Awesome Destinations for Your First Solo Trip

I’m a firm believer that everyone should try traveling solo at some point in their lives. You may have plenty of friends and family members who make for wonderful travel companions, but traveling alone offers so many extra opportunities for self-discovery, personal growth, and cultural connection. The big question then is where should be your first solo trip?

With common sense and level-headed research, there’s no reason why women can’t travel solo to all corners of the world (many do!); however, I admit that traveling alone can seem intimidating, especially as a woman and especially if you haven’t tried it before. Here are a few destinations that I think are perfect for uneasy first-time solo travelers: They’re safe, welcoming, and, most importantly, very cool!

Awesome Destinations for Your First Solo Trip!

England

England is a great stop for your first solo trip

England is easily the best country in the world for a nervous North American traveler to visit. The culture is different enough from home to be exciting, but familiar enough to feel comfortable. My mom grew up in England, and I’ve visited numerous times over the years. I occasionally worry that England might start to become boring for me, but even after repeated trips, I find there’s always more to discover.

One of the best parts of traveling alone in England is that many of its most well-known attractions are museums, monuments, and historic buildings, which I think are particularly solo-traveler-friendly. You can linger over interesting exhibits or read descriptive panels without feeling like you might be holding up your non-existent travel companion. Visiting these types of attractions alone is also a great opportunity to grab an audio guide and get completely absorbed into the site’s story.

England is a great destination for a first solo trip.  Learn more about travel in England and the UK here.

Sweden

Stockholm is a unique choice for your first solo trip

Full disclosure: I visited Stockholm with my boyfriend; but regardless, I couldn’t help but notice that it ticks all the boxes I look for when it comes to ideal first solo trip destinations: Most locals were friendly and spoke some English, plus the city was clean, beautiful, and safe (it was ranked 4 on the 2015 Safe Cities Index). I adored Stockholm, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return to alone to explore more of Sweden.

As an added bonus, Sweden is a bit more undiscovered than many other areas of Europe. I’m sure you know countless people who’ve visited France and Italy, but how many people do you know that have been to Sweden? It’s a fantastic choice if you want to travel to somewhere slightly less mainstream, yet still accessible.

Here is how to rock Stockholm on a budget.  It doesn’t have to be super expensive!

Japan

Japan Makes for a Wonderful First Solo Trip

Japan regularly ranks among the world’s safest countries. When I lived in Takayama, I rarely locked my front door when I went out and never locked my car. One of my co-workers once commented that if you ever felt a stranger touch your bag in a crowd, it’d be reasonable to assume they were returning something you had dropped rather than trying to steal your wallet.

Plus, Japan is just one of my favorite places in the entire world. The food is incredible, the transportation system is insanely efficient, and the culture couldn’t get much more different than the West. The language barrier might be a touch daunting for some, particularly if you visit smaller towns where few people speak English, but most locals are willing to work through the communication barrier with you. Japan provides a fantastic introduction to solo travel as well as to Asia as a whole.

Want to travel to Japan?  Learn more about it here including how to eat on a budget, how much a 3-week trips costs and more!

Where else do you think is perfect for your first solo trip?

 

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Awesome Destinations for Your First

Jessica Dawdy

Jessica Dawdy is a serial expat who has been slowly working her way around the world since 2011. She’s lived in 7 different countries, doing everything from painting houses to teaching English. Catch up with her travel stories and expat adventures at Ways of Wanderers. Read more about Jessica here.

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17 thoughts on “Awesome Destinations for Your First Solo Trip”

  1. Great post! It’s so interesting to hear about the general attitude and culture in Japan and how different it is to our own. It sounds like a very nice place and, of course, a beautiful country too!

  2. I agree the Japan thing. it’s safe, very safe, people are polite. Transportation is good but also depends on the cities you visit. Metro systems in Tokyo are crazy as there are a lot of lines. I like the trams in Hiroshima and buses in Kyoto. And there is one option for you list: Korea

  3. Great list. I took my first major trip this year and went to the United Kingdom. Granted, for the majority of the time I had a friend with me, but I can see how it would still have been fun alone. Particularly because, as you mentioned, everyone moves through museums and monuments at different paces, so there are som advantages to going alone.

    My first real solo trip will be a short stop in Reykjavik in two weeks. Iceland is one of the safest places on earth, plus most people speak English. So I am hoping that it will be another great solo destination. We shall see : )

  4. I think Korea is much easier to travel solo than Japan and people there are much friendlier. Korea was my first solo travel spot and it was so easy to be there. Don’t get me wrong though as Japan is my favourite place in the World. I’d also suggest Denmark. Everyone there speaks English and they are so friendly.

  5. My first solo travel experience was in Sweden, and it was amazing! I felt so safe, and everyone was very welcoming and helpful! I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in solo travel 🙂

  6. I’d add Western Canada to this list. Lots of adventure to be had, but everyone is very friendly and helpful if you need it. Plus, the Canadian dollar is in the tank right now, so a perfect place for budget-friendly fun.

  7. Hi Jess! I definitely agree with your recommendation for England, especially if you are coming from an native English speaking country. I would specifically recommend London as there is so much going on and extremely to meet people everywhere you do. I would also put Bath forward, as it is such a beautiful and quintessential town like no other. Two very opposite cities but both would have a lot to show a solo traveler.

    Japan is on my bucketlist as well and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

    Happy travels 🙂 Kat x

  8. I found South East Asia very safe and interesting to go as a solo traveller. Also, from my experience, the travellers you meet in Asian hostels are more friendly and open-minded comparing to travelling in Europe.

    Katya

  9. As a girl, I always try solo trip. But my parents always restrict me for solo… and i never go anywhere solo. but after reading this post my parents give me permission…

  10. Hi Jessica,
    I have always wanted to take a solo trip to a foreign land but have shied away from it in the past. The destinations you have listed in your blog seem easy and same yet at the same time beautiful and unique. I have now made up my mind to travel to England the first chance I get.

  11. I’m going to Sweden alone tomorrow, and is feeling a bit doubtful and worried about what would happen, .. haha. Your post as given me a new motivation, and reason why I should travel alone.

  12. Hello Jessica, I wanna try these recommendations of yours and to do my first ever solo trip next year. I will visit first Sweden and experience its beauty and of course conquer the views at Stockholm. These really are informative. Thumbs-up for this post.

  13. I’d also recommend one of the Baltic states, either Lithuania, Estonia or Latvia. The reasons are: all of them are pretty developed countries with all the conveniences (and safe also); they are small, which means you are never too far from a city and it is possible to see all the country on a bike (which solo travelers often choose a main vehicle)

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