Solo travel is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is the ultimate bucket list item for adventure-seekers around the world. Whether you're planning a long-term sabbatical or just want to make the most of a week off work, we've narrowed down our top picks for those exciting solo travel destinations.
Brave enough to set off? Here's where you should kick off your trip!
Budapest is renowned for being a popular, affordable, solo travel destination in Central Europe. Its nightlife scene is unrivalled in comparison to other Hungarian cities. Ultra-cool 'ruin bars' are spread around the city, so named for their location inside dilapidated pre-war buildings. Also known as the 'City of Baths', Budapest sits on top of 120 thermal springs which feed into thermal baths open to the public.
Krakow is another well-known budget-friendly destination in Central Europe - a great spot for solo travellers. The city is home to a wide range of hostels to suit everyone, the perfect way to meet like-minded folk during your trip. Check out Wieliczka Salt Mine, just a short bus ride from the centre. It's a beautiful underground maze of salt mines attracting over a million visitors every year.
Toronto is a modern, friendly city on Lake Ontario's northwestern shore. There's plenty to keep you busy in the city centre and the surrounding provinces are home to some of Canada's most beautiful landscapes. Toronto's most popular attraction is the awesome CN Tower, the 9th highest free-standing structure in the world. To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, hop on a ferry to Toronto Islands for a break.
Sydney is a dream destination for many solo travellers with its beautiful white beaches and crystal blue waters. Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach are great spots to relax or hit the waves. These famous resorts have plenty of bars as well as restaurants to chill out in. An added bonus is that Australia is a notoriously safe destination for solo travellers too.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand is famous for attracting solo travellers from around the globe, and for good reason. Chiang Mai is a mountainous city in Northern Thailand and is home to hundreds of stunning Buddhist temples. It's the perfect destination for travellers looking for some peace and quiet. The city is set against the beautiful backdrop of Thai mountain ranges.
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Top Tips for Solo Travel
Solo sightseeing isn't easy. Any lone traveller will tell you how important it is to prepare well before your trip. You can't plan for any hitches but you can give yourself the best chance of a smooth ride by doing your research before you leave home. Check out our top tips below for travelling solo.
It's important to plan your trip before you travel but don't let strict sightseeing timetables get in the way of having a good time. You should always expect the unexpected while travelling solo and remember, spontaneous plans tend to make the best memories!
Have a budget
Even if you're travelling to affordable destinations, it's still important to have a budget in mind. Be sensible, but don't be too hard on yourself - allocate a section of your travel budget to 'fun money' and allow yourself to experience everything the location has to offer. If you're looking to save money on the road, make sure to book self-catering accommodation.
Research your accommodation
A good hostel can make or break a solo travelling trip. Why not read reviews about the hostel before you book? Look for places with communal areas, organized events and a friendly atmosphere. It's an easy way to meet other solo travellers in the same boat. If you join in hostel pub crawls or karaoke nights, then you're guaranteed a good night out.
Every traveller knows how tempting it is to over-pack. You want to bring everything 'just in case'. Once you've set off on your travels, overweight baggage can be a real issue. If your bag is overflowing, it will be too heavy to carry and there's no space left for souvenirs you pick up along the way. Pack only the essentials. Take weather-appropriate clothes that all match each other and can be layered easily. You'll thank yourself later!
Solo travelling is a relatively safe pursuit although it's still smart to take some precautions to keep yourself safe. Don't forget to bring your own padlocks to protect your belongings on the road and make the most of lockers on offer in hostel dorm rooms. Many hostels also offer female-only dorms for single female travellers.