My Top Ten Solo Holidays

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Whether you want to see Machu Picchu at sunrise, book a wellness retreat in Bali, or just escape ordinary life for a few days, check out my top ten solo holidays and get planning your next break away.

 

See yourself as a bit of Shirley Valentine? Or maybe you are more a Motorcycle Diaries kind of guy? Regardless of your motives or desires for travel, solo holidays help you to leap beyond your comfort zone and discover things about yourself and your surroundings, that you may never have discovered if travelling with a partner. I have been fortunate to holiday in many far flung destinations with my family, but there is something liberating about travelling alone…

solo holidays

The thrills start at the airport for me. To be able to wander around Duty Free without kids in tow, is bliss! I also love plane journeys when travelling alone. I watch all the girly movies I never get to see at home, while enjoying a few glasses of wine.
 

 

 
Once you get to your destination, you don’t have to have the Spanish inquisition about where you want to go for dinner – you can dine where ever you want. Want to spend two hours shopping in your favourite department store? Go for it! Maybe there is a long hike you want to try, or a spa day is badly needed  – you don’t need to consult with anyone, you can just go on your own. You will be surprised at how much you learn about yourself, and how more independent you will become when you travel solo.

cruise holidays are ideal for solo travel

There are many different ways to enjoy solo travel – hopefully my list of top ten solo holidays will inspire you to plan your next trip away.

 

 

 

 

 

1. City breaks: Toulouse

City breaks are a good choice if you fancy a short break. If it is your first solo holiday and you are a little anxious, go to a city that you have been to before. You will feel comfortable and safe wandering around on your own. Alternatively choose somewhere that is compact and easy to navigate, like Porto, or Toulouse. Once you get used to solo holidays you will be surprised how much easier it becomes. You will then happily hop on a plane to a new city for your next solo holiday. 

solo holidays - city breaks
 

 

 
Despite being France’s fourth largest city, Toulouse feels like a small town. It is just a short distance from the airport and very easy to navigate on foot. I loved wandering around its colourful streets and ancient centre. The Victor Hugo market is a food lovers paradise and I really enjoyed seeing Concorde at the Aeroscopia Aeronautical Museum.  You can also take a tour of the Airbus factory, although you need to pre-book the tour. Toulouse is a university town and is vibrant and uplifting – it is a great choice for a solo holiday.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I really enjoyed strolling around #Toulouse on my own, I think I’m ready for some #solotravel 🤔 I even managed to take this pic with a selfie stick 🙌 Toulouse is a great city if you do want to try it solo. It’s only 2 hours flight with @aerlingus and a 15 minute taxi ride to the centre of town. The city is really easy to navigate and feels really safe walking alone. Anyone else like to travel solo? . . . . . . . . #visiteztoulouse @atout_france @travelmedia.ie #lavillerose #igerstoulouse #presstrip @VisitToulouse #toulousemaville #visitfrance #oldtown #beautifuldestinations #citiesofeurope #beautifulcities #travelblogger #travelgram #wearetravelgirls #irishtravelblogger #viewsofinstagram #cityscape #sheisnotlost #dametraveller #citybreak #travelbloggerlife #riverwalk #garonne #selfiestick #travellingsolo

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Read: Toulouse travel blog – why you should visit and what to do when you get there.

Read: Why you need to choose Porto for your next city break

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2. Wellness holidays: The Body Holiday, St. Lucia

Wellness holidays are becoming more and more popular for solo holidays. Julia Roberts in the movie Eat Pray Love, had us all wishing to go to on a retreat in Bali, while fitness boot-camps and spa breaks are now the norm.  There are many ways to book a wellness break. You can opt for a familiar beach resort and book a flight and hotel with a spa, or opt for on retreat. Wellness breaks are ideal for solo travellers, so it can be a good place to meet like minded travellers.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Body Holiday is the ultimate wellness all-inclusive resort and it dedicates the month of September to solo travellers. Caribtours, the Caribbean specialists, have secured a massive saving for their September Solo’s campaign – you can enjoy this luxury 5-star resort with no single supplement! You will enjoy a personalised schedule of spa treatments, fitness classes and water sports with celebrity fitness trainers and dancers, as well as meals and premium drinks – all included in the cost of your holiday.
 

 

 
The Body Holiday can be whatever you want it to be. You can abseil down a river gorge in the morning, enjoy a spa treatment in the afternoon, and sip champagne at sunset. Where else would you find all this included in the cost of your stay?

the body holiday st lucia for solo holidays

See more here  Quote The Travel Expert for an additional discount. 
 

 

 

3. Cruises: 

Cruises are surprisingly good for solo travellers. There are so many dining options and meals are included in the cost of your cruise. In many cases food is available 24/7, so it is not unusual to see people popping down to the buffet alone for something to eat. There are theatre shows on every evening as well as live music in the bars, so there are plenty of options to keep you entertained. The fact that you stop off in many different ports also allows for lots of different experiences – it is virtually impossible to get bored on a cruise! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I have arrived in Germany for the launch of the #cruise ship #NorwegianEncore – she is a beauty! I can’t believe I was the first person to use the race track – the largest race track af sea! I actually got in the first car on the first run out – I just wish I had a photo to prove it 😉 -this one will have to do though! A massive thanks to @sunway_holidays for inviting me – they are Ireland’s top selling cruise specialists for @cruise_norwegian so I guess they got plenty of invites 😉 See all the highlights on my stories. . . . . . . #cruise #cruiselife #cruiseship #norwegiancruise #cruiselaunch #travelbloggerlife #travelblogger #irishtravelblogger #cruiseblogger #racetrack #formula1 #cruisetravel #cruisenorwegian #instacruise

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Many cruise lines have dedicated areas for solo travellers but I was really impressed with the studio cabins on Norwegian Encore. They are all located in one designated area on the ship and have a private bar and lounge area. This is an ideal place to meet people and plan activities.  I would quite happily spend a week or two travelling solo on a cruise.

single studio on norwegian encore

Read: My review of Norwegian Encore
 

 

 

4. Escorted Group Tours: Panoramic Peru: 15 Day Escorted Tour

Many like to travel as part of a group tour for their first solo trip. This is particularly handy if there is a bucket list trip you want to take, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable travelling alone. South America, India and China are ideal destinations for solo group tours, but there are also plenty of group tours in European destinations too. 

Read: Discover Asia & South America with Wendy Wu Tours
 

 

 
Peru is best explored on a group tour, in fact you will undoubtedly meet many solo travellers along your journey. The fact that you get to visit Machu Picchu is enough to make me want to book this trip, but that is only one of the many magical sights you will witness on this incredible adventure.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on escorted tours

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5.  Spa Breaks: Algarve

Sometimes a few days away is all you need to re-charge the batteries. A short flight and a nice hotel is just the ticket! The Algarve is the ideal choice for solo holidays. It is full of long sandy beaches, superb restaurants and plenty of old towns to explore. Whether you are looking for a three-star apartment or a five-star luxury hotel, both are relatively easy to find. Luxury hotels are extremely good value outside school holidays and most have indoor pools, which is handy if travelling during the winter time.
 

 

 
I found a great spa break staying in the 5-star Real Marina Hotel & Spa. Price for flights and a four-night stay with breakfast is just €334, travelling on the 1st of November.

a wellness break in the algarve is ideal for solo travel

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6.  The ultimate retreat – Ubud, Bali.

Yoga, pilates and meditation gave Ubud its global status as one of the world’s best wellness locations, so if you are looking for the ultimate retreat, Ubud is the place to go. You will certainly be wowed by its beauty, you may possibly be taken in by its spirituality, and who knows you might even meet the love of your life, like Julia Roberts did in Eat Pray Love. There are numerous ways to experience Ubud. Many choose to combine it with some beach time in Bali or the Gili Islands, but for the ultimate in relaxation, book a spa hotel or retreat. 

solo holidays in bali

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7. A touch of luxury in Greece 

There is something about Greece that conjures up images of solo travel. I recall Shirley Valentine going to Mykonos in 1989 (seriously feeling old now), and how I couldn’t wait to visit. The constant images on Instagram of Santorini’s white-washed towns and Zakynthos’ famous Shipwreck Beach are persuading everyone to pack their bags and travel to Greece.

santorini
 

 

 
However, I chose the road less travelled last year and stayed in a luxury resort on the island of Crete. Anemos Luxury Grand Resort is located near Chania and Rethymno – two beautiful towns with Venetian ports. They are full of narrow side streets, waterfront cafés and colourful buildings. I explored Chania on my own and loved it. There is a super bus service that goes to both towns every hour, and the bus stop is right outside the hotel. You can also enjoy a 30 minute stroll along the beach into the town of Georgioupolos – home to this delightful church. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The hotel has great restaurants on site, an indoor pool and spa and has yoga classes every morning on the beach. If you are looking for a luxury beach hotel with plenty to do in the surrounding area, this is perfect!

Read: My review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort

Read: Top Things to do near Chania

 

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8. Independent long haul trips: Thailand

Thailand is a great choice for solo holidays. It is affordable, friendly and offers a great mix of beach, wildlife and culture. You are bound to meet lots of solo travellers on your journey, and you you may end up changing your plans and travelling with them instead.
 

 

 
Hostels are the ideal choice if you are on a budget and want to meet solo travellers. Most hostels are like hotels now, with private rooms en-suite and all mod cons – you don’t have to stay in a dormitory. The main benefit of staying in hostels is they generally organise group events. There are often city tours and pub crawls set up so you don’t have to go out alone. These are a great option if you happen to be travelling solo for a long duration. I suggest booking your first few nights in one of the main beach resorts and then see where the wind takes you…

thailand is one of the best countries for solo holidays

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9. Road Trip: It has to be Route 66 

Maybe you turned 50 and bought yourself a motor bike, or maybe you just like road trips….

If you want to take off on your own, it doesn’t get much better than driving two thousand miles, across eight US states. Driving Route 66 is arguably the most iconic road trip in the world, and one that is sure to be full of soul searching, joy and adrenaline. Drive through Grand Canyon National Park, stand on a corner in Winslow Arizona, and finish off your trip on Santa Monica pier – this is an adventure like no other, and a solo trip you will never forget. 

route 66

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10. Nature Lovers: Iceland

Iceland is one the world’s safest countries, so if you are worried about travelling solo, this is a great place to start. There is so much to do in Iceland especially if you like nature and the elements. You can travel during the summer time and experience the midnight sun, or wait until winter time and chase the Northern Lights. Regardless of when you travel, take a trip around the Golden Circle and book a swim in the Blue Lagoon. Iceland is not cheap though, so make sure you bring plenty of cash with you! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read: Top things to do in Iceland

 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

I hope this post on solo holidays will inspire you to travel solo this year. Let me know if you have any favourite solo holidays, but commenting below.

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert