There are so many benefits to solo travel for women. Solo travel offers the opportunity to learn about yourself. It is also a confidence booster as it calls for women to be bold and assertive as they navigate new experiences and meet interesting new people while on the road.
If you are interested in solo travel but unclear on where to start, here are some of my favorite destinations that are suitable for beginners and seasoned travelers:
If you are looking to experience Africa, check out Kenya. It is the most visited country in East Africa. Safari is a MUST DO activity in Kenya. Kenya has an abundance of wildlife that can be experienced through premiere national parks and reserves including the Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo East and West. These parks and reserves are home to the Big Five i.e. lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and Black rhino. It is easy to book safari packages that offer daily drives through national parks and reserves where you can see big cats up close.
Mombasa, the coastal region of Kenya offers beautiful white sand beaches. These beaches are nested along the Indian Ocean with warm water that is perfect for swimming. Diani Beach is just 30 miles south of Mombasa and is a world-renowned beach. Diani has emerald blue water and soft powdery sand making it perfect for a relaxing getaway. There are a variety of B&Bs (bed and breakfast), resorts, hotels and budget stays along the beach strip.
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. It is a vibrant metropolitan city with a lot to offer. Nairobi is one of the only cities in the world with a safari park, Nairobi National Park, within its borders. There is so much to see and do from the incredible food scene to the fun nightlife.
Don’t miss in Kenya:
- Maasai Mara National Reserve – Best wildlife reserves for lions and cheetah sightings
- Nairobi – The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant orphanage
- Mombasa – Diani Beach
Mexico is a rich travel destination that wows travelers over and over again. It has diverse attractions that appeal to different types of travelers; from the beach lovers and foodies to cultural enthusiasts. Mexico is also an affordable travel destination. Travelers can find value at different price points.
The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most beautiful regions of the country. Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum are popular tourist destinations because of the beautiful Caribbean coastline and incredible white sand beaches and palm trees. Tulum is my favorite destination along the Yucatan Peninsula because it has a laid back vibe, world class restaurants, and well-preserved Mayan ruins (Playa Ruinas) overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Chichen-Itza is the most popular Mayan pyramid. It is one of the Seven New Wonders of the World which draws big crowds from all over the world. It is definitely worth a day trip and is about a two hour drive from Cancun.
Mexico City is one of the most populous cities in the world and a hotspot for travelers. The music, street food, art scene, Spanish architecture and Aztec sites make it a fun destination. Mexico City has some of the best food in the western hemisphere. You will find street food on nearly every corner and an abundance of restaurants serving regional Mexican food from different parts of the country. To truly experience the city, you should visit for at least one week to take in the historic and popular tourist sites.
Don’t miss in Mexico:
- Tulum – Stunning aesthetic and beautiful beaches
- Chichen-Itza – Mayan Ruins
- Mexico City – Museums, street food and vibrant artsy neighborhoods
Peru should be on every traveler’s list of places to visit. Most travelers flock to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. This is a multi-day 26 mile hike that allows travelers to experience the Inca’s original route to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains. It is the scenic route with breathtaking views of the Andes but it is not for the fainthearted. Many people suffer from altitude sickness. If a multi-day hike isn’t for you, there is a train you take to Machu Picchu to experience this is world wonder.
Cusco is the capital of Peru and it is like no other place on earth. Cusco has a thriving Andean culture, Incan architecture, and colonial style. The city is set around mountainous peaks at a high altitude 3,399 meters which can cause mountain sickness. Cusco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world because of the surrounding landscape. Cusco’s main plaza is lined with bars, coffee shops and restaurants with great views of the city. There are also dozens of cool destinations to visit outside of Cusco like Sacred Valley of the Río Urubamba or the incredible Inca ruins at Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
Peru is safe, affordable and easy to navigate and travel through the country. It is easy to meet other travelers on the road. I highly encourage travelers to explore all that Peru has to offer including Lima’s bustling food scene and the well-preserved colonial towns.
Don’t miss in Peru:
- Machu Picchu – The legendary Lost City of the Incas
- Cusco – Explore the cobbled stone streets and different neighborhoods
- Lima – Bustling food scene
Spain is one of the most rewarding places to visit in Europe. It has a rich history, stunning architecture and vibrant cities. Barcelona, Capital of Catalonia is one of the most visited cities in Spain. It is a lively city where there is always people out in the streets, parks, and cafes. Simply walking around and getting lost in the charming streets is something you will love.
Barcelona has nice Mediterranean weather year round and beautiful beaches. The food scene alone makes visiting worthwhile with options ranging from tapas bars, Michelin-rated restaurants, and small-town cafes. The authentic eateries and wine makes Barcelona a hot spot for solo travelers. It is also safe, clean and well connected via rail system so it is easy to take day trips to small Spanish towns and landscapes.
Don’t miss in Spain:
- Barcelona – Gothic Quarter district
- Sitges – A seaside town with beautiful beaches and museums
- Guell Park – An impressive public park with designed by Antonio Gaudi
Japan is one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. It is a high tech country with a healthy mix of futurist skyscrapers and historic temples and shrines. Japan has a quirky side too. There are vending machines on every corner and the toilets are really high tech.
Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are the most visited places in Japan. Each of these destinations are unique in their own way. Tokyo is a bustling metropolitan city that is on every traveler’s list of places to visit. It is like New York City on steroids. Tokyo has lots of different neighborhoods including Shinjuku which is well known for its bright neon lights. Akihabara is a gaming district with robust arcades. Each neighborhood has something unique for everyone. Travelers can experience Japanese culture and history by visiting Buddhist temples, castles and shrines.
Japan is also an ideal destination for foodies. Japan is home to the best sushi, soba and RAMEN! The majority of restaurants are family run establishments and customer satisfaction is important. Osaka is a must visit for food lovers because it has a vibrant street food scene with so many great options.
Japan’s public transportation system is robust, making it easy to travel around the country. If it is your first time traveling solo, it might be best to base yourself in one place and make multiple day trips to see different parts of the country.
Don’t miss in Japan:
- Tokyo – Go Mario kart racing
- Osaka – Visit Dotonbori, a riverside district that is popular for shopping and food
- Kyoto – Arashiyama Bamboo Grove