to start with if you’re not too experienced traveling alone or in general. Likewise, seasoned solo female travelers still have a lot to discover around the world.
Group Solo Travel or True Solo Travel: Female solo travelers can sign up for group tours and retreats. You’re essentially stepping out of your comfort zone and traveling somewhere alone, but when you arrive, you may travel with a group or be among others. If this sounds appealing, youthful travelers may also want to consider solo travel while staying in youth hostels, where you may be surrounded by other like-minded solo travelers.
Safest Destinations for Solo Female Travelers
Most solo female travelers should consider other factors when choosing a destination beyond just safety, but if that’s your top concern, we get it. Here are some of the safest destinations to visit for solo female travelers based on statistical data from the World Population Review, the 2023/24 Women Peace Security Index, Bounce, and the Woman’s Danger Index (some of which we’ll include in our top destination picks below):
- New Zealand
- Vermont (ranked one of the safest U.S. states for women)
In contrast, data from the same providers suggests that solo female travelers avoid visiting the following countries, taking into account things like the safety of walking alone at night, attitudes toward violence against women, and other general safety factors. We’re not saying don’t go, but use caution and take proper safety measures if you do decide to visit these countries alone:
- South Africa
Best Places To Travel for a Solo Black Female
Ashley Onadele, content contributor for Upgraded Points, suggests solo female Black travelers join certain Facebook Groups, such as Nomadness Travel Tribe, that feature tips from experienced travelers to help find the right destinations. She also advises solo Black female travelers to do the following to stay safe:
“Look at public transportation (bus and metros) to the sites you want to see in the city as well as how walkable the city is. It may be best to stay in a large city and take day trips to smaller areas with a group or other people. Research hotels that are safe for solo female travelers in terms of front desk assistance, night safety, being well-lit, and located close to main roads. Knowing what to expect to pay for things can help you not get taken advantage of.”Ashley Onadele, content contributor for Upgraded Points
The 3 Best Destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America for a Solo Female Traveler
These destinations feature some of the best beaches and unique, memorable landscapes for solo female travelers to explore south of the U.S. border.
Best Spot for Sustainable Solo Female Travel: Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known as one of the safest countries in Central America, as well as one of the most sustainable. It’s perfect for sustainable solo female travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and la pura vida (the simple life). This destination is best for solo travelers who crave female camaraderie but still want some solo time, thanks to the many surf and yoga or surf retreats scattered throughout the country’s stunning terrain. Eco-lodges and other sustainable tourism practices are popular (26% of the country is protected), so if you love to explore jungles, volcanoes, beaches, and all the biodiversity Costa Rica features, hire a reputable guide, contract a solo female travel package, or join a group.
Some of the best areas for solo female travelers are Manuel Antonio, Guanacaste, Puerto Viejo, Monteverde, and Arenal. Stay safe by always choosing official taxis (they’re always red with a yellow sign), not walking alone at night, and following other safety protocols.
Best Caribbean Island for Solo Female Travel: St. Barths
This small, upmarket island is frequented by sophisticated luxury travelers, but it’s also one of the safest islands in the Caribbean for solo female travelers. St. Barths’ crime rate is below average, making it perfect for solo female travelers who don’t want to stress too much about safety protocols. Thanks to a variety of luxury resorts, there are plenty of safe and very comfortable places to stay, and you might just make a few friends during a sailing excursion or while strolling the island’s capital, Gustavia. And don’t forget to visit one of the best beach clubs on the island, Nikki Beach.
Your main safety concern is probably the possibility of a hurricane, as Hurricane Irma devastated the island in 2017. Travel outside the Atlantic hurricane season (June through November) for the best weather.
Best South American Destination for Solo Female Travel: Chile
From the dunes of the Atacama Desert to the towering peaks of Torres Del Paine National Park and the glaciers of Patagonia, Chile is for walkers, hikers, surfers, and adventurers. It’s one of the safest South American countries for solo female travelers. However, culture and wine enthusiasts will also enjoy the country, thanks to the historical architecture of Valparaiso and Valle Central, Chile’s main wine region.
Solo female adventure travelers can also visit Easter Island, which is actually closer to Polynesia than Chile. Here, you can visit the famous moai statues at UNESCO World Heritage Site Rapa Nui National Park. Many of the park’s accredited guides are female, and you can contact them to arrange a guided tour.Hot Tip:
The 3 Best Destinations in North America for Solo Female Travelers
Solo female travelers who want to avoid language barriers or prefer to stay closer to home have much to do and see around North America. Solo travel within the U.S. is also growing in popularity among solo female travelers. According to search engine data, search volume for this year compared to last year is up 81% for the term “best places to travel solo female in the U.S.” Here are some of the best and safest places to travel alone in the U.S. and beyond in North America.
Safest Destination in the U.S. for Solo Female Travel: Vermont
Vermont is one of the best destinations for solo female travelers, home to hundreds of hiking trails and plenty of idyllic scenery (especially in autumn). It’s likely an easy, long weekend trip for East Coast residents. It is especially ideal for solo female travelers over age 40 as it’s more focused on exploring nature and relaxation than nightlife and parties.
According to a 2023 study by TrustedHousesitters, Vermont has the lowest rate of violence against women, and more women feel safe there than in any other place in the country. In fact, “women traveling alone make up more than half of all overnight stays in Vermont,” the study showed. Once there, take in a museum (the state has the most museums per capita of any U.S. state), wander across the many 19th-century wooden bridges, or enjoy some of Vermont’s most delicious products, like cheese, maple syrup, and apples fresh from the orchard.
Best Vacation Spot for Solo Female Travel: Hawaii
Solo travel doesn’t always have to be finding yourself; it can simply be about taking a relaxation vacation. Hawaii’s many islands offer so many different styles of vacation for all different types of travelers. Divers, snorkelers, and surfers can enjoy the state’s famous swells and underwater delights, while those who prefer to stay on dry land can enjoy culture, cuisine, and natural wonders or just relax on the beach and soak in the sun year-round. Plus, the island has a low crime rate and is much safer than many other tropical islands and destinations accessible from the U.S. — and you won’t need a passport.
Although Maui was devastated by a recent wildfire, most of the island is open and ready to receive visitors with open arms. Solo female travelers can aid in Maui’s recovery by visiting responsibly and supporting local businesses.
Best Spot for First-Time Solo Female Travel: Canada
Canada is close, easily accessible from the U.S., and ranked within the top 20 of the safest countries in the world. First-time solo female travelers can delight in the excitement of leaving the country while still staying relatively close to home and experiencing the same language and similar cultural norms. Banff’s gorgeous lakes, Manitoba’s northern lights, Whistler’s ski slopes, and Montréal’s old-world charm hold significant appeal for solo female travelers. Another exciting way to experience the country is via the rails: Canada’s famous Rocky Mountaineer train.
But one of the best destinations in Canada for solo female travelers is Vancouver. The crime rate is low, locals are welcoming, and there’s so much to see and do. Admire the beautiful skyline and water views at Stanely Park, discover hidden art galleries, and hang out along the waterfront at Granville Island. Active travelers should walk through the treetops at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and hike, bike, zipline, or ski at Grouse Mountain.
The 3 Best Destinations in Europe for Solo Female Travelers
Europe is home to some of the safest countries in the world. It’s also known for its incredible history, natural wonders, cuisine, and all-around good vibes, making it the ideal continent for solo female travelers, from beginners to the most seasoned. Here’s where to go:
Best Cheap Place To Travel as a Solo Female: Spain
If you’re looking for affordable and safe places to travel alone in Europe as a woman, start with Spain. Although it’s not the most affordable country in Europe, budget solo female travelers will find plenty of affordable hostels and hotels and cheap food and drinks — a glass of wine or beer can run as low as $2.50. From Barcelona’s famous Gaudí architecture to Seville’s Andalusian charm and the glorious golden sands of endless Mediterranean beaches, solo female travelers are spoiled for choice on where to go and what to do.
Spain is also an ideal country for solo female travelers who are night owls. Many cities, towns, or neighborhoods stay active well into the evening, meaning it’s safe and enjoyable to walk around at night and see how the locals enjoy their balmy Spanish evenings.
Best Destination for Solo Female Adventure Travel: Iceland
Adventurous females who want to explore the great outdoors can do so in Iceland. You’ll probably want to visit using tours and excursions, as many of the most fascinating natural wonders are best enjoyed with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide. It’s a destination that welcomes visitors, crime rates are low, and tourist scams aren’t really a thing. Icelandic folks are simply excited to share the beauty of their country with visitors.
One of the best ways to explore the country safely is by seeing its Golden Circle. This scenic tourist route is home to cascading waterfalls, towering glaciers, geothermic geysers, and Thingvellir National Park. Here, you can actually see the erosion of the earth’s crust, which is something to add to your bucket list, along with the northern lights, visible in many areas of Iceland.
Best Ski Destination for Solo Female Travel: Switzerland
Switzerland’s powdery slopes were practically made for sole female travel. The country, in general, is extremely safe and has excellent infrastructure, which also extends to its ski towns. This way, you can blissfully enjoy the slopes, take advantage of well-maintained ski lifts, and enjoy cozy après-ski afternoons by the fire.
Switzerland has so much to offer solo female travelers in any season — charming villages, hiking trails, and picnics in rolling green valleys. But winter offers even more fun beyond skiing, as indulging in chocolate, fondue, and other alpine adventures (think luge, snowshoeing, and sledding) can help you get in touch with yourself and your inner child.Hot Tip:
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The 3 Best Destinations in Asia for Solo Female Travelers
Backpackers love traveling through Asia for a reason: Many Asian countries are affordable, easy, and generally safe for solo travelers. Here are some of the best ones we recommend for solo female travelers.
Best for Foodie Solo Female Travel: Taiwan
Taiwan’s locals are polite and respectful, so females shouldn’t have an issue traveling through most of the country. If you prefer to get out into nature, explore the Taroko National Park (on your own or by guided tour) to discover mountainside temples and the massive Taroko gorge. But Taiwan’s biggest call for solo travelers is often Taipei, a city where eating most of your meals on the street is not only socially acceptable but also the norm.
Not only does Taiwan have clean, comfortable, and efficient public transport (it actually plays delightful classical music each time the metro pulls into a station), the city has numerous night markets where it’s completely safe to spend the evening walking, talking, eating, and shopping. Don’t be turned off by the wafting odors of stinky tofu — make sure to sample xiao long bao (delicious steamed dumplings) paired with bubble tea or Taiwan beer.
Safest Country in Asia for Solo Female Travel: Singapore
Considered the safest Asian country by the World Population Review, Singapore is a tiny country with strict penalties and regulations — even chewing gum was once banned. Female travelers will feel safe wandering the clean and organized streets and enjoying street food at the many hawker centers around the city.
Solo travelers should check out neighborhoods like Little India and Chinatown and wander through the Singapore Botanic Gardens (the very first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Singapore) and Gardens by the Bay. For a bit of fun, you’ll never get lonely at Sentosa Island, which features attractions like a theme park, restaurants, a skywalk, and beaches.
Best Destination in Asia for Solo Female Travelers To Experience Culture: Japan
Japan is an orderly, safe country for women, so expect to be able to walk around alone in most places without having to worry about issues. However, Japanese isn’t an easy language, and it may be a bit complicated to navigate certain areas and situations on your own, so just be prepared for possible language barrier obstacles.
Solo female travelers should stay at ryokans (traditional Japanese hotels) to fully immerse themselves in the culture. Spending time at onsens, or hot springs, is the Japanese answer to a spa day, perfect for getting some rest and relaxation in after a busy day touring a city like Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka.
The 3 Best Destinations in Africa and Oceania for Solo Female Travelers
Solo female travel to Africa and Oceania isn’t for the faint of heart or beginner solo female travelers. It’s exotic, far-flung, and may be difficult to navigate or present language and cultural barriers. But it can be incredibly rewarding. Here’s where to go.
The Safest Country in Africa for Solo Female Travel: Rwanda
Although it might not be the most obvious choice for a vacation, Rwanda is an excellent starter destination for solo female travelers who want to begin traveling to Africa. Long known as one of the safest countries in Africa, travelers should still take caution in certain areas and avoid the border areas with the DRC and Burundi. According to BBC, “55% of its parliament is made up of women representatives, and it ranks number one in the world for its gender equality in parliament, according to the WPS. Rwanda also ranks highly in the index’s perception of community safety and is ranked 6th in the world in the Global Gender Gap index.”
Though it’s not cheap, gorilla trekking is one of the most unique and exciting activities to do in Rwanda. Make your home base Musanze, the country’s second-largest city and the gateway to Volcanoes National Park. Or, if you have your heart set on spotting some of the Big 5, head to Akagera National Park, Central Africa’s largest protected wetland, home to species like zebras, rhinos, elephants, lions, giraffes, and more.
Best for Solo Female Safari: Botswana
Solo female travelers should consider heading to Botswana outside of peak season (off-speak season in November to May). This is when many tour operators waive solo supplements. Botswana safaris often guide travelers by boat through the Okavango Delta. Because boats are small, tour groups are limited in size. This means you may have the opportunity to make new friends but won’t be overwhelmed by joining massive tour groups.
If you want to support local women by taking a female-led safari, you can even have 1 of the 17 female guides at the tour company African Bush Camps, a company that’s launched a female guide program in hopes of having 25 female guides by 2025. Chobe Game Lodge also has a whole team of female guides known as the Chobe Angels.
Best for Far-Flung Solo Female Travel: New Zealand
If you’re ready to get far from home and off the beaten path, head to New Zealand. The country has many thrilling and exhilarating activities — Queenstown is considered the adventure capital of the world. But if you plan to participate in things like bungee jumping and caving, it’s best to get travel insurance — and make sure it covers whatever adrenaline-pumping activities you plan to do.
One of the most popular things for solo travelers in New Zealand is to rent a camper van and travel around the country at your own pace. Or, consider doing one of the country’s organized trails, Great Walks, which are hikes of varying lengths and difficulties that offer some of the best scenic routes in the country.Hot Tip:
Travel insurance is always a good idea, especially if you plan to participate in adventurous activities. Just make sure to read the fine print because some policies exclude things such as scuba diving, for example.
When choosing a destination as a solo female traveler, there’s a lot to consider. Safety should be your first priority, as well as your travel experience, needs, and wants. Consider one of the places on this list for your next trip, where solo travelers will feel safe and enjoy seeing unique and different parts of the world.
Featured Image Credit: Myles Tan via Unsplash
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Thailand safe for solo female travelers?
While it’s not listed as one of the top safest countries in the world, parts of Thailand are relatively safe for solo female travelers. However, females traveling alone should carefully choose their Thai destinations and take travel safety precautions to avoid incidents.
Is Amsterdam safe for solo female travelers?
The Netherlands is ranked as one of the top 10 safest countries in the world for women by the World Population Review. However, as with any major city, female solo travelers should exercise caution when traveling alone in Amsterdam.
Is Barcelona safe for solo female travelers?
Spain is listed as one of our top destinations for solo female travelers. It’s relatively safe, so females shouldn’t worry too much about traveling alone there. However, there are some neighborhoods of Barcelona, such as El Raval, that it may be best to avoid at night.
Where are safe places to travel alone in India?
While beginner solo female travelers may not want to choose India as their first destination to visit alone, seasoned solo female travelers might consider visiting destinations like the Taj Majal in Agra, Goa, or Rishikesh, all of which welcome tourists and may offer safe and secure travel experiences.
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