Are you ready to travel alone this year? While the destination you choose should be somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, being in a safe location where it’s easy to navigate both the transportation and culture alleviates major worries and lets you focus on being present. And the more hotels, activities, and sights you’re able to find in a centralized, accessible area, the simpler it is to blend in and allow yourself to experience those special travel moments that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Food & Wine gave us a list of the most recommended places for a single person who needs alone time to travel to. Considerations were safety, a calm yet stimulating environment, things to do, and friendly people.
Places to vacation alone
- Martha’s Vineyard. This old-school New England island is a haven of peace and privacy. Go in February or March to catch up on paperbacks and take coastal hikes while staying at one of the many adorable bed-and-breakfasts. Our favorite, the Hob Knob Inn, serves fresh lemonade and just-baked scones on the porch at all times. The island is also blissfully cheap and quiet in the winter (to put it into perspective: The summer population of 100,000 dwindles to a mere 15,000 after Labor Day.)
- San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sip homemade ginger beer at legendary mixology bar La Factoría and world-famous coffee at Caficultura (one of the first artisan coffee shops in the city). Stroll along miles of unpopulated coastline. And take in a whole lotta natural beauty on an afternoon trip to the El Yunque rainforest. Best of all, friendly locals are everywhere.
- Ireland. If a tropical vacation isn’t your thing but you still want beaches, check out Ireland. With plenty of hiking and a fascinating history, you’ll get a solo-traveler-friendly vacation without the barriers of a foreign language or major culture shock. And of course, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is a must. It’s like Disneyland for beer lovers. It’s impossible not to make friends.
- Peru. The bio-diverse South American country (ooh, deserts and snow-capped mountains!) has become a huge destination for single backpackers who want to take in the local culture and gape at Machu Picchu. Several tour groups offer affordable trips, and they love when solo travelers join. Bonus: You don’t need a ton of cash to cross things off your bucket list. With prices starting at $389, View Peru Tours offers an all-inclusive five-day hike that’s pretty tough to beat.
- Singapore. This small island nation is as safe as it is cosmopolitan. Check out the jaw-dropping shopping (the futuristic Ion Orchard mall spans eight retail floors, has 333 stores and cost a whopping $2 billion to build), well-preserved cultural districts like Kampong Glam and dreamy seaside escapes like Telunas, a private island resort that’s a gorgeous, two-hour ferry ride from the city center, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained.
Your carry-on bag is your best friend. Being able to handle your stuff on your own means less money spent on taxis and more money spent on having fun. When preparing to travel, lay out all of your clothes and all of your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money. Truer words were never spoken.
Check your guidebooks and transportation schedules before leaving the hotel, train or tourist office. A single lady poring over maps is an open invitation for unwanted attention. Also, plan to arrive during the day. This way, if you have to wait for a taxi, you can get your bearings and ask some locals for directions. Travel & Leisure recommends these cities for women to vacation alone: Seattle, Austin, and Washington.
Ref. Popsugar.com, Travel & Leisure, MSN/lifestyle, Food & Wine
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