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Dreaming of travel and wondering about solo vacation ideas? Summer and fall are prime times for solo travel.
The days are long, the weather is fine and there are plenty of opportunities to score a discount on a hotel or escorted tour (without the dreaded single supplement), if you know where to look.
I’ve travelled solo to more than 40 countries and have enjoyed a lot of memorable adventures.
From riding a motorbike through Hanoi’s Old Quarter in Vietnam to taking cooking classes in Rome, there are so many fantastic places to travel alone.
Travelling alone offers lots of advantages. There’s complete freedom to follow your own path, many opportunities to meet new people and ways to connect with local culture.
Although solo travel can be scary if you’ve never travelled alone, once you overcome your fears, solo travel can be a memorable, transformational experience!
Here are my top picks for amazing places for solo trips and the very best vacation ideas for singles.
A learning vacation is a great option for your first solo trip. Why not spend your summer learning a new language?With its rich colonial past and strong Mayan heritage, Guatemala is home to more language schools than any other country in Central America, so it's easy and affordable to learn some lingo in a one-on-one Spanish class.
You can study 4 or even 7 hours a day starting at just $150 USD a week (or less) at a language school in Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site or in Panajachel on Lake Atitlan.
Extra curricular activities such as salsa dancing classes, market tours or archeological excursions are usually included and are a fantastic opportunity to meet students of all ages.
Accommodation options include a home stay with a Guatemalan family for around $125 USD a week or a long stay in one of the city's beautiful colonial hotels.
They don’t call summer the “Green Season” in Mexico and Costa Rica simply because of the lush landscape.
It’s also a prime time for scoring a deal on a hotel, as low season means prices are slashed.
This means savings for solo travellers who can take their pick from a wide range of accommodations and commit to a longer-than-usual stay. Many of these are ideal for yoga retreats.
For a health boost, pack up your best travel yoga mat and head for a budget yoga retreat in Mexico. For a DIY solo trip, try Yoga Sofia at Arte Y Espiritu in Puerto Escondido where you’ll arrange your own hotel, food and excursions.
Or opt for Hridaya Yoga in Mazunte Mexico where they offer yoga retreats and classes, teacher training, silent meditation retreats and workshops as well as meals and accommodation.
It’s also possible to join a yoga retreat in Europe. An escape to Portugal, Spain or Italy is a fabulous way to avoid the crowds at tourist attractions and get a health boost.
Check out this list of the best yoga retreats in Europe.
Going to a spa is one of the best things to do when travelling solo.
For an especially magical solo spa vacation, head to the Azores Islands of Portugal.
The main island of São Miguel is packed with hot springs, thermal waters and spa hotels.
. Be sure to book a massage treatment at Termas da Ferraria, a full service spa featuring serene indoor and outdoor baths, hydrotherapy pools and private treatment rooms.
Another top hotel for a spa vacation is Furnas Boutique Hotel, a sister resort to the Azor Hotel in Ponta Delgada.
A modern outdoor swimming pool and an indoor swimming pool are set within an airy atrium. Guests enjoy many opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation in a wellness-themed setting.
Summer is a prime time for watching pro international surfing competitions in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. You'll be amazed by the size of the giant waves on Zicatela Beach in the summer!
However, for newbies, your best bet is take surfing lessons on some of the nearby bays where the waves are gentler.
Or head north to Sayulita, a boho-chic beach town near Puerto Vallarta that's also a top spot to learn to surf.
Another fun solo vacation idea is to take a hands-on cooking class with a professional chef or local expert.
I’ve taken cooking classes in Paris, Mexico, Vietnam, Italy, Guatemala, Grenada and many other international destinations.
Not only do you get to mingle with locals and learn about new ingredients while shopping in outdoor markets but you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
If you're looking for solo getaway ideas, cooking classes and workshops are great options. Sign up for a day, a weekend or even a full week!
Increasingly, many single female travellers are choosing to travel in women-only groups and tours either solo or with friends.
From adventures in off-the-beaten-path destinations to luxury immersive experiences, there are tours available for almost interest from a growing number of tour operators offering women-only tours.
And in response to the growing demand for solo travel, forward-thinking tour operators are increasing their selection of tours with no single supplement (an extra charge which can cost 50% more than the cost of a double-occupancy space).
Insight Vacations also offers deals where solo travellers pay no Single Supplement or 75% off certain departures of their escorted luxury tours to Italy, Egypt and Turkey.
Tall ship sailing cruise line, Star Clippers often offers solo travellers a deal of NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT on select Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asia sailings.
I travelled solo on the Royal Clipper, sailing through the Caribbean on a five-masted tall ship and found the ship’s relaxed atmosphere to be very friendly to solo travellers.
I especially appreciated the open seating at dinner as it meant I could choose to join a group or dine alone.
Walking tours are another popular idea for a solo female trip. Eating Europe Food Tours offers fantastic culinary walking tours in Rome, London, Amsterdam and Prague.
Not only will enjoy an insider’s look (and taste) of a city but you’ll meet other travellers along the way.
If you're looking for an urban solo vacation, you can't go wrong with Rome, Italy. One of the world's best cities to travel alone, it features history at every turn, fabulous food and safe streets.
I've stayed in Rome alone many times and enjoyed walking tours at night, hands-on cooking classes and long walks through streets lined with architecture that took my breath away.
For sole females looking for extra security, try booking a stay in a convent in Rome. They're centrally located, include breakfast and are unique ( and very quiet!) places to stay.
A vacation that gives back to the community you’re visiting is always a worthwhile option for solo travellers.
Not only do they offer a chance to help those in need but participants can connect with local people, help preserve the environment and meet fellow volunteers.
Through my volunteer assignments around the world — from Honduras to Russia — I’ve experienced countries in ways I could never have imagined.
I've also made friendships that will last a lifetime. You can arrange a volunteer holiday through an agency or do it yourself. Options include volunteering with an eco-community project in Puglia, Italy, get involved with the Mayan Families organization in Guatemala or help sea turtles in Mazunte Mexico.
Many single are looking for a relaxing place to visit alone. A week spent unwinding on a beach lounger listening to the sound of the waves and sipping a cool drink can do wonders to restore your spirit or clear your head.
Although many resort destinations cater to couples or families, it is possible to find beaches and hotels that are both safe and welcoming to singles.
One of my favourite beaches for a solo vacation is Grand Anse Beach in Grenada. The waters are calm, you won't be hassled by vendors and the hotels are welcoming to solo female travellers.
Kids might dream about summer camp, but summer writers workshops, retreats and conferences make fantastic are great solo travel ideas for adults.
While you travel to the destination alone and stay in your own room, these summer getaways are an opportunity to make new writing pals and invest in your writing craft or love of reading.
For an inspiring setting, consider the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. Or, a workshop in literary Paris!
Tips & Resources for Planning a Solo Vacation
- Get tips on planning your first solo trip.
- Stay healthy and safe by learning How to Avoid Getting Dengue, Zika or Chikungunya Viruses.
- Why You Need to Get Travel Insurance.
- Safety Tips for Travel in Guatemala and Central America.
Begin exploring! Subscribe to our FREE A Taste for Travel Newsletter and you’ll save 15% off Eating Europe culinary walking tours.
Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.
I love the idea of traveling alone, but I am also afraid at the same time. Hopefully, in the next months or year, I will be able to it. It sounds so cool and refreshing.
Media & Advertising Administrator
I love that people are promoting solo travel now a days. I love traveling by myself and I want other people to travel by themselves as well. It is just so beneficial. I actually wrote an article about it if you guys would like to check it out. https://justalwaystraveling.com/why-it-is-good-to-travel-alone/
I love solo travel! I haven’t thought of taking a cooking class while traveling solo. I would like to take on in Italy.
I love taking cooking lessons, but I would like to take a cruise someday! Great ideas, thanks for sharing!
Brain - EatWorkTravel
Love taking cooking lessons while traveling! It’s one of our favorite ways to connect with the local culture and learn something to take home~
Love the idea of joining on a cooking class, especially when travelling solo. Seems like a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and meet like-minded people.
All of these are great ideas for a really fulfilling vacation. Personally we would go for the Green Seasons Mexico or take a leisurely cruise and indulge ourselves a bit. Thanks for all these fab ideas.
Great ideas Michele, I would love to take some cooking classes this summer and always feel like they are a great way to get to know a destination.
Great ideas! I think some of these are great for romantic getaways too – like the cooking classes and cruises!
Hi Michelle! Great ideas. I love cooking classes and food tours.
Apologies Michele! I spelled your name wrong.
While I don’t travel solo- there are some great ideas here that we can apply to our own summer travel. Thanks!
Carole Terwilliger Meyers
What great suggestions for going it alone! I would like to try that Yoga Sofia in Puerto Escondido one day. A place I can suggest that you and your readers might enjoy, is the Red Mountain Resort in Utah, http://travelswithcarole.blogspot.com/2012/08/where-to-stay-ivins-utah.html
These all look like fantastic ideas… for any traveler!
Irene S. Levine
What great ideas! I would love to do them all in “green season.”
Yeah those single supplements are not a fun thing to tack on, but these solo trips look amazing!
I think those surfers make it look so easy (and I’m sure it’s not). Super ideas worth considering, particularly the ones where they reduce or don’t charge the single supplement. My only hesitation would be some of the Caribbean places in the summer…HOT! (granted, many people love the hot, hot, hot weather. Just not me!)
Great ideas for the solo traveler and really any travelers. I love the cooking classes and learning adventures. It’s always fun to learn and experience something different when you travel to take you just a bit outside your comfort zone.