Lately, solo travel is hot. Fierce, independent and courageous women and men have been all over social media sharing their solo voyages. It makes you wonder: is solo travel something I should try? We are all different interests, experiences and priorities. It might seem difficult to make that jump into solo travel. There are lots of benefits of solo travel, and you deserve those too.
Although there are many advantages about heading out there all by yourself, to clear things up, I’ve listed some easy ways to get into solo traveling. I think everyone should have the opportunity to travel around and try out solo traveling. But it’s easier said than done. In this post, you will find six small steps towards solo travel to help you become more comfortable with being out all by yourself!
1. Go to the Movies By Yourself
« The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. » – Lao Tzu
And yours is a trip to the movies. It’s a perfect way to get out there and do a solo activity in a comfortable environment (read: snacks, sofa’s and your favorite actor included), so why not give it a try?
2. Go to a Restaurant/ Bar By Yourself
This second step is a bit more challenging. When I first started solo traveling, heading out to eat in a restaurant solo was a bit weird- not for me, but for other people. Apparently, asking for a table for one isn’t something they hear everyday, but why should that stop you from doing it?
Eating out by yourself is great because you can treat yourself to a nice dinner so you’re instantly rewarding yourself for gathering all that courage! Plus, you can enjoy a dinner in peace by yourself and fully focus on the delicious food – extra advantage: you don’t have to share side dishes and that break basket? All yours!
Pick out a nice table, maybe close to others who are also out solo. Or you could go to a cool bar and sit at the bar! You can start a chat with the bar tender and everyone who passes. This is a great way to get to know people yet be remained at your own cool spot.
3. Travel in Your Own City
Now let’s go on a real trip. A lot of people don’t see their domestic cities as fun or cool or vibrant. Often, this exciting feeling of going out in your own city gets lost after living there for a while. Try to open your eyes: what are some cool places you haven’t visited yet? What attracts foreigners to your city? An exposition, a museum, a park? Try to find attractions in your city that match your interests and this time, skip asking a friend to join you and head out solo.
4. Travel in Your Own Country
Let’s move to a bigger scale! Now that you’ve been exposed to being outdoors by 2 and you might have been on a little trip (depending on how big your city is), try to think about your home country.
It’s the perfect time to wander around a place without a plan and to just get lost in a destination. I find that one of the many advantages of solo trips: you have the freedom and peace to discover things on your own and wander around on your pace.
I’m positive that all countries have their specialties and uniqueness to offer. So think about what makes your country so special or what is a cool place you haven’t been to yet. Often, the capital is full of life and cultural sights, so why not go for that one? Or, if you’re more into peaceful vibes, head out to the coast side of your country, or ( if there is none), the mountains or any other natural sight!
If you’re not sure what you’d like to do or see, make a bucket list. You can answer questions like: What do I love to do in my free time? What makes me smile? What gives me excitement when I think about it? What is my dream destination? Why?
If you’re not so confident about traveling solo yet, you can opt for a group holiday. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about arranging everything about your trip and you get to know so many new people instantly! Remember you are a part of a group, a team, and you’re all there to make unforgettable memories and to discover amazing destinations.
If you’re in between a group trip and a solo trip, check out special formulas companies like the variety of Contiki offers: you have the freedom to head out yourself yet you are a part of the group whenever you want to.
There are many ways to start travelling solo, close or far away from home. We’re all different and the fun part of solo travel is that you can do it completely on your own way. No obligations, no rules. Only pure freedom and adventure! So if you’re still doubting if solo travel is your thing: start with small steps and begin your journey of a thousand steps.
The vivid capital of Catalunya is known for its mouthwatering tapas, extraordinary art collections and one-of-a-kind architecture. With Gaudí’s spirit present in every barceloní and barcelonina, it’s not hard to understand why many tourists come to admire the many attractions of the global city in all its defined glory. And for that, it might be confusing to know where to start – not only has Gaudí left outstanding artworks in the city, the football club Barcelona also has many fanatics from all over the world and keeps the fire burning in the modern, spicy cosmopolitan.
If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know I lived in Barcelona for a while. After exploring the city with locals and visiting the best spots, I came to the conclusion that Barcelona has it all: mountains, beaches, parks, malls, castles, viewpoints; whatever it is that you are looking for in a city. To guide you during your next trip to Barcelona, I created an insider’s guide so you can fully immerse yourself in the Catalonian spirit and, like a local, devour delicious tapas, visit gorgeous architectural wonders and come to a relaxation at the most stunning and highest viewpoints.
Parque Guëll is often described as “Gaudi’s playground”, the place where he let all his fantasy run wild and create the most unique and gorgeous works. There is a free area as well, however to access the famous mosaic bench and Gaudi’s house, you must enter the paying area, which has a price of €10.
Entering casa Battló is like immersing yourself in the deep, enchanting blue ocean. With a decor that takes you to your wildest fantasies, a visit to this house is often one skipped by many tourists, however very much worth a visit. Its location on Passeig de Gracia, in the middle of high-end fashion boutiques, represents the spirit of Barcelona very well, mixing the modern shopping street with an authentic showpiece, brought to you by the famous Gaudí.
Casa Milá is the next Gaudí-made piece of art on Passeig de Gracia, however its themes are distinctively different. Casa Milá serves many as a natural wonder, a place for exhibitions and at the same time a foundation for disabled people. Go all the way up to this casa to enjoy the beautifully shaped chimneys, ventilation towers and stairwells.
Casa Vicens was Gaudí’s first gem in Barcelona, built between 1883 and 1885, served as a summer house for the Vicens family. Gaudí started his series of masterpieces with a contrasting styled, extremely detailed and in every way mesmerizing jewel.
This iconic masterpiece of Gaudí earns its worldwide fame to its unique architectural style, however the inside of the cathedral is often not visited by the majority of tourists – but its interior beauty exceeds, like the previous works, the exterior beauty. So make sure you buy your tickets early in advance and save time and money.
Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22.60
The Hidden Gems
Bunkers del Carmel
Higher above Park Guëll, there is a non-touristic part of the city that, in my experience, gives you the most breathtaking view in town: Bunkers del Carmel. Many locals, mostly youngsters, join on this secret spot to enjoy the passing of sunset. Bring some snacks, a good camera and nice company and prepare yourself for sweeping sunset views.
Montjuïc is a magical place an sich. Hike uphill towards the magical fountain that lights up occasionally for a spectacular light show, and continue your road with stunning view of the iconic castle of Montjuïc. When you walk further, you run into a stretched, green park, accompanied by the Olympic stadium and further lays the botanical garden. What is a better way to enjoy a city then to come to rest in its nature, right in the city centre?
This park makes you feel like you’re in that Harry Potter movie – the one with the deadly labyrinth and the goblet of fire. Just one thing: this maze is not deadly. And smaller. But nevertheless worth the visit and the getting lost-part (especially while losing from toddlers that find the exit sooner than you). The ancient architectural gems and gigantic park surrounding the laybrinth make up for the €2.23 entrance fee.
It is hard to miss this food market in the middle of the Rambla, the most visited street in Barcelona. From fresh fruits to southern seafood, nothing lacks this tasteful food heaven. You’ll walk out of it satisfied, with in one hand holding a cup filled with watermelon and in the other one some candy – yes, there’s candy as well.
A balanced combination between traditional tapas and high-end, creative cuisine is the perfect remedy for your appetite while in Barcelona. Try some of the iconic tapas with an extra touch of la Pepita’s style and taste. Their entire menu cart consists out of unique and imaginative Spanish “pepitas”.
If you’re craving delicious, traditional tapas, then Bar Jaica is the place to be. Located in the Barceloneta area, close to the beach and port of Barcelona, this spot is ideal for a lunch break during your day. Every dish is prepared with love, especially combined with the iconic beer Estrella (or try a local type of beer named Clara).
La Taverna de Barcelona takes you to a place where music is only played live and acoustically, while its wooden interior decorated with international flags focuses on welcoming people from all corners of the world. While bringing forth this international spirit, the pub breathes in life from the authentic Catalan fuego, making it very hard for you to sit still during an evening spent here.
Somewhere in the middle of La Rambla, you find Placa Reial, an exotic square filled with restaurants and bars, connecting the most popular street in Barcelona with the old neighbourhood: the Gothic Quarter. In the corner of Placa Reial, you find Jamboree. However, don’t enter the first level of the club, but descend until you find yourself in a Rnb/Jazz/Hip Hop heaven, with the finest selection of DJ’s playing your favourite and most soulful tracks from the 80’s until now. Pay attention to their Facebook page, as they often give away tickets or offer a possibility to put you and your friends on the guestlist in advance.
The world-wide famous Pacha Club has a franchise in Barcelona as well. The all-white themed luxurious night club offers various theme parties with a variety of music genres, such as: techno, hip hop, rnb, disco, etc. Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance to avoid lines, waiting times and more expensive tickets.
Solo traveling has become a huge trend amongst us youngsters in the last few years. After the phenomenon of backpacking, a lot of people decided to rewrite the travel rules and go on an adventure on their own. Solo travel, in others words. Whether its a luxury trip, a backpacking trip, or a citytrip: exploring new destinations on your own is inevitably a trend in tourism as we speak.
A big and important part of solo traveling is having confidence. And, in order to have confidence, you must be well prepared and comfortable with your decisions. Confidence starts within. In order to reach this point of confidence and secureness within, let’s discuss the most common questions regarding fears, worries and doubts about solo traveling.
“Why should I solo travel? I am perfectly happy with going on trips with friends and family.“
If you are wondering why you even should start with solo traveling in the first place, then I kindly redirect you to firstly read this post.
Welcome back. Now you know why you should make that jump, you feel more challenged, right? Are you ready to go on an adventure? Are you ready to connect with yourself more?
Solo traveling can be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Some find peace and calmth, some find adventure and challenge, some find a deeper meaning of life. It is personal and that is what makes it so special. While solo traveling, you can make your own choices. You are free. Free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Do you want to socialize? Or live as a monk for three weeks and leave behind your social life for a while? It’s all up to you.
“I feel really unsafe and insecure about solo traveling.“
First of all, you wouldn’t be the first one. The concept of solo traveling is all about taking a jump into the unknown, broadening your horizons and taking a leap of faith. In other words: it’s a just-go-for-it experience. It’s about fueling your courage, empowering the adventurous you and giving no power to your fears and doubts.
Confidence start within, but it continues on the outside. For me, having the biggest part of my trip planned means that I am confident about my trip and the external factors of it. I am sure of my accomodation, flights and my travel itinerary. When you exclude the external factors that could give you any worries or stress, you immediately feel more secure about your trip and the adventure you’re going on. Or, you could also book a trip with a travel company in a group. Then, you’re also solo traveling, while being on a guided trip where everything is taken care of for you.
“I don’t know where to go, all on my own.”
The most important thing is to start with yourself. Think back. What are the places you really want to visit? The things you really want to do? Write down a bucket list of the things you want to achieve and do in your life. Are they linked to certain destinations? More tips about where to go on a solo trip you can find here.
If you are looking for a safe travel destination (especially for solo female travelers), then check out my top five of safest solo female travel destinations here.
“Is traveling alone boring?“
The only one who can give you the answer to this question is you. What you get out of your vacation is whatever that you put into it. Happiness and fulfillment come from within.
To make the best out of a solo trip, you can write down the following list and answer it honestly. The answers to your questions already came from you.
What makes me happy?
What do I love to do in my free time?
What makes me feel good?
How does a perfect day look like to me?
What do I want to do in my life? (Bucketlist)
What do I want to see in my life? (Bucketlist)
After writing this list, check off as much as you can during your trip. Do things that make you smile, that give you fulfillment, or that scare you but that you always wanted to try.
Whatever you decided about solo traveling, I hope that you are happy with your choice and that you look forward to your (solo) trip. Because it is, after all, a vacation and you should enjoy it to the maximum.
Solo female travel. It is a delightful thing, isn’t it, ladies? You have all the freedom and adventure in the world. You can broaden your horizon just by taking a plane on your own and going on a solo adventure. You expand your limits by jumping into an unknown experience. Yes, most of us have been bitten by the travel bug. And that’s okay.
The taste of freedom while traveling solo is even sweeter when you travel to a safe environment. A place where you don’t have to worry about being harassed or robbed. A serene yet interesting travel destination, perfect for perhaps your first solo trip.
But where can I find these perfect destinations, you might wonder? Let’s see what are the top 5 of safest cities for solo female travel in my experience. I went to each of these cities alone and I am happy to share with you my honest and true review about solo travel to these destinations.
5. Uruguay, Colonia
Colonia is a small Uruguayan city close to the border with Argentina. Yet, even though it is close to Buenos Aires and the habitants have the same accent, the safety changes drastically when you’re at the other side of the pond. Colonia is a warm, cozy and beautiful city. You feel yourself at home while strolling through this city , smelling the fresh forests, the salty ocean and the sweet flowers. This is a place where you can find true and deep peace.
As you can already imagine, this Uruguayan pearl is super safe for anyone to visit. The locals are super friendly and relaxed, making you feel welcome in their tranquil city.
4. Belgium, Bruges
Being born in Belgium, it is easy to know which places to go to and which places to avoid. Bruges is definitely a must-see when you have to chance to visit the country of beer and chocolates (and let’s not forget the waffles). Besides the rustic architecture and the many cafés (and types of beer) you can find here, you can come to complete relaxation when in Bruges.
Belgium is overall a very safe country to stay at, and in Bruges, where tranquility meets history, you will find yourself in a safe environment. You can pass your time strolling through musea and visit old, big buildings and get to know their stories.
3. Italy, Venice
I don’t think Venice needs an introduction. With is romantic rivers running through the whole city and its small islands all sticking together to create what may be the most beautiful city in Italy, it is well known worldwide.
Venice may be a destination not so loved by solo female travelers because it is so popular and crowded. But if you are as much an Italian food and culture lover as me, then you will find a way to make this destination an amazing solo trip.
I recommend you to stay not in Venice itself, but on the mainland of Italy, close to the train station. A train will take you to Venice in no-time. It is totally safe to stroll around this authentic city, and since there are so many people, you will never be alone so you can always address somebody to ask for help if you – like me- are really, really, really bad in orientation (and the little Venetian roads don’t do no good, trust me).
2. Portugal, Lisbon
Lisbon is the central hub of Portugal. With its charming style and stunning architecture, this is perfect destination for solo female travel. Spend your golden hour at one of the many rooftops bars with gorgeous views – stretching all over city until the other side of the river – order some pastel de nata and drink a café meia-de-leite in peace without anyone bothering you. Lisboetas are in general really friendly and social, so you’ll make local friends in no time. Also, there are lots of international visitors and especially Brazilians who love to visit this Portuguese capital, which makes the atmosphere in the center so vivid.
I took a trip to Lisbon with a friend last year and a couple months later, I found myself living in the capital of tiles. I love a lot of things about Lisbon, and a big factor is that it is so safe. As a woman traveling alone, you will experience a city that is so popular and crowded, but peaceful at the same time. The only strangers that will address you are some guys in the popular streets asking if you want to buy something. But they even address the locals, and they will do no harm to you.
1. Malta, Valletta
Valletta, the capital of the small island Malta, was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2018. And does this marvelous, Italian-influenced city deserve this title. Not only historical and architectural lovers will adore this lovely city; I am talking to you, dear foodies, because Malta has an amazing gastronomy. That is why I chose this destination to spend my first solo trip. And after returning for a couple of times, I still do not regret discovering Malta- more precisely, Valletta.
Lose yourself in the interesting history and architecture of the ex-British colony and pay a visit to the many museums. Stroll around the dockside for a lookout to the Three Cities (Birgu, Senglea and Bormla) and grab some pastizzi for on the way.
But let’s not wander too far from the real subject here, which is: safety for solo female travelers. Valletta always made me feel comfortable and welcome, since the moment I set foot in this city. It is a completely safe and cozy city, where you can be sure to enjoy your travels the most.
I was 19 years old when I set foot in an airplane, leaving for my first solo trip.
I was 20 years old when I went on my 6th solo trip, 6 times zones away from home.
We can conclude that the travel bug bit me – in a maybe slightly disturbing way. But that is not the subject here. Because what about you? What is stopping you?
Why should one go solo travel, you might wonder?
Let me sum up the most important reasons one needs to go solo travel at least once in a lifetime.
You gain independence
Let’s start by the beginning. You arrange everything yourself: you plan your trip, you saved up for tickets, you take leave at your job and you just go. Doing things on your own and taking care of your own requires independence. You are fully in control. You have to take care of your own. There is no family member or colleague or friend to assist you. You have to figure out things all by yourself. And that is where the fun begins. Because that is when you get to make mistakes and learn from it. That person you asked for instructions became your friend. The flight attendant whom you spoke to about your travels, gives you tips and invites you to a night out. The life begins. All because you gain confidence, courage and independence to live your life.
You gain strength
Going through an adventure alone strengthens the mind and spirit of a person.
You miss your family, lover and friends, but that makes you realize what you really have in life. Because you are separated from your normal life and the persons in it, you start to appreciate it so much more. And you become more grateful for everything that life gives you.
Mentally, you become more reliant on yourself and stronger as a person. You learn more about yourself and you trust yourself more.
Another important factor is that you broaden your horizon. You gain more courage and the true adventurer inside you steps out to the front.
You overcome fears, because you are out of your comfort zone.
When I was in South-Africa, I was so afraid to go hiking on the huge Table Mountain. After I collected all my courage and I did the hike, I felt like I was standing on the top of a mountain. Literally and figuratively. It was an accomplishment that I was proud of. I had became more stronger and had overcome a big challenge.
And that feeling, standing on the top of the mountain, is something we all need to have at one point in our lives.
You gain knowledge
Cultures, stories, languages, food, people: they are all part of new discoveries in your travels.
The moment you set foot into another country, you can smell it’s air, observe the people, learn their ways of communicating, dancing, eating, etc.
You learn about so many wonderful places, events. Your eyes won’t believe what they see.
And again, because you are alone, you have to figure things out alone. Every time you do that, you learn something new. All the mistakes I made traveling solo, I immediately transformed into lessons and learned from them for the better.
You gain life experience
After you travel solo, you have been through a lot. You can be very proud of yourself for accomplishing this trip. You have witnessed beautiful moments, made a lots of friends from around the world, maybe learned more about a language, a culture, etc.
You can become a travel expert and knowing the world little by little.
You learn about stories of people and you will share memories with some you will never forget. And you can be proud of yourself, because this is your accomplishment, your independence, your life.
So I invite you to try solo traveling at least one time in your life. Be the best version of yourself. Experience your moment on the top of a mountain. Be bold. Go solo travel.
Solo female travelers have seen a lot of revolutionary changes the past years. It is now more accessible and more acceptable to travel alone as a woman, even if it is at the other end of our dear world. Something that used to be not done, is now a must do in every woman’s life.
But what is so special and fulfilling about traveling by yourself as a woman?
Maybe it is the courage and strength you show yourself and others in your close environment. Maybe it is the connections you make, the unforgettable experiences you go through, or the realization how much this world has to offer. I find this Spanish saying summarizing solo female travel perfectly: “Todo lo bueno en la vida nace de un salto al vácio.” All the good things in life are born out of a jump in the unknown.
Going on a solo trip is the most terrifying, liberating and eye-opening experience anybody can ever have. Why? Because the best, wildest and most beautiful version of you comes out during this time. You have that “je m’en fou” attitude and you take more risks than you normally would. You can do what you want, not what your friend of family member wants to do. This is time for yourself. Time to ignite your soul and make the jump.
The most used reason to not go on a solo trip as a woman probably is the following: because it is not safe.
Of course, a very important aspect of a solo female trip is to do research. What country do you want to go to? What city? Which neighborhood will you stay in? Be careful and always be safe. Also: respect the local rules and norms. Make connections, talk to people and hear what they have to say about where not to go (alone) or how to act/ dress in certain areas.
If you did proper research and you don’t go looking up danger, or entering a church wearing just a bikini, you should be totally fine.
So go on. Make that jump, accept that frightening challenge, take your salto al vácio. Because I, together with all other solo female travelers, promise you: it is worth it.