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Phang nga, solo travel, Thailand

🌎 Best destinations for solo travellers in 2024

Pirates, in our recent 2024 travel trends survey, we discovered that 27% of you are going on a solo trip next year. Too right! Why put off that epic trip waiting for someone else?!

With this in mind, we decided to create a guide with the best destinations around the world for solo travellers. We picked the most exciting places for adventuring, while also thinking about the more practical issues such as safety and budget.

For a more in-depth look at all things solo travel, please have a look at our dedicated page.

Published by
Tilly·20/02/2024
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Solo travel

Going solo can be one of the most rewarding and empowering travelling experiences there is. Yes, it's daunting, yes it can take a little bit more effort when it comes to planning, but oh boy, is it worth it.

Just imagine, the freedom of choosing exactly where you want to go, and when... You get to set the pace of your own adventure. Fancy staying another week in Koh Lanta in Thailand, to finish reading your book on the beach? No problem...

Plus, without sounding too cliche, it can provide an excellent opportunity for personal growth. Stepping out of your comfort zone and relying solely on yourself to navigate sometimes challenging situations can be a major esteem boost, and can help you get to know yourself better as a person.

But it's not all about soul-searching and reflection. In fact, one of the best parts of solo travel is the other people you'll encounter on the road. It's the perfect chance to meet new and interesting people who will make your journey even more unforgettable.

New Zealand  

New Zealand is considered one of the safest places to travel, so it's definitely worth considering if you're looking for an epic solo adventure in 2024, especially if it's your first time travelling alone.

Made famous by the Lord of the Rings movies, New Zealand is made up of two islands that offer so much more than Hobbits and Mordor. It is smaller and cheaper than its neighbour - Australia, plus it's super easy to get about. And if you love the outdoors, then this country is for you.

It might not be the cheapest place on this list, but the epic scenes, ease of meeting other solo travellers and possibilities for unreal adventure and sports make it a fantastic option. Plus, we've found that hiring a camper van is by far the most cost-effective way to travel and sleep, so, if you have a driving licence, go out and make some friends and suggest this as an option.

We have also put together a New Zealand on a shoestring itinerary with budget flight and accommodation options, and the prices aren't as high as you might expect.

We recommend exploring both the South and North island whilst you're out there. You can easily hop on a cheap flight between the two, and it would be rude not to after coming all that way...

Expect beautiful bays and sandy beaches, volcanic landscapes, epic mountain scapes, cosmopolitan cities and authentic opportunities to experience Māori culture.

Getting there?

The cheapest flights we could spot were to Auckland, and once you're out there, connecting flights to Christchurch set you back around £60, so not too bad at all.

Make sure Queenstown makes your itinerary, it is the gateway to 'Lord of the Rings' country, and where you will find other fellow travellers looking for adventure.

Take me to New Zealand.

Thailand

Another contender from South East Asia - Thailand is an ideal option for a first time solo traveller, as it's easy to meet other people and to navigate around the country, due to its well-worn backpackers trail. Because it's geared up to tourism, there will always be someone to ask for help.

And there's a reason Thailand continues to draw in the crowds. There is just so much to see and do, from jungle trekking in the north, visiting UNESCO world heritage sites, vibrant party scenes on the southern islands, yoga retreats or just pure relaxation on one of the thousands of glorious sandy beaches. Not to mention the delicious food.

One thing to bear in mind, the country does tend to attract a younger crowd because of its famous party scene. Older solo travellers can definitely enjoy a trip to Thailand, but make sure you read the hostel reviews first if you're after a good night's sleep.

Getting there?

Your best bet will be to fly into Bangkok and start your adventure from there. It's usually the cheapest option, plus it's the main-hub for connecting to the rest of the country. We recently put together a Thailand inspiration page with cheap flight and accommodation options and suggested itineraries, so make sure you check that out.

Or take a look at flights yourself to pick dates that work for you.

Take me to Thailand.

Greece

Yes, Greece can be busy and expensive, especially on some of the more well-known party islands. But if you know where to go, it's easy to escape the crowds and coastlines dedicated to package tourism.

It's also a great option for a solo traveller who wants to stick closer to home, whilst combining fascinating history, beach life and charming cities.

There are still plenty of Greek Islands left to discover that will give you a more authentic travel experience, whilst not breaking the bank. Especially if you choose to go slightly off-season.

Check out our Greek Island hopping guide on a budget for more information.

Getting there?

The best way is to find cheap return flights to Athens, where you can easily take the ferry to some of the surrounding islands. Athens is also worth exploring, and has amazing budget accommodation options.

Take me to Greece.

Vietnam

Southeast Asia is already a popular destination for solo travellers and backpackers. But Vietnam specifically is a great option for solo travel if you're looking to meet people and get around easily.

There's an established 'tourist trail' which takes you between the two main cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, along the coastal road. That doesn't mean it's all beaches (although the beaches of Phi Quoc are definitely worth visiting!). Vietnam is long and thin and has a diverse landscape. You can easily dip inland and explore national parks, jungles, caves and lesser known towns along the way. Plus, you have the waterways of the Mekong Delta in the South and the rice fields of Sapa and Fansipan Mountain for trekking in the North.

There's a great hostel scene and lots of tours and a variety of activities, providing ample opportunity to meet new travellers.

Travelling around the country couldn’t be easier — or cheaper for that matter. Both travel and accommodation are extremely affordable. With internal flights costing as little as a lunch in the UK and buses departing cities on a regular basis, hopping around Vietnam, even on your own, is very straightforward.

Plus, if you're into food, there really is no better street-food scene in the world. In fact, you would be able to live very cheaply and happily off the delicious bowls of steaming pho, banh mi sandwiches and spring rolls.

Getting there?

Depending on which side of the country you would like to kick off your adventure from, you can find decently priced flights to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Flying into Ho Chi Minh City would usually be the more budget friendly option.

Take me to Vietnam.

Canada

Canada may not have an established 'tourist trail' like some of the other destinations in this guide, but the epic scenery you'll find there will make it a great spot for anyone interested in the outdoors, nature and sports. There's also super-cool cities, varied landscapes and an amazing festival scene in the summer.

The best bet for getting around would be to rent a car, especially if you're wanting to get into nature. That means that Canada will be slightly more expensive. But it is possible to travel by bus and train, if you are looking to cut costs.

Vancouver in British Colombia would be a great place to start. It's a vibrant, fun city with a solid hostel scene; perfect for meeting other travellers setting off on their journeys. From there you have access to Vancouver Island, a nature lover's paradise and a great spot for whale watching.

Heading into British Colombia, you'll discover hip towns like Nelson, which makes a fab base for a ski season in the winter, and provides easy access to festivals like Shambhala in the summer, which takes place in a breathtaking river valley.

Banff National Park, in the province of Alberta, is one of the best places to explore the Rocky Mountains and experience some of Canada's awesome wildlife.

Getting there?

Decently priced flights to Vancouver can be relatively easy to find, so long as you have some flexibility with your travel dates.

Take me to Canada.

Peru

There's a reason why Peru is one of the most iconic destinations in South America, and it's not just Machu Picchu.

It has some of the best hiking on the continent, easy access to the Amazon Rainforest, desert oases, epic surf spots and sandy beaches, plus a blend of cosmopolitan cities and historical sites. It really does offer a bit of everything.

For solo adventuring, it's a fairly safe place to travel, thanks to a well-traversed tourist path, plentiful hostels, and an abundance of tours and activities to join.

A great starting point for your Peruvian adventure is Lima, and from there you can head down to the deserts of Huacachina, the striking Colca Canyon, and onwards to Cusco, the base for trips to Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain and the Amazon Rainforest.

A few pointers about getting to Machu Picchu from Cusco. If you aren't going as part of an organised trekking tour, then we would recommend booking onto the train as opposed to the cheaper bus option. The roads can be pretty scary on this route. Make sure you book the train in advance, as it does sell out quite quickly.

Have your wits about you in the larger cities, particularly Lima. We would recommend trying to link up with fellow travellers in the hostel if you wanted to go out at night.

Getting there?

The cheapest and best option is to fly to Lima to start your adventure.

We have recently put together a budget itinerary with good-value flights and accommodation options, so take a look for some inspiration.

Take me to Peru.

Portugal

There's a reason Portugal has become such a popular tourist destination in recent years. It's a safe and an easy country to travel around, with loads to offer.

You've got awesome cities like Lisbon and Porto, which are popular with digital nomads and backpackers alike, so are great places to meet others.

Throw in an impressive coastline lined with chilled beaches and surf spots, mountainous countryside, quaint medieval villages, plus delicious food and wine, and you've good a pretty safe bet for a top travel destination.

Portugal isn't as cheap as it used to be, especially in the larger cities. But that doesn't mean you can't do it on a budget. Train travel is still well-priced compared to other places in Europe, and hostels abound.

Getting there?

Starting in Lisbon would be your best option for bagging a cheap flight out there and meeting fellow travellers in one of the numerous hostels in the city.

Take me to Portugal.

Japan

Japan continues to grow in popularity, with travel bookings to the area having increased by 1300% since 2019. This really is no surprise, considering what a unique place it is.

You can discover fascinating culture and traditions, bustling metropolises, pristine forests and mountains, 25 Unesco World Heritage Sites, 7,000 islands to hop around, and top-notch cuisine.

The solid infrastructure and excellent travel links also make getting around the country a breeze.

And you'd be hard to find a country that was better set up for solo travellers. Firstly, it's incredibly safe, with low crime rates. Secondly, it's a place that actively celebrates being alone. You'll find many places set up that cater to this, such as hitori restaurants (restaurants for solo dining), hitori karaoke (karaoke for one), hitori bars (bars you can enter alone), or Japanese capsule hotels where you book a single bed in a dedicated pod.

Of course, that doesn't mean you have to spend the entire trip alone. There are plenty of hostels and activities available to get you mingling.

You may be thinking it's going to be super expensive, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. For instance, avoiding Sakura season (March - April) when crowds and prices soar, will save you some serious cash. Instead, we suggest going in autumn, just before the weather starts to get cooler. Check out some other top budgeting tips in our Japan Guide.

Getting there?

Although not the cheapest destination to reach, bargains can be found, especially if you don't mind a longer stopover. The best and cheapest option is taking a flight to Tokyo or Osaka from around £600 with one stop, direct will set you back around £800-£1000. But flights can be found for less. We recently found some cheap flight and accommodation options, or you can search for dates yourself.

Take me to Japan.

India

As a solo adventurer, you may have some doubts about travelling to India, and if we're being perfectly honest, we wouldn't recommend it for first timers. BUT, if you feel prepared and confident, it would be a crime to leave it off this list, as it's simply one of the most remarkable countries in the world.

Culturally rich, diverse and breathtaking, you'll discover a place that will stay with you for a lifetime.

First things first, you'll need to do a lot of planning. Unlike Vietnam and Thailand, there isn't such an easy 'tourist trail' available, and there are areas that you simply should not travel to alone. So we recommend starting off with some of the more well-trodden areas.

Rajasthan is one of the most popular tourist areas, and connects the national capital Delhi with Agra (where the Taj Mahal is) and Jaipur. Every city has fantastic hostels and guided activities - so you'll be able to meet fellow travellers. This is a great place to start your trip, and you'll be able to find cheap flights to Delhi. Check out our guide to this area, which has cheap flight and accommodation options.

From Delhi, it’s about 7 hours by train or bus to Rishikesh, a hippie town in the mountains known for its yoga and wellbeing culture.

Next we would suggest bagging some cheap flights down to the southern states of Goa and Kerala, where you'll find beautiful beaches, a chilled scene, and amazing seafood.

A massive bonus to exploring India, is just how affordable it is. You'll be able to get a lot of memories out of a small budget!

If you do want to explore India, but feel slightly apprehensive, you can always start your journey with a group tour to get your bearings. They're usually a great way to meet other like-minded solo travellers too.

Getting there?

We recommend flying to Delhi and starting your adventure there.

Take me to India.

Since a number of low-cost airlines have released direct routes to both the East Coast and West Coast, travel to the USA has never been more affordable as a solo traveller.

This huge continent offers everything any budding solo traveller could want, from the bustling cities of New York and Los Angeles to the drama of the Rocky Mountains and The Grand Canyon.

Booking accommodation on your own can be as cheap or as luxurious as you wish. With more and more affordable accommodations and funky hostels popping up all around the country, you really are spoilt for choice.

Don’t fancy just focusing on one place? Car hire is super cheap! Head out on your own American road trip, stopping off at great value motels along the way. Alternatively, you could opt for someone else to take the wheel and book a cheap fare with one of the many cross-country bus companies, like Greyhound.

Getting there?

We've found super cheap flights to NYC, but you can start your adventure at any major city, depending on the route, adventure or destination you want to embark on.

Take me to the USA.