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Even though I’ve never really labeled this blog as one for solo female travelers, the truth is that I AM a female, and I DO tend to travel solo roughly 90% of the time.

And as a frequent solo female traveler, I get all the usual questions. The questions about why I travel alone (it’s because I haven’t found an ideal travel companion yet, and am not about to let that stop me from traveling). The questions about how I pay for my trips (it’s called budgeting, people). The questions about how I deal with loneliness on the road (it’s a mixture of enjoying being alone, and having the nerve to go up and make friends with strangers). And then there are my favorite questions: the ones about safety.

But don’t you get scared?” people ask me. “You’re all alone and a girl. Don’t you get scared?

New Zealand

Do I look scared to you?

The truth is that, no, I don’t really get scared about traveling on my own, whether I’m off to London, San Francisco, or Istanbul. There have been very few times that I’ve felt uneasy while on the road, and not one time when I have actually felt scared for my safety (well, other than that one time I almost died on a mountain).

Yes, the world can be an intimidating place (and a downright scary one if you listen to the media), but you have to remember that most of that is just hype. Despite my media background (or perhaps because of it?), I’ve managed to retain a rather rosy outlook on the world. Sure, traveling can be dangerous. But it’s no more dangerous than getting in your car and driving to the mall, ladies.

Scotland

Traveling safely as a solo woman is as simple as using common sense. Don’t go out on your own after dark if it makes you feel uneasy. Don’t go anywhere with questionable strangers. Don’t call unnecessary attention to yourself by acting stupid (this includes getting drunk and messy). Keep someone at home updated on your plans. And, most of all, listen to your gut instincts.

But, if you’re still a bit uneasy and unsure if solo female travel is really for you, perhaps my best advice for you is to ease your way into it by choosing destinations that are extremely solo-female-travel-friendly.

Destinations like:

Scotland

Even though nearby England is home to my favorite city in the world (London), it’s Scotland you want to add to your itinerary if it’s your first solo trip abroad as a woman. Not only is the country easily accessible and gorgeous, but it is also extremely safe and populated with friendly locals.

Scotland

The pros:

  • English is the main language (assuming you can decipher a thick Scottish brogue)
  • Scotland is a safe country
  • Scottish people are extremely warm and welcoming
  • There are some great hostels all over the country that offer up safe ways to meet other travelers
  • Scotland is close to the rest of Europe — if you gain confidence here, you can easily take your solo show to the rest of the continent
  • Scotland is SO pretty — with all of its castles and glens, you’ll feel like you stepped right into the setting of a fairy tale

Scotland

The cons:

  • Scotland isn’t the cheapest destination in the world (it’s on the British pound, remember)
  • The weather in Scotland isn’t always great, and it can change in an instant (tip: bring layers!)
  • The ideal way to get around Scotland is by car, which can be pricey when you’re traveling solo (though there are also trains and buses between major cities)
  • If you visit outside of high season, many attractions (like castles) will be closed

Scotland

New Zealand

New Zealand still remains my favorite country in the world, even after having visited at least 2 dozen others by this point. There’s just something about it — a combination of a laid-back attitude, SO much to see/do, and some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the world — that keeps drawing me back. It, too, would be a fantastic place to begin your solo travel adventures (just beware that you may never want to leave!).

New Zealand

The pros:

  • English is one of New Zealand’s official languages, making communication a breeze
  • New Zealand is a very safe country
  • New Zealanders are laid-back and friendly
  • New Zealand is easy to get around (by train, bus, car, or plane — you don’t necessarily need a car)
  • The country has a fantastic system of hostels — some of the best quality I’ve seen anywhere in the world
  • Lots of young solo travelers make their way to New Zealand, and there are established backpacker bus routes should you want to use them
  • New Zealand is tourist-friendly year-round, regardless of season
  • New Zealand is extremely diverse when it comes to landscapes — no matter what you’re into (mountains, beaches, volcanoes), you’ll find it here

New Zealand

The cons:

  • New Zealand can be pricey, especially when it comes to food and it’s popular adventure sports
  • New Zealand is not convenient to get to from ANYwhere, unless you’re coming from Australia

New Zealand

 

Iceland

Lastly, I’m going to suggest you consider Iceland. While not a “typical” tourist destination, Iceland is definitely an up-and-comer. Not only is it convenient to get to from both Europe and the U.S., but it also offers a ton of unique activities against some of the most dramatic backdrops I have ever seen in real life. The fact that Iceland is also a very safe destination makes it ideal for the adventurous solo female traveler.

Iceland

The pros:

  • While English is not the official language of Iceland, 99% of Icelanders speak it very fluently
  • Iceland is an extremely safe country (seriously, there’s like zero crime)
  • Icelanders are welcoming and fun-loving
  • Iceland has one of the strongest tourism infrastructures I’ve ever seen
  • The country is ALL about day tours — sign up for a few from Reykjavik and you’ll automatically have travel buddies
  • Iceland is easy to get to both from Europe and North America (it’s only a 3-hour flight from the UK, and a 4-hour flight from Boston)
  • You can visit year-round and still find plenty to do (such as midnight golfing in the summer when there are nearly 24 hours of daylight, or hunting for the Northern Lights in the winter)
  • The landscape here is out of this world — so dramatic

Iceland

The cons:

  • Iceland is expensive — on par with the UK and even Scandinavia
  • Outside of Reykjavik, there are few budget options for accommodation
  • Iceland is best explored by car if you’re venturing outside of Reykjavik, which can get expensive when you’re traveling solo (there aren’t really bus or train services to the rest of the country)
  • Iceland is far north, meaning it gets very few hours of sunlight in the winter months (though tourism still operates during the dark months)

Iceland

 

Of course, if none of these destinations sound appealing, there are plenty others out there that would be just as suitable. The important thing is that you get out there and travel. Don’t let the fact that you’re inexperienced or on your own or (God forbid) a female hold you back.

Traveling solo as a female doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it can be exactly the opposite — fun and liberating and life-changing. And hopefully this post will help convince you of that!

——

What other destinations would you add to this list?

 

*A caveat: Yes, these destinations are listed with an American, Canadian, or perhaps Australian woman in mind. This is simply because I myself am an American woman who travels solo, so it’s what I know. And yes, I have been to all of these destinations as a solo traveler!

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79 Responses to 3 Great Destinations for First-Time Solo Female Travelers

  1. Christy says:

    Three places I REALLY want to go! It’s a good thing you mentioned Scotland because I’m pretty sure I’m heading there solo next year. I am so excited! Iceland and New Zealand will have to wait, but hopefully not for too long. ;)
    Christy recently posted..McWay Falls at Sunrise – Big Sur

    • DangerousBiz says:

      These are probably 3 of my favorite countries I’ve visited thus far. Can you tell I’m a sucker for pretty landscapes? Haha.

      But really, they’re all great for solo female travelers!

  2. Ayngelina says:

    One of my first big vacations on my own was New Zealand and I always recommend it to first time solo travelers. While it isn’t the cheapest it is manageable if you are on vacation from work.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Why I turned my back on Apple

    • DangerousBiz says:

      None of these destinations are “cheap” by any means, but if it’s your first solo trip, I feel like you’re probably willing to spend a little more. NZ was one of my first solo trips, too (if going over there to study counts as a solo trip…).

  3. Edna says:

    My first proper solo trip was in Ireland, and I loved it. The locals there are SO friendly and helpful towards solo female travelers.
    Edna recently posted..Baku to the Future

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I was tempted to add Ireland to this list, as I think it’s probably very similar to Scotland in being a great place for solo travelers. But I didn’t include it because my own trip to Ireland wasn’t solo, so I couldn’t actually speak from experience.

  4. Lauren says:

    I almost always travel alone also on my business trips & unfortunately I have never been to your three recommended places! I did have some issues in Morocco where I traveled frequently alone for a couple of years, but to your point, as long as you don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself & use common sense, things tend to be okay.
    Lauren recently posted..20 Hours in Istanbul – Part 1

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Well if you ever make it to Scotland, NZ, or Iceland, you’ll have to let me know what you think!

      Sorry to hear you had some issues in Morocco – you aren’t the first one to say that, though. It doesn’t sound like it’s as friendly to solo female travelers as the places on my list!

      • Lauren says:

        Definitely not! Although I more felt un-comfortable than un-safe. Men would hiss at me in the old part of town & beep/yell/cat-call in other parts of town. The only time I ever really got scared was when they would follow me. I would definitely not recommend it for a solo female traveler!

        I will be sure to let you know if I get to Scotland, NZ, or Iceland any time soon! I think my next destination is China/Thailand early next year; have you traveled solo yet in Asia?
        Lauren recently posted..20 Hours in Istanbul – Part 1

        • DangerousBiz says:

          I have NOT traveled solo yet in Asia. In fact, the only place I’ve been in Asia so far is China. But plenty of my female blogger friends LOVE Southeast Asia, and highly recommend the area for solo travelers. Because there are always so many young backpackers there, meeting people seems to be super easy.

  5. My first “real” solo trip was to France. I went to Nice and Paris and felt safe in both. Paris in particular is so big population-wise that you’re never really alone when you’re out and about. The only thing I knew I had to keep an eye out for were the pickpockets, but I only encountered one or two questionable individuals. The catch here is the language and I spoke enough French to get by. About half the people I spoke to admitted to speaking at least a little English (some folks said they didn’t speak it, but I didn’t totally buy that) so it was relatively easy for me to communicate.
    Jodi Henderson recently posted..My Favorite Photos: Seattle

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Can you believe I’ve still never been to France?? It’s definitely on my list, and is probably a place I would feel fine traveling to alone. Though, I don’t speak ANY French, so I would really have to rely on friendly English-speaking locals to help me out!

      • There is what I’d call a misconception about the French and whether they’re friendly or not. In my experience, if I tried to speak French first (before asking if they spoke English), I had no problems. In fact, I recall going to a restaurant once where I attempted to say “table for one please” in French and the maitre d’ said “right this way” or something like that in English. He could tell I was a tourist and responded accordingly. Loved that!

        • DangerousBiz says:

          Yeah, I think it’s often just a matter of whether you’re making an effort or not. If a local can see you’re trying to be something other than an ignorant tourist, I feel like they’re much more likely to warm up to you!

          • Lauren says:

            I’ve been through Paris a lot on overnight layovers I 100% agree..as long as you make the first try in broken French people are generally receptive to helping you! Paris is my favorite place to travel solo that I’ve been to so far…I wandered the streets & took the subway there many times with no issues.
            Lauren recently posted..20 Hours in Istanbul – Part 1

  6. Gaelyn says:

    I’d add South Africa where I felt “safe” and had a wonderful time. English spoken, great rate of exchange and gorgeous country and wildlife. Heck I’d rather travel overseas and take my chance with an elephant than go alone to LA.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Returning to Tsitsikamma Garden Route National Park

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha amen on the LA comment! I haven’t been to South Africa myself yet, but it’s at the top of my list! I’ve only heard good things recently.

  7. kami says:

    to be honest I never feel very safe in UK, don’t really know where it comes from (probably from the all kinds of agressive teenagers around) but that’s how it is. But I still do like returning there, I’m just extremely careful where I’m walking, esp. in the evenings. Germany is kind of similar too but again I do enjoy returning there. People tend to be afraid of Eastern Europe but I feel much safer there than in Western countries.
    I’d definitely add Scandinavia to your list! I’ve lived in Finland for 5 months and never encountered a single problem there. Even when I was walking alone in the middle of the night I was fine and everyone just minds their own business there. As far as I know other Scandinavian countries are the same, it’s just totally safe there! Iceland was kind of perfect too so I agree with your choice there :)
    As for Eastern Europe I’d add Prague, Vilnius, Kiev or Kraków too. Oh, and Caucasus, especially Georgia! Not only extremely beautiful but also much safer than everyone expects :)
    kami recently posted..best food in the Balkans

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for adding to the list! I haven’t been to any Scandinavian countries yet, but I imagine they would all warrant a spot on this list from what I’ve heard.

      I agree about Eastern Europe to some extent, too, though I don’t know if I’d want to be roaming around some of the bigger cities at night on my own. But the smaller towns? Absolutely. However, in smaller places, the language barrier is much more of an issue.

      • kami says:

        I guess it depends on the area you’re roaming at night as Eastern European cities, like any other cities around the world, have good and bad neighbourhoods. I think that as long as you stick to the center and/or tourist areas and use your common sense you’d be fine.
        I think it’s easier for me as I can more or less communicate everywhere in that part of the world with my Polish, Czech and basic Russian skills. Language barriere could be challenging but on the other hand going for a “harder” first time trip might work out much better for some people, they wouldn’t be afraid of travelling solo to less popular destinations in future
        kami recently posted..best food in the Balkans

        • DangerousBiz says:

          Very true that tackling “harder” destinations could be perfect for some people. If you’re the type of person who needs challenge and excitement in your life, then diving into travel in a country where you don’t speak the language might be the perfect first solo trip! But that certainly wouldn’t be the case for everyone.

          • kami says:

            I know, I know. I was just in the different sitution that most of the people as no matter which places I’d have gone to there’d have always been a language barriere. I went for my first solo trip to Austria before I was even 18 and it worked perfectly fine for me and I started travelling solo since then. now with time I just set my boundaries further and further ;) But I know very well what had worked for me doesn’t have to work for most of the people. But I also think that a good preparation and a positive attitude can make a miracles before going to see the world as mostly the fear is the reason why people don’t travel
            kami recently posted..best food in the Balkans

  8. Simon says:

    I’m no solo female traveller – obviously! – but I was curious and I’m glad to see NZ make the list! I’d like to think my home country is friendly and welcoming to all types of travellers.
    Simon recently posted..Angkor Wat in one glorious day

    • DangerousBiz says:

      This list can definitely apply to solo male travelers, too! ;)

      And yes, I think NZ is a great place for travelers of all sorts. There’s a reason it’s my favorite country in the world!!

  9. Great picks! My first ever solo experience was in London, but I don’t think it really counts as I had lived there in the past, so I knew my bearings pretty well. I still think most Western destinations are great for solo females.
    A Montrealer Abroad recently posted..17 things to do in the province of Quebec

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I didn’t suggest England/London on this list simply because I feel like London could be a bit overwhelming if it was your very first solo trip abroad. Yes, everyone speaks English, but it’s so huge and busy that it might be a bit much to handle!

      • Speaking as a New Yorker (i.e., a denizen of a city that’s comparable in size to London), as well as someone who’s been to London seven times with most of those being solo trips, I don’t think London is too overwhelming at all. The Tube makes it very easy to get around, and for English speakers the language is a huge plus. So it’s very easy to ask for directions if you do need help; or to find what you need if you have to go to a pharmacy, for example. And as you know from experience, London is a great base for exploring a bunch of interesting areas that are relatively nearby, ranging from Oxford to Edinburgh. Basically, most of the advantages of Scotland, but much easier to get around.
        Harvey (H-Bomb’s Worldwide Karaoke) recently posted..8 things I’m looking forward to in the next 12 months

        • DangerousBiz says:

          Fair enough! I mean, I LOVE London. But trying to look at the city from the perspective of someone who has never traveled before, it could be a bit intimidating! I’m picturing my mom trying to navigate the Tube, for example, and it’s just funny. She would be freaking out!

  10. Thank you for writing this! I traveled solo a lot as a young(er) woman, and I also rarely felt unsafe, even in places like Honduras and the Philippines. There are certain things you need to be sensible about, but it would be such a pity for many women to miss out on seeing the world because they are afraid of doing it alone!
    Ariana {And Here We Are…} recently posted..On “Getting There”: a Review of My Life Map

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I totally agree, Ariana! We make so many excuses for not traveling, and this is one of the worst ones, I think. Traveling alone is actually my preferred way to travel! It’s so liberating, and allows you to really learn and grow as a person.

  11. Magu Bee says:

    I’d add communities such as CouchSurfing to your list of solo-traveler’s essentials and you’re basically all set :)

    I wouldn’t know first-hand about the first two, but can definitely vouch for Iceland and Icelanders. As far as costs are concerned, you can really do a lot and see heaps in Iceland without ruining your budget. And it’s coming from a Polish person, so go figure!
    When it comes to transportation and accommodation – Iceland has been made in order for people to hitch hike and camp out in tents in the summer time. Trust me, it won’t get better than waking up with sunrise on a small island on Myvatn lake, with nobody in sight and just nature around. Same goes for the fjords, horse farms etc.

    Exactly thanks to the fact that Iceland is so safe and Icelanders so friendly and helpful, it’s a place where even the least experienced traveller can allow themselves to go wild! (quite literally at that:) )

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Very good point about the camping and hitchhiking in Iceland! In fact, all of these countries are friendly to hitchhikers and campers! I didn’t include that in the post, however, because I’ve never tried it myself.

      • Magu Bee says:

        I have done that for a month and believe me – no hostel/hotel could ever compare to that experience!

        It was beautiful, thrilling, exciting and veeery cheap! (yes, due to my lack of a proper sleeping bag – cold as well :) )
        Magu Bee recently posted..BTA gearing up

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Andi! These are definitely the first ones I recommend to my female friends who say they want to travel.

  12. Well, I’m a little biased because it’s where most of my travels have taken place, but I think Southeast Asia is a great place for solo female travelers! Perhaps not for first timers who are a bit apprehensive, considering the barriers in language, culture, etc. however there are tons of volunteer programs and even a bus network like the ones in NZ (in Laos it’s Stray) to help bridge the gap.

    Love this post, Amanda! It’s frustratingly true that there are some things women traveling alone simply can’t do with the same fearlessness that men can, but that shouldn’t stop us from doing all we can. For example, a male friend of mine traveling in Cambodia met a tuk tuk driver, hit it off with him, and went on a week long expedition into the jungle to his village. Sounds amazing, but I don’t think I’d be wise to take a random tuk tuk driver up on the same offer. But I surely would go to Cambodia solo and have my own amazing experiences!
    Alexandra Baackes recently posted..Manta Ray Madness

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I haven’t been to Southeast Asia myself (yet), but I don’t really have an apprehensions about traveling there solo as a women. However, not sure if I would suggest it for someone’s very first trip abroad if they’re a bit scared about the whole travel thing!

      I love your example about the tuk tuk driver – it IS frustrating sometimes that our gender forces us to be wary of certain situations that would likely be amazing. But, you have to be smart to stay safe! And, like you said, you can still have an incredible time in Cambodia.

  13. memographer says:

    Agree on these three destinations. Pros and Cons sound so true. Scotland is one of my favorite countries. You are so right about warm and welcoming Scottish people.
    memographer recently posted..On My Shelves. My Travel Bring-back Collection. Season 3

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m sure many more pros and cons could be listed, but I figured these were the major points that most women would be concerned with. Glad you agree with my list!

  14. Nothing wrong with any of these picks… never been to Iceland, but we love the idea of it. Now if only all these great destinations weren’t also so bloody expensive. Could you do a post on great 3rd world destinations for the first time solo traveler? :)
    Skott and Shawna – Get Up & Globe recently posted..Portland, Oregon: My Greatest City in America?

    • DangerousBiz says:

      It does suck that these destinations are all quite expensive, I agree!

      As for great 3rd world destinations for the first-time solo traveler, I’ll have to get back to you on that one once I’ve visited some more!

  15. I kind of wish I could visit these destinations as a solo traveller, but unfortunately (erm, sorry husband), I have a man to drag around these days. In fairness, he’s a good bag carrier!

    I am very familiar with Scotland though, and would wholeheartedly recommend it for solo females. I think this is such a great, useful post. I am sure it will inspire a good few trips!
    Clare (holidayaddict23) recently posted..Travel Beauty Booty: 5 Skin Care Products You Should Pack

    • DangerousBiz says:

      We all need a good bag carrier in our lives. ;)

      And thanks! Hopefully this post will indeed inspire a few solo trips in the near future!

  16. Loving that Scotland is included in this list! Looking forward to seeing you super soon in Scotland for Blogmanay :)
    Emma @ Emma’s Travel Tales recently posted..Reigniting my Love for Glasgow

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Of COURSE Scotland is included in this list! So great for solo travel!

      And I’m super excited to be back in Scotland soon. I think I may be developing a “thing” for the UK…

  17. Great list! A friend I met in Thailand told me that Iceland is really a safe place for solo travelers. My cousin is working in New Zealand (which means I can stay in his house to lessen the expenses) and I almost made it to Scotland two years ago. If only the winter season didn’t make me lazy lol
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..My 6th Boracay Trip Notes – Eat, Relax and Enjoy!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Your friend you met in Thailand is absolutely right about Iceland! And, it sounds like a trip to NZ is definitely in order!

  18. My first solo female travels started with one week on my own in Argentina. Although most people wouldn’t recommend it for a “first,” I enjoyed the challenge (mainly a language barrier) and excitement of being somewhere so different. It made me realize I could go anywhere on my own.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..The Brooklyn Bridge in Photos

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That’s exactly what Kami and I were talking about in an earlier comment – for some people, a challenge like that would be the perfect way to feel empowered by travel!

  19. Candi says:

    What a great, balanced article! I love your comment ”But it’s no more dangerous than getting in your car and driving to the mall, ladies.” How true. We are often safer in places we travel to than at home (this doesn’t apply to me now but I would say it often did when home was London).

    Re SE Asia. I think this might be a bit overwhelming for someone’s first solo trip, especially if they are an inexperienced traveller as well. However, Singapore would be a great place for a solo trip. It’s incredibly safe – I was out walking around on my own there at 3/4am several nights last week and have done so numerous times in the past. I would do that at home (Dubai) but probably not in any European or North American city. Being somewhere so safe is great. Singapore is also very well organised, has an excellent (cheap) underground rail system to get around and there’s lots to do and a great mix of cultures. Little India is fantastic and without the non-stop sexual harassment of India (which puts it firmly at the bottom of my list of female-friendly destinations).

    Happy to see Scotland on your list :)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Ooo I hadn’t even thought about Singapore, but from what I’ve heard, it WOULD make a good place to go if you wanted a “softer” (albeit much more expensive) introduction to Asia.

      Glad you liked the post!

      • Linda says:

        I second Singapore- it’s the perfect Asian destination for solo females- amazing shopping, great transport system, safe and clean, plus the best food! Most people speak at least a bit of English. I also felt very comfortable in Langkawi in Malaysia- really quiet and relaxing.

  20. Sammi says:

    There is a lonely planet article about 10 best european destinations for first time travellers going around at the moment.
    my favourite place is still amsterdam, though, almost all dutch people speak PERFECT english and there are so many great hostels and to stay in and parks to sit in, and café’s and beautiful neighbourhoods, and museums, and the public transport around the city is great. One of the things I loved most about it was that it turned out to be so much more than smoking weed and coffee shops, though that is available if you want it. and i totally tried it because you only live once and all, but the once and the rest of the time was spent exploring the city!
    Sammi recently posted..Bumping into the Queen

  21. These are all good choices; I would also suggest adding Australia (at least the eastern portion, including Sydney and Melbourne). Many of the pros that you cited for New Zealand also apply to the land Down Under, plus it’s a little easier to get to (although it obviously still involves a lot of flying for anyone coming from the U.S. or Europe).
    Harvey (H-Bomb’s Worldwide Karaoke) recently posted..8 things I’m looking forward to in the next 12 months

    • DangerousBiz says:

      If this list had had a #4, it probably would have been Australia! Like you said, though, many of the pros for NZ also apply to Australia.

  22. Erika says:

    Nice tips, I totally agree with you in Scotland as one of the best destinations, that beautiful country has already helped me once to get back my peace of mind and find myself again…
    Erika recently posted..Néha a fogpótlás nem csak esztétikai okokból indokolt

  23. Anita Mac says:

    Great tips….totally agree with NZ – brilliant place to travel, alone or not. Have been hearing loads of noise about Iceland of late and would love to consider for next year. Definitely on the radar.
    Anita Mac recently posted..I Want to Go with Oh to Rome

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Iceland is definitely an up-and-comer, so I’d suggest getting yourself there ASAP! It’s a lot like New Zealand in a lot of ways – and yet completely unique at the same time!

  24. Rachel says:

    Great list, and having lived in Scotland for 2 years and spent 2 months in NZ, I agree with both of them. I’ve only ever been through Reykjavik on a layover, so I’d love to explore more of Iceland.

    I’d definitely recommend the Netherlands as a destination for a first-time solo female traveller. Many signs are mutli-lingual and most Dutch people in urban areas have excellent English. I’ve travelled solo in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Delft and felt safe in all of them. Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities; it has so much more to offer than just getting stoned (though if you’re going to, it’s probably one of the safer places to do it publicly ;).

    • DangerousBiz says:

      The Netherlands is definitely on my list! I think you’re the second person to suggest it now, so I definitely have to make it there soon!

  25. Rebecca says:

    Ohmigod, before I left for my WHV in New Zealand, everyone asked me if I was scared! I never was (despite knowing no one and had never been before) and after a while, I thought, should I be? I decided against that thought immediately and never looked back:-)
    Rebecca recently posted..Alaska – On the Road Again

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Good for you! I won’t say that I never get *nervous* before traveling to a new place. But I’ve never actually been scared!

  26. Bethany says:

    I live in NZ, so I would have to agree about the safety level:). I do think that driving and having a car makes traveling here much more fun though, the public transport in this country is somewhat lacking… I haven’t actually traveled solo, but that’s going to change in 2013… Your website is really great! Being a Tolkien nut, a travel nut, and a young adventurous female, I can really relate to most everything you are saying:). Thanks:). My list of places I’ve been currently stands: China, USA (L.A., Portland, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Antonio), England (London and Oxford), Italy (pretty much all over), Switzerland (again, all over), Fance (Paris), Finland (Helsinki and Turku), Sweden (Stockholm), Denmark (Copenhagen, and surrounding area, and the island of Bornholm), Singapore, and all over NZ of course! You make me so enthusiastic today!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I agree that NZ is definitely better explored with a car. But you can get by without one if need be, too! Public transport isn’t the *best*, but it’ll get you from A to B!

      It sounds like you’ve traveled a fair bit yourself. Good luck with your foray into solo travel in 2013!

  27. Chelsea says:

    I found this post not because I’m afraid, but because my friends are FOR me! I didn’t know what to tell them to allay their fears about me going out into the world alone, and their unenthusiasm has been so discouraging. This is exactly what I needed to read…thank youuu!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You are so welcome! And don’t let your worried friends talk you out of your travel dreams! Some people, unfortunately, will just never get it. But you should travel anyway and prove to them that there’s nothing scary about it!

  28. [...] that’s easier said than done, especially with comments flying around the Internet about how solo female travel is “downright foolish” and how “a woman has no business traveling alone.” [...]

  29. Yay, so glad New Zealand made the list, I totally agree :) I’m here right now and it’s basically my first leap into solo travel after being with my ex for 6 years (and travelling together for 2) – NZ’s awesome for solo female travel!
    Beverley | Pack Your Passport recently posted..The Kindness of Strangers

  30. [...] written before about destinations that are great for solo female travel, but now it’s time for YOU to give some [...]

  31. YES! Thank you! I love this post and totally agree with it. I know I am a guy so it may seem strange me commenting on the solo female backpacker phenomenon, but ‘solo female backpacker’ a phrase I really hate and dread. The amount of times I have been asked the exact same questions by women who wear the ‘solo female backpacker’ badge and repeated the exact same advice and answers you gave above, ‘Traveling safely as a solo woman is as simple as using common sense’ pretty much sums it up. It really is no more dangerous for a woman to travel than a man, and that is the way it should be.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks so much for commenting! Glad you agree.

      And, actually, as I’ve written in posts in the past, statistically speaking men are much more likely to get in trouble while traveling! It’s just the whole “weak woman” stereotype that makes people look at solo female travelers differently.

  32. Katie says:

    Great list! I’ve visited the first two (I grew up just an hour south of the Scottish border, and I spent a month travelling round New Zealand a few years ago). They’re both stunningly beautiful places, with plenty of opportunity to stare at gorgeous scenery.

    Iceland has been on my to-visit list ever since a friend showed me her holiday photos from there last year. I’d love to go!

    I would probably add two places to this list:

    France: it’s part of a great high-speed rail network, and once you get outside Paris, people are generally friendly, especially if you try and speak a bit of French. (You don’t even have to be good, just show you’re making an effort. A simple ‘bonjour’ or ‘merci’ is often enough to make people behave more warmly towards you.) The various regions are also very different, and although eating out can be expensive, most little French towns have markets selling scrumptuous local produce at affordable prices – it’s where many of the locals shop, after all.

    Australia: I lived in Melbourne for a year as a student and travelled quite a bit around the rest of the country. Although it’s expensiveness is on a par with New Zealand, it has a thriving backpacker industry, meaning that most places have some form of budget accommodation. The people are super friendly and laid back, and because it’s such a huge country, there’s so much to see. I think Australia is the ideal place for the solo female traveller who wants to spend a longer amount of time on a trip.

    But thanks for posting this – it’s great to be reminded that the whole ‘I’m a girl on my own’ thing doesn’t have to become a major issue when planning travel. :-)
    Katie recently posted..A Royal Archive: Windsor Castle, 2012

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I haven’t traveled much in France, but really most of Western Europe could go on this list. I haven’t had any real issues anywhere in Europe yet as a solo female. Though the language differences could turn some people off.

      And I agree that Australia would work well here, too!

  33. Clovergirl says:

    Hi,
    I am about to do my first solo trip to Ireland and Scotland this year. Super excited but also a bit nervous about how to get around (car, train or bus) and also where to stay (I’m 35- is that too old for hostels, should I be thinking more B&B?) Any suggestions/advice would be brilliant!

    Also, I live in Australia and would totally recommend it to solo female travellers :-)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Congrats on your first solo trip! As for getting around Scotland and Ireland, it really depends on what sort of trip you want to have. If you just want to focus on cities, you could get around by train or bus pretty easily, and maybe do some day tours to locations outside of the cities. Otherwise renting a car would be best – it gives you a lot of flexibility!

      As for where to stay… most hostels don’t have age limits! So don’t count them out completely – you could look for ones with private rooms, like I do. Otherwise, yes, BnBs are nice, or you could perhaps consider renting a room or flat through a site like Air BnB if you want to stay away from hotels.

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