Don’t get me wrong – traveling with friends and family is just great. You get to enjoy the security and the loving camaraderie of a group of cherished individuals. You have someone to share your adventure with, which can contribute to its greatness. You can all share in the amazing memories once you get home, and always crack a smile when you think of the particularly funny moments.
But at other times, you will need some peace of mind. Perhaps it’s the coming of age journey, a sabbatical, or your own bubble to recuperate from a traumatic life event. Everyone gets an urge to just get away from time to time. There is nothing wrong with needing some alone time, and using it to travel can be the experience of a lifetime.
Fortunately, there are a lot of solo-travel-friendly destinations to choose from. Here are five suggestions for every taste, and every travel goal.
Copenhagen is one of the coolest cities in Northern Europe. The fact that it’s so laid back, full of interesting things to see and do, and also very safe, makes it an ideal solo travel destination. Copenhagen is rich in wonderful architecture, art museums, and intimate Scandinavian cafes. It is quite condensed, so it is really easy to explore it on foot or by bike. Speaking of bikes, Copenhagen is practically the cycling capital of the world, so if you fancy urban rides on two wheels, Copenhagen is close to perfect.
The Algarve, Portugal
Portugal’s southernmost region is known for its fancy golf and yachting tourism, but much more appealing for a solo traveler is the Algarve’s not so commercial, more authentic side. Its colorful history was heavily influenced by Moorish occupation, so it is rich in North African-style architecture. This is really obvious in the famous fishing village of Olhão, known as the “city of cubes” – full of authentic square-shaped white houses with Moorish terraces. The Algarve is defined by this culture clash between Europe and North Africa, and the clash is beautiful to watch.
The Algarve is also famous for its holiday resorts, and booking yourself a week’s stay at one will surely recharge your batteries, and have you ready for any and all upcoming challenges. The coastline of Portugal is magnificent, and whether you are looking to surf, swim, or just bathe in the sun, you will be spoilt for choice in the Algarve.
Southern Thailand’s magnificent tropical beaches are some of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world. It is very solo-travel friendly, but also ensures no one will look at you oddly for traveling alone, and that you will get to have the company of other like-minded adventurers if you so wish. The locals are also extremely kind and laid-back, which is why Thailand is often called “the land of smiles”. The beaches and landscape are truly iconic, with crystal blue seas, palms and sandy beaches lined with striking cliffs.
Dubrovnik is the true jewel of the Adriatic. This medieval city located in a beautiful bay used to be the melting pot of the region, so it features distinct layers of history and culture within its unique stony outlines. It is a walled city, which will probably make you feel cozy, and the fact that it opens on the most beautiful part of Adriatic Sea guarantees that you’ll not find it claustrophobic. If you’re going solo, it is advised to visit before or after the peak of the season – in April or in September. Whenever you go, make sure to take in as much of the history as you can. Especially if you are a GoT fan, you will certainly recognize some of the sites.
New Zealand’s South Island
One of the closest land masses to the Antarctica, the South Island has a paradise-like green mountainous landscape featuring glaciers, lakes, and attractive rugged coastlines. Apart from just soaking in all the beauty, this scenery is a perfect background for many exciting activities such as kayaking, skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, horse riding, skiing and more, which means you there isn’t a slight chance you’ll get bored, even on your own. Again, movie fans will see a bit of the Lord of the Rings here.
Wherever you choose to go alone, make sure you carry your phone and a map with you, and stay on the safe side. Leave the right contact information with your hotel, and don’t get too adventurous, especially at night. Take the time to enjoy the country you are visiting, and come home refreshed and rejuvenated.