Best destinations for solo travel
With solo travel more in vogue than ever, it offers an enticing prospect. Freedom, adventure and just a smattering of self-indulgence make it an experience worth trying at least once. And with improvements to technology and instant communication making the world safer for all travellers, its no surprise that British women are 54% more likely to travel alone than they were five years ago.
But with the world quite literally at your feet, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately for you, dear traveller, weve compiled a list of some of our favourite destinations to start your solo adventure, no matter what your travel tastes.
Best city break destination - Amsterdam
If youre looking for somewhere not too far away to take your first steps into the world of solo travel, consider Amsterdam.
Flight times from London are less than an hour to the Dutch capital, making it one of the quickest ways to start exploring the continent by yourself. Alternatively, you can hop on the Eurostar if you prefer. Once you arrive, youll find a city thats largely very safe for male, female and non-binary travellers, and that celebrates welcoming, liberal values.
We recommend exploring Amsterdam by bike. The citys infrastructure feels designed for two wheels (except the canals, dont try cycling on them), meaning you can explore everywhere at your own pace, taking it all in at street level. You can find out more about renting a bike in Amsterdam here.
And once you start exploring, youll discover hundreds of museums, cafes and art galleries to enjoy. We recommend visiting the NEMO Science Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and, arguably most importantly of all, the Cheese Museum on the banks of the canal.
Best far flung destination - Sydney
Fancy heading somewhere further afield? You cant get much further away from the UK than Sydney, Australia. 71% of solo travellers have visited Australia making it the number one international destination for solo travel, and its easy to see why. With dazzling beaches, a thriving nightlife scene and a cosmopolitan city centre, it has plenty on offer for solo travellers. Sydney Festival takes place every January, comprising of more than 100 events throughout the city, celebrating art in all its forms.
Our top tip? Avoid staying in the centre of Sydney. Nearby Bondi has a much more local vibe, with cheaper accommodation and a less touristy atmosphere. Its here that youll discover why Australia is considered one of the friendliest nations in the world. Bondi also has its famous beach on offer, as well as plenty of swimming pools, so you can take a dip regardless of the weather and shark sightings!
Want to continue your solo adventure beyond Sydney? The city offers extensive domestic flights to other cities across the subcontinent. Keep an eye on the UK Government website for up to date safety information for visiting Australia.
Best off the radar destination - Tallinn
Solo travel is all about uncovering the unknown, both internally and externally. Thats why it can be enormously fulfilling to visit somewhere brand new, for which we recommend Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, Tallinn is very much on the rise, with a more than 60% increase in visitor numbers in the past decade, meaning it wont remain a best kept secret for long!
Tallinn is a fairly compact city, and you can take it all in safely on foot. As you amble through the streets, youll find a rich culture and plenty of museums, ranging from the old to more contemporary, including one dedicated to the KGB! If you happen to be visiting in at the end of March, the citys annual music and arts festival is not to be missed!
When youre ready for a little more peace and quiet, Tallinn also offers plenty of sanctuaries away from modernity. 25% of the city is designated green space, with Lahemaa (Estonias largest national park) a prime example of this. Located just outside the city limits, its a great place for walks, berry-picking and becoming reacquainted with the natural world.
If you fancy extending your trip into a tour of Scandinavia and Northern Europe, Tallinn is a great starting point. Just a two hour boat ride from the Finnish capital of Helsinki, it offers a unique opportunity to explore two capitals cities in one day!
Best adventure destination - Queenstown
Exploring cities and nature walks a little sedentary for your tastes? Do you prefer to live life in the fast lane? Queenstown in New Zealand has you covered.
The best destination for thrill-seeking solo travellers, Queenstown is an adrenaline junkies dream. With a variety of extreme sports on offer, ranging from bungee jumping, skydiving, parasailing, and much more, if you desire to push your personal limits, look no further.
Our top recommendation would be to spend some time on Lake Wakatipu. Shaped like a cartoon lightning bolt, it offers some astounding views of the natural landscape, and can be enjoyed at any speed that suits you. Whether you want to hurtle across it at 70mph in a speedboat, or cruise along on a traditional steamer, youll find a tour operator (and most likely fellow like-minded travellers) to suit you.
On top of this, Queensland also celebrates its progressive, forward thinking values, meaning solo travellers from around the world will find a warm welcome. If you're visiting in June, the Queenstown Winter Festival offers one of the best alpine parties in the world!
Best beach break destination, Thailand
Thailands capital Bangkok is often referred to as the Mecca for backpackers, and is one of the best places to meet fellow solo adventurers. From the stereotypical youth hostels of Bangkok to elegant 5-star hotels, youll find a path that suits your style.
But step outside of the city and youll also find some of the best beaches anywhere in the world. Head to the island of Phuket for an assortment of coastal retreats that cater for all tastes and interests; whether youre looking to party until dawn, engage in some water sports or just lounge in a tropical paradise, youll find somewhere for you.
But for us, the best of the best is Freedom Beach. Youll need to take a boat to reach this remote coastline, but for those who make the effort, the reward is a 300-metre-long stretch of super-soft white sands surrounded by jungle and hills. The perfect place to recharge your batteries and escape from reality, if only for a little bit!
The Thai New Year's celebration of Songkran occurs every year on 13th April, where the country enjoys days of celebration. Often referred to as the 'Water Festival', locals and tourists alike break out in a nationwide water fight as part of the festivities. A unique event that should be on anyone's bucket list!
Best somewhere a bit different destination - Ethiopia
The East African nation of Ethiopia might not be somewhere youve considered visiting before, but its somewhere you should! Often referred to as the cradle of humanity, what better place to take a journey of self discovery than the land on which mankind took its first tentative steps?
Much of Ethiopia is surprisingly safe for solo travellers of all genders, all you need to do is obey customs regarding modest clothing. If youve ever visited popular destinations such as Dubai, this wont come as any surprise, and shouldnt affect the enjoyment of your trip. You can find out more on what to wear in Ethiopia here. For detailed information on where exactly you can travel safely in Ethiopia, click here.
Youll fly into Addis Ababa, a great place to get acclimated to local customs before you venture out. As with most capital cities, this is where youll find the broadest international influence, and as such this is where modesty rules are the most relaxed.
When youre eventually ready to head out further afield, youll find a massively diverse and varied country. From some of the worlds oldest civilisations, to the Tolkien-esque Gondar and natural beauty of the Simien Mountains, its a destination that will leave a profound impact on you like no other.
Ethiopia has a full calendar of events, most of which hold religious significance to the Christian and Muslim faiths. You can find out what's on here.
Book your holiday extras early
It pays to book your airport parking, airport hotel or your lounge as soon as you book your flights. Prices usually go up nearer the date you fly, and last year Holiday Extras saved our airport parking customers £59 each on average when they pre-booked their airport parking instead of paying on the day.Book my hotel and parking today
Next article: Brexit Holiday Checker
We're here to help.
Need some help booking all your holiday extras? Want to talk to someone about other options at the airport?
We want to help you travel hassle-free!
If your question is urgent, you can reach us on 0800 316 6130 or +44 1303 815423 when you're calling from abroad. Our contact centre is open from 8am to 9pm on weekdays and 8.30am to 8pm on weekends.