7 Great Places for Solo Female Travel in 2015

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So you've written down your resolutions for 2015. And, high up near the top of the list, reads: “TRAVEL MORE.” Maybe you've even underlined it a few times — that's how much you want to see the world and have adventures.

It's a great goal, of course; travel teaches us so much more about human nature and the world that we could ever hope to learn from books or TV. But sometimes achieving that goal is tricky.

We want to travel, but we wait and wait (sometimes forever) for someone else to be able to travel with us. Finances, jobs, family commitments, and all manner of other things always seem to get in the way.

Well, NOT in 2015, ladies.

Make 2015 the year of solo travel!

Great Places for Solo Female Travel

I've been traveling the world pretty consistently for the past 4-5 years, and I do the majority of my travel solo. Is this because I'm anti-social and hate the company of others? Of course not! I'm just not willing to waste time waiting. I want to travel NOW, so I travel on my own.

RELATED: Why I'm Not Afraid to Travel Alone

Solo travel can be awesome — you gain confidence, worldly know-how, and some seriously sweet stories to take home. So, when Expedia asked me to collaborate with them to share some of my suggestions on where to go in 2015, I was happy to oblige.

Here are my picks for great places to travel solo this year:

NEW ZEALAND

If you follow my blog regularly, you already know that I am in love (okay, a little obsessed with) New Zealand. The Land of the Long White Cloud is “The One” for me — the one country that I will keep returning to, time and time again, because I love it so much. I love the landscapes, the laid-back cultural vibe, and the wide range of adventure activities to enjoy.

Lupins at Lake Tekapo

Some of my favorite places in New Zealand: the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata; the capital city of Wellington; the coastal town of Kaikoura; Mount Cook and the surrounding lakes; the lakeside town of Wanaka; and Queenstown, New Zealand's “Adventure Capital.”

Why it's great for solo travel: New Zealand is BUILT for solo travel. It's safe, easy to get around, and filled with so many amazing landscapes and activities that you won't ever have to worry about getting bored. It's also filled with great hostels, which can be perfect places to stay if you're young and want to meet other travelers.

RELATED: Top 9 Questions About Solo Travel Answered

SCOTLAND

Oh how I love Scotland! Yes, it can be quite wet and chilly (even in the summer), but it's gorgeous no matter what the weather is like. When I think of Scotland, I think of green hills and castles. And who doesn't like those two things?

Isle of Skye

Some of my favorite places in Scotland: Edinburgh (all of it!); the Highlands; and especially the Isle of Skye.

Why it's great for solo travel: Scotland is another very safe country — you don't really have to worry about going anywhere on your own. It's also a fairly small country, making it easy to explore. And, even though the accents might throw you, everyone speaks English here!

CANADA

Most people tend to lump Canada in with the U.S. when talking about travel destinations, but Canada is definitely unique in its own right, and has a LOT to offer any type of traveler.

Peggys Cove HDR

Some of my favorite places in Canada: Toronto; Canada's capital city of Ottawa (go for the Tulip Festival!); Banff National Park (Alberta is awesome); the coastal parts, like in Nova Scotia; Vancouver; and the pretty city of Victoria.

Why it's great for solo travel: Again, it's safe and the people are friendly. It's also pretty easy to get around — consider taking the train across the entire country!

IRELAND

Very similar to Scotland, I also love Ireland a lot. The land of Guinness and leprechauns is a favorite for a lot of travelers, which definitely says something about the country as a whole. I've been to Ireland three times now, and will certainly be back again.

Cliffs of Moher

Some of my favorite places in Ireland: Dublin; the Dingle Peninsula; the Cliffs of Moher; the Aran Islands; and Glendalough in County Wicklow.

Why it's great for solo travel: Like the other countries on this list so far, Ireland is safe. You can go just about anywhere as a woman on your own and not have to worry about your safety. It's also easy to do day trips from Dublin if you're more comfortable exploring from a home base.

SLOVENIA

Before you go saying, “Wait, where's Slovenia?,” I'll tell you that it's a small country surrounded by Croatia, Hungary, Austria, and Italy. It's incredibly overlooked by most travelers to Europe, but that's part of the reason why I love it so much. It has a small population, and a small number of annual tourists — meaning it's pretty cities are rarely overcrowded.

Ljubljana HDR

Some of my favorite places in Slovenia: Lake Bled; the capital of Ljubljana; Postojna Cave; and Triglav National Park.

Why it's great for solo travel: As I mentioned before, Slovenia isn't super-touristy, making it a really laid-back place to visit on your own. It's also (can you guess?) quite safe, and well-connected to most major cities in Europe either by train or budget airline.

ICELAND

Oh, Iceland. This country halfway between North America and Europe is definitely in my top five favorite places on the planet. Its landscapes are almost other-worldly, it's in the perfect position to see some amazing Northern Lights in the winter, it has adorably fluffy horses, and people here legit believe in elves. Like, for real. It also has more waterfalls and volcanoes and glaciers than you can shake a stick at.

Iceland

Some of my favorite places in Iceland: Reykjavik; the Snaefellsnes Peninsula; Jokulsarlon; and ALL the waterfalls along the South Shore.

Why it's great for solo travel: There's basically no crime in Iceland, so, again, a very safe place to visit. And, even though you pretty much have no hope of pronouncing any Icelandic words, the great news is that almost everyone here also speaks perfect English! It's also another country where taking day trips from the capital (Reykjavik) is very easy if you don't want to rent a car on your own.

THAILAND

Lastly, I felt like Asia deserved to be represented on this list. It's not always the first place people think of when they think solo travel, but believe it or not it IS a good option! Thailand would be my pick because it's firmly on the Southeast Asia backpacker trail (meaning tons of fellow travelers to meet) and the tourism infrastructure is quite good. It also has a good variety of places to visit, from the jungle to beaches.

Pranang Beach, Railay

Some of my favorite places in Thailand: Bangkok (though not for too long); Elephant Nature Park; Chiang Mai; the Railay beaches; and the island of Koh Lanta.

Why it's great for solo travel: There are SO many travelers in Thailand all the time. Meaning if you don't want to be on your own you probably don't have to be. Book some day tours, or stay in hostels so you can pick up travel buddies along the way. Thailand is also pretty cheap, which is helpful if you don't have someone to split costs with!

What are some other places YOU would suggest for solo travel this year?

Some great products for the female traveler:

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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90 Comments on “7 Great Places for Solo Female Travel in 2015

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  1. For me solo travel as a woman has always been about less touristy places. The more touristy the places, the more crowded they tend to become and the less safer they end up being. Thats why, my favourites are Finland, Canada, New Zealand and Denmark. 🙂

      It all depends on where you are in any given country – the ones you mentioned can actually get really busy (in certain parts) during the high season! But they’re also all very safe countries overall, which helps a lot.

    Love your site, Amanda. Travel blogger virgin here! Just started a few weeks ago. So, I’m here ‘borrowing’ all your great ideas. 😉

    The photography on your site is stunning! Do you use a mix your own photos and stock images? Very happy to see Iceland and Slovenia make your list. I lived in Iceland for several years. Incredible experience! And I am headed to Slovenia in a few months! Thanks for the inspiration. I’d love for you to check out my site.

      99% of the photos on my site are my own. 🙂 The ones that aren’t are always marked, but I really don’t like using stock or Creative Commons photos!

    Fantastic article with amazing tips. My little sister, Anii is currently backpacking in Indian Himalayas and she would love to read did as much as I did. Thanks for sharing!

    Love this list – would really like to explore south east Asia. Heard so many great things about Thailand, but also about Vietnam. Heard loads of people say it’s even more incredible than Thailand, so would love to go and explore them both to find out! Though I’d also add Australia to this list. Lived there for a year and absolutely fell in love with the country.

      Vietnam is really great, too, though it’s not quite as “easy” to travel in as Thailand (I wouldn’t recommend it for a very first solo trip, for example). But Australia is definitely another good suggestion!

    Thanks for the reply, Amanda. So any of the designated “Great Walks” require a permit through the DOC I’m assuming. Do they have offices at the beginning and ends of trailheads? I’ll do some research to figure it out but any help would be appreciated.

    I know in the States I’d NEVER do a long one day or multi-day hike alone. Maybe I’ve seen too many episodes of Dateline ID and Forensic Files but murders and abductions to happen… no so in NZ I suppose. Or I hope.

      New Zealand is a very safe country, and the popular hiking trails are usually not empty – in fact, you may not end up hiking solo at all! Some of the popular hikes (like the Milford Track) require you to book your hike/permit dates pretty far in advance – so make sure to look into the hikes you’re interested in doing well before you plan to go! Some of them do fill up during high season.

        Thank you so much for the reply, Amanda. I’m not going to let traveling solo stop me! I travel alone all throughout the US so why should this be different? Thanks again!

      As a Kiwi, I am telling you, you have more to be worried about getting lost in rugged terrain than you do of anything else. So often we have tourists come over who enter the bush ill prepared and get lost (occasionally injured) and waste the time, money and resources of our search teams who have to spend hours/days searching and rescuing them. So my advice is to make sure you go hiking very well prepared. Often tourists underestimate much of our beautiful wilderness and find themselves in trouble because they get lost. Temperatures plummet overnight in the bush and it can get very cold. Please be a safe traveller, inform the right people of your intentions of where you are hiking to and expected arrival times etc. Leave only your footprints behind and shoot lots of great pics. Most of all, have a great time ?

        Thanks Kellee, I appreciate it. I definitely am a planner so I’ll be familiar with the tracks, I hope. Thanks again!

    I’ve been to NZ twice, but am returning soon and my traveling buddy cannot accompany me. The problem is I want to hike some of those epic hikes for my 50th… multi day hikes, like Milford Track or one of the 2-3 day hikes in the mountains.

    In your opinion, are these safe for women traveling alone, too? The idea of canceling my trip because my friend cannot go is killing me, but I cannot afford a second ticket for the hubby or one of my kids, whose schedules won’t let them go anyway. Thoughts on this???

      I haven’t personally done any of the multi-day hikes in New Zealand, but I know other women who have with no issues. The good thing about hiking some of those “Great Walks” is that you have to get a permit to do them and book accommodation at designated huts – meaning someone will know where you’re supposed to be. I’d say it’s quite safe to do on your own!

    […] Wahoo another travel blogger from OHIO! As her homepage says, Amanda is “just a small town Ohio girl trying to see the world”. Sounds familiar. I guess that’s part of the reason I’m really into her blog, but she’s also just a great writer in general. She writes a lot about safety of traveling alone, like this article 7 great places for solo female travel. […]

    Thanks for all the recommended places. I’m used to traveling by myself for work and have never backed down exploring the various locations I’ve been to. I would definitely recommend Vancouver, BC as a great destination. Very walkable and safe. I was thinking about treating myself to a solo trip to Ireland. Any recommendations regarding lodging in Dublin?

      Ah yes, Vancouver is great! As for Dublin, there are lots of cool boutique hotels, and I’ve also rented Airbnb apartments there, too. I don’t really have any favorites, though.

    Japan is expensive, but very safe. The public transport is the best. I felt safe everywhere day and night. There is so much to see-beautiful scenery, great shopping, temples. Get to some of the other, less populated islands like Shikoko or Hokkaido too.

      Great to hear it, Rae! Japan is definitely somewhere I plan to visit.

    Hi Amanda, I just discovered your blog and like someone mentioned at the beginning of these suggestions China is a great place to travel as a solo female. I have been to China by myself twice before. Once right out of high school and again for half a year after college. The half year I spent in Chengdu I fell in love with the city. I will say that I do speak rudimentary Chinese and it is definitely easier to travel knowing the language or at least some basics. Chinese people who know English always want to practice it though, so there have been a couple situations I have gotten out of with help from a local wanting to practice English. You can always mime which they may laugh at but not maliciously and they’ll try to understand. Definitely learn how to say and hear the money values though or you will get ripped off on goods (though it still isn’t very much). I always felt very safe, even at night whether in the city or the middle of nowhere. Also, as a female foreigner, locals will be more willing to help out. Chengdu is a great city to create a home base to travel from. I worked during the week and then took short weekend trips to travel around Chengdu and then holidays to travel farther out. There are great destinations in every direction and Chengdu has an extensive public transportation network that is very cheap. I personally took buses everywhere and for those couple long trips I took a train or plane. To the north of Chengdu are the Panda forests, Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong; to the west is Kangding which has a great Tibetan culture if you can’t get a permit into Tibet; to the south is the Bamboo Sea, Leshan, Mt. Emeishan; Last to the east is Mt. Huayun. From Sichuan Province during holidays you can easily travel to the neighboring provinces and cities of Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Guizhou, and Yunnan. I wanted to show you some pictures of these places, but I’ve never posted on a blog before and have no idea how to do it sorry :(, if you want them though I can email you some pictures 🙂

    Hi, just want to share my views as female solo traveller. By the way, thanks for posting about NZ (my home country). I think one Southeast Asian country which has been missed from the list but is easy to get around and extremely safe is Singapore. I currently live in Singapore. Granted it is very expensive – that is to say on par with the Western countries. English is one of the main languages here, the currency is in dollars, and the public transport system is fantastic!! Eating at hawker centre’s can cost anywhere from SGD$2.50 and up for a meal. There are loads of Western expats here and lots of tourists at any given time of the year. Batam and Bintan (Indonesia) are a 45min ferry ride away, and Malaysia is a 7min bus ride across the causeway.

    I also want to mention Malacca in Malaysia as being a fabulous place to visit. Its safe, it has a great vibe and its easy to walk everywhere as its flat. For the slightly more adventurous I would recommend Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Its wild and crazy and lots of fun!! I went on motorbike tours almost everyday, met some great people and saw some amazing sights. For a slightly more laid back holiday, try Da Nang. Again I was out on motorbike tours most days. The Han River is beautiful with all the bridges lit up at night, especially the dragon bridge which shoots flames out its mouth on Saturday/Sunday nights.

    Sabah (Borneo) is great for wildlife but the tours are expensive. Kota Kinabalu is great for shopping at their huge handicraft markets where I picked up several handmade pearl pandora style bracelets for cheap gifts. Brunei was also amazing.

      Thanks for the comment and suggestions, Kellee!!

    Hello,
    I just found this site and loved reading the comments! I have travelled solo before and considering doing a 2-3 week trip this year and was considering Brazil. I did see someone said they found it friendly with is great. I want to go on my own, but would also like to have a blend of a tour or place to sometimes anchor on, but not one that has an itinerary packed full every day. Do any of you know any companies like that? I am not sure I described very well what I am looking for.

    Cheers

      Hmm, well, I’m a fan of traveling with Intrepid Travel, but I don’t know what kind of tours they have in Brazil. Maybe you could pick a couple cities you want to visit and then go on some day tours? That way you might hit that ideal mix that you’re looking for.

    Great topic! I wanted to note that in my experience South America was a very welcoming and accessible place for a solo female traveler. I took buses across Argentina and Chile, which was definitely the most rewarding and affordable transportation I’ve ever used. During that time I camped on farms, stayed in hostels or hotels and never once had trouble. A taxi driver in Northern Chile was concerned about me travelling solo, but he was also a very sweet old soul I was lucky to meet.

      Great to hear, Heather! I haven’t traveled to South America yet, so unfortunately I don’t have any personal experience to speak of there.

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