The freedom to simply pack a bag and go on a holiday is something that we’ll probably never again be taken for granted after the pandemic. But according to Outlook Traveller, restrictions imposed in the past have only enhanced the desire to explore and discover the best destinations of the world, even better if off the beaten path and alone.
Even if sometimes solo travelling can be quite intimidating (questions like: “Will I be safe?” or “What’s the best itinerary to follow?” are very common), it’s expected to make a comeback in the biggest way ever as travellers seek ways to spend quality time with themselves.
Whatever destination you will choose, know that the success of your travel experience really depends on the choice of your destination, your passions and what you want to get out of it. In the end, travelling solo is a confidence builder and it’s amazing what challenges you can overcome when you know you have to do it independently.
Of course, there are definitely some countries that are more suitable for a solo trip than others, especially if it’s going to be your first experience, but realistically every destination has to be tailored for the individual’s wants and needs; what is great for you, could seem like an absolute nightmare for someone else.
Basically, the secret to having a great experience from your solo trip is to have a good plan and organize yourself well. Don’t take any unnecessary risks: it’s pointless saying to yourself that we have the right to go wherever we wish because the reality of it is that in some countries, more than in others, going around alone at night, into certain unknown areas or not keeping a safe distance if someone was to approach you can be risky. What’s more, in case you choose a “difficult” destination for a solo trip, always rely on competent professionals and keep your eyes open at all times (this advice is applicable to our daily life and not just for travelling alone, though).
Unforgettable Solo Destinations
Are you ready to plan your bucket-list solo trips? Here are 5 incredible once-in-a-lifetime destinations you can research and even book in advance.
The fame of Venice, Florence or Rome is already well known. But the second time around (yes, you always go back to Italy), look a little deeper and you’ll see thousands of new paths waiting to be discovered. Although the Country is known for its food and there are millions of possibilities for gastronomic tours, Italy can nourish your soul with its incredible cultural landscapes, too. It currently holds the largest number of UNESCO world heritage sites, and it can truly be considered an exceptional representation of cultural blending, the result of the continuous mixing of civilizations and exchange of cultural influences in the centre of the Mediterranean. Easily reachable by train, by car and even by bike, this Country is safe and offers endless opportunities, including a simple blast of warmth.
Secret escape: Roero, a wonderful region in the northwest of Italy, is considered one of the most charming landscapes of Piedmont. Think rolling hills, quaint villages struck on cliffs, and prized vineyards and gastronomic traditions. You will have chances to experience truffle hunting, trekking among the vineyards as well as visiting ancient castles full of history. Not only famous for its truffles, but there’s also cheese, nuts, excellent wines (Barbera d’Alba, Birbèt, Bonarda, Favorita, and Moscato d’Asti, Nebbiolo and Arneis), and small restaurants that seem straight out of a fairy tale, where locals are still cooking original recipes from the past.
India may seem too big to deal with if you travel alone. But it remains one of the oldest civilisations in the world, a real mosaic of multicultural experiences. For those who love to discover the traditions and culture of India, a dip in the opulent past of the Maharajahs, in Rajasthan, with the magnificent Jaipur and Udaipur might be an unforgettable experience. There are also many peaceful little paradises to explore where you will never be short of a smile. One of these paradises is Kerala, God’s Own Country. It will enchant you with lush nature, backwaters, Ayurveda, jungles, and wide golden beaches on the ocean lined with palm trees.
Secret escape: The backwater regions of Kerala are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. By cruising Alleppey – known as ‘the Venice of the East’ – with a houseboat or on a little canoe, you will experience the real life of small and serene Indian villages. Opting for a one-night cruise, you will not only enjoy the whole afternoon on the lake but also amazing sunsets. Waking up the following day is even more enchanting: you will be surrounded by millions of blooming water lilies.
It smells like frangipani wherever you go, a corner of paradise wedged into the ocean. A vibrant place of energy to recharge your batteries and rediscover your happiness. Whether you’re trekking on the slopes of volcanoes, walking in the forest, surfing in the Bali sea, doing yoga, strolling among sacred temples or simply chilling out in the turquoise waters, Bali is a safe destination for anyone travelling alone. It’s a country of tolerance, respect and of great hospitality.
Secret escape: Take part in a traditional Balinese purification ceremony – the “Melukat” – at the historic Tirta Empul temple in northeast Ubud. Known for their capacity to cleanse and heal the body, water blessing rituals are used to treat a number of different ailments: physical, emotional and spiritual. As a sign of thanksgiving and prayer to God, there are also dedicated baskets of intertwined palm leaves, full of flowers, rice and fruits.
If your heart tends towards Central America, then the top destination is Costa Rica, the green destination par excellence and one of the world’s happiest countries, with a luscious abundance of nature like no other. A small natural, exotic, and surprisingly cosmopolitan pearl. The wonder of its jungle and its heavenly coasts will delight those who adore open green spaces. A country that in a relatively short time has become a favourite destination for surfers, yoginis and trekking lovers. In fact, having the chance to do outdoor activities so close to its exuberant flora and fauna is something quite exceptional. From white water rafting down the famous Reventazon River to rappelling down stunning waterfalls, zip-lining through dense rainforest, and hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park, this exotic destination has a lot to offer. The country has never experienced any political unrest or agitation, making it one of the world’s most peaceful destinations.
Secret escape: Surely the most popular natural park in the country, but also the smallest, is Manuel Antonio National Park, located on the Pacific coast. There are paradisiacal beaches and forest trails populated by howler monkeys, sloths, pelicans, armadillos, parrots, iguanas. This might be an opportunity to discover the beauties of the tropical rainforest on developed trails while being teased by monkeys. Don’t miss a stroll on Playa Espadilla Sur, Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Puerto Escondida where you can also go kayaking, snorkelling or surfing.
An excellent destination for once-in-a-lifetime solo trips. In Thailand, culture and history are intertwined in the gold of the temples and sandy beaches. Here, everything radiates a genuinely deep sense of well-being. Best known for its exotic properties and friendly hospitality, it offers a chance to meet other like-minded people. You can have either an urban adventure in central Bangkok or a relaxing vacation on the serene beaches of Koh Samui, including a yoga retreat on the offshore islands of Krabi.
Secret escape: Ayutthaya, the ancient holy city and one of the must-see places on a trip to Thailand. It’s located about 75 kilometres from Bangkok. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, this ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was completely destroyed by the Burmese. Today, you can see a gigantic set of temples and monasteries that will give you a glimpse of the grandeur of the past. Among the monuments not to be missed in Ayutthaya are Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Do not visit the area on foot, the site is far too extensive. You have three options for exploring the ancient city: bicycle, scooter rental or a tuk-tuk tour.
Whichever destination you choose, there’s one thing for certain: you will come back enriched, open and changed.