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5 Destinations to Explore Solo
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Courtesy: Leslie K. Hughes | News Source:

Solo travel is one of the biggest trends of 2019. More than ever, people are ditching the complicated group trips, the stressful family trips and the pressured romantic trips to go at it solo and vacation just the way they want to, without input from others.

While it is nice having someone to explore a new place with, there is something to be said about not making any sacrifices in what you want to see, do and eat when traveling. A compromise-free vacation where you get to do everything when you want and how you want? Sounds pretty ideal.

Speaking of ideal, we’ve found the best destinations to adventure to when you’re ready to step out into the great unknown and try your hand at solo exploring.


A young girl snorkeling in Hawaii

PHOTO: A young girl snorkeling in Hawaii. (photo via Bicho_raro/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The number of different activities available in Hawaii makes it easy to meet new people. Whether you’re into surfing, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, cliff jumping or a myriad of other activities, you're going to find others to connect with. The Aloha Spirit is alive and well and you’ll love adventuring with other travelers and locals.

Solo travel to Hawaii is also great for foodies. The options here are quite varied, thanks to the blended Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese and Chinese cultures—you're sure to find some unique local foods that you won’t find anywhere else. And when traveling alone, you can feel guilt-free about finding a favorite eatery and hitting it up every day, or trying something new each meal.

You’ll find a great experience on nearly every island, so pick which one sounds most enticing to you—since you don’t have to agree with anyone else on this—and book your ticket.


San Pedro Volcano (Volcan San Pedro) across Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlan) in Guatemalan highlands (Photo via Lucy Brown - loca4motion / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Though this place gets a bad reputation for not being particularly safe, many solo travelers have ventured here and had a fabulous time without incident—both male and female.

We suggest skipping Guatemala City (beyond your flight landing there) and heading straight to Antigua. Guatemala City is not a safe spot at night, so it’s best not to risk it. Plus there’s a lot to see in Antigua, so you’re better off making the trek there as soon as you can.

In Antigua, you’ll find much to explore in the stunning streets, including some great markets and, of course, delicious Guatemalan food.

If you feel like escaping the city and heading out into nature, look no further than Pacaya Volcano. This active volcano makes for a great hike and a half-day tour. Plus, how often do you get to hike on an active volcano?

Guatemala gets our vote for an off-the-beaten-path solo travel spot.

New Zealand

Routeburn Track, New Zealand, hiking

PHOTO: A girl hiking the Routeburn Track in New Zealand's South Island. (photo via CM/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

If outdoor adventures are your cup of tea, then pack your bags and head to New Zealand. Here you’ll find adventures abound—and for a lot cheap than you’d think.

While there is a great deal to see here, if adventure runs through your veins, we suggest you spend the majority of your time in Queenstown. From bungee jumping to skiing and so much more, you’ll only get bored here if you’re boring—and we're guessing you aren’t boring since you’re into solo travel.

If you’re looking for more of a relaxed trip, Queenstown can be done at a lower speed as well, thanks to the town’s great art and gondola ride with stunning views, amongst many other things.
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New Zealand makes for a great solo getaway if you’re ready to travel very far from home to have some seriously unforgettable experiences.

Northern California

While not as exotic as some of the other options on this list, Nor Cal is a great place to head to on your own, especially if hiking is something you’re into.

The number of different trails to explore in northern California feels almost infinite, with tons of options that are plenty safe to do alone.

And when you’re in the mood to wind down from your hiking, you’ll find the wine here to be the perfect way to do so. Zero judgment for having a glass—or three—by yourself.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great spot to hit up and if you’re a fan of the show Big Little Lies, you’ll recognize a lot of the Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel area, as this is where the show was filmed.

If you’re looking for a good starter solo trip that doesn’t take you too far away from home, Nor Cal is the spot.

South Australia

Adelaide river sunrise

Capital of South Australia Adelaide city at sunrise reflecting in still waters of Torrens river (photo via zetter/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

While we’d love to include all of Australia in this, there is just too much to see to really believe you can do it all in one trip.

And South Australia is a great spot to travel alone. Not only is it safe, but it's also friendly, full of adventure and very luxurious.

Adelaide is where you’ll want to start your trip, where everything from hiking to beaches to shopping is right at your fingertips. Wherever you go, you’ll notice how nice everyone is, which comes as no surprise when you learn that South Australia is known as the friendliest state in Australia. And this is great news for making friends and meeting locals who will show you the ropes when you’re flying solo.

When here, Kangaroo Island is a must-see. This is the only place in the world where you can walk amongst an endangered colony of sea lions without fences in the way. More than one-third of the island is protected as national parks and conservation areas, so you know the wildlife is guaranteed to be out of this world.

And the wine here is more than just fine—it is some of the best in the world. In fact, SA has been dubbed a Great Wine Capital of the World.

There’s a little bit of something for every type of solo traveler here in South Australia.

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