The Five Best Countries for Solo Travel

Woman at the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona Spain

Traveling on your own is a rewarding experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. Solo travel can allow you to get outside of your comfort zone while creating unforgettable memories. And, solo travel doesn’t mean you’ll be alone the entire time! If you’re up for it, solo travel can be a perfect time to meet new people and create new friendships.

With all of its benefits, there are some countries that are simply better for solo travel. Choosing the right country can help you ensure you feel safe and still have a wonderful trip. We’ve done all the hard work for you and found the top five countries you should consider for your next solo trip.

Solo traveler at airport

1. Spain

Spain is frequently rated as the top country for solo travel. There’s enough in Spain to please anyone on any type of trip. Spain has terrific food, fantastic beaches, a beautiful landscape of nature and hikes, stunning architecture, museums, tours, and more. Whether you come for the nightlife in Barcelona or the Balearic Islands beaches, Spain can exceed your expectations. 

The people are quite friendly and welcoming, so you won’t have difficulties getting help anytime you need it. Spain is also a popular tourist destination, so you’ll quickly find other travelers along your journey. And lastly, the major cities in Spain are well-connected by rail and bus, so you can easily travel within the country. 

Pro Tip: Many bars in Spain have happy hours that start late but run all night. If you can find a good happy hour spot, you can have an evening of affordable food and drinks, some fantastic crowd watching, and maybe even make a friend or two! 

Framed shot of one of the church towers at Park Güell.

2. New Zealand

For the traveler that loves the outdoors, including hiking and camping, New Zealand is the perfect spot for a solo trip. This beautiful country has a vast landscape of rolling green hills, stunning glaciers, gorgeous lakes, and beautiful terrain. You can choose to road trip through the country, which will allow you to stop at little towns and lookouts throughout your journey. The country is relatively easy to navigate through, so you won’t struggle without a passenger giving you directions. 

If you don’t want to drive on your own, the country is set up perfectly for tourists with plenty of buses, trains, and hostels in every city. The people of New Zealand are extremely friendly and helpful too.

New Zealand has so much to offer; you can walk through the rainforests, hike the Franz Josef Glacier, explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, or go bungee jumping 134 meters off a cliff in Queenstown.

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

3. Japan

If you’re worried about your safety as a solo traveler, then Japan might be the country of choice for you. Japan has an exceptionally low crime rate, making it a perfect destination for travelers. Overall, the country is one of the cleanest, most organized countries in the world with extremely polite people. If you’re nervous about breaking into solo travel, Japan is the perfect first country to test this experience out. 

The transportation is on-time and spans wide, so once you get the hang of it, it can take you just about anywhere you need to go. 

If you’re not quite warmed up to the idea of hostels yet, Japan has famous capsule-hotels which are pod-like hotel rooms that are quite affordable but still offer privacy. 

Japan has a lot to offer, from amazing food to cultural and historical tourist attractions. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Visiting the city of Hokkaido to go hiking, skiing, and birdwatching
  • Exploring the city of Tokyo for food, nightlife, and shopping
  • Attending the Sapporo or Otaru Ice Festival
  • Exploring Kyoto where you might see robots and Geisha girls 
  • Enjoy an authentic ski and bath experience in the onsens 
Solo travel in Kyoto, Japan

4. Thailand

If you want the kind of solo trip that starts on your own but ends with a growing list of new friends, then Thailand might be the destination for you. Thailand has long been known as the number one backpacking destination for young people. It’s affordable, easy to navigate, and has friendly people that can often communicate in English. If you book stays in hostels, there’s no doubt you will make new traveler friends quickly. The friendly atmosphere from both other tourists and locals makes Thailand feel like home even when you’ve just been there for a few days.

Some of the key activities to do in Thailand, solo or otherwise, include attending a Full Moon party, spend time on the beaches, and explore some of the religious attractions. 

Phra Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

5. Costa Rica

Costa Rica just might offer you the type of solo adventure that changes your life. For many years, this tropical country has earned the top spot (or close to it) as the world’s happiest country. Costa Rica boasts a high life expectancy for its residents, as well as overall elevated levels of wellbeing. 

This country can offer you whatever you want. You can fill your days with outdoor activities such as jungle hikes, trips to waterfalls, and surfing. Or, you can spend all days lying on the soft beaches and staying at yoga retreats. 

The locals are happy and welcoming to all tourists. And after you witness the slow-pace of Costa Rica, there’s no doubt you’ll consider returning again and again in times when you need to relax.

Solo male surfer at Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Whatever you choose as your destination, remember that a solo trip means you get to be in charge. You don’t have to compromise on anything. Plan out the perfect activities that will make your trip wonderful and change them if you feel like it. A solo trip means only answering to yourself and creating memories along the way.  

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