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My Top 10 Solo Holidays and Tips – Solo Travel Guide

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From guided group tours to independent solo trips, luxury wellness breaks to hostel holidays, check out my top 10 solo holidays and solo travel tips.

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.

6 reasons to travel solo:

I have been very fortunate to enjoy some amazing holidays with my family, but there is something liberating about travelling alone. There are lots of reasons why you should try solo holidays, I’ve got six here to start with:
 

 

 

1. There is no stigma attached to solo travel 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Think back to five or ten years ago: If your friend or partner said they wanted to travel solo you would probably have been surprised, you may have thought it strange, possibly even rude, depending on the situation.

What was once a travel trend for the young, free and single, solo travel is now popular with couples or friends who have different interests, separated couples, and couples who want to travel without their children but need one parent to stay home.

 

 

2. There is a wide variety of solo holidays available

See the Taj Mahal on an escorted tour from Ireland

Whether you want to climb Kilimanjaro, live out the Eat Pray Love fantasy, or want to explore a city alone, there has never been a wider selection of solo holidays available.

Fitness camps and wellness breaks are extremely popular, as are walking and cycling holidays. If you want to travel solo but not alone, there are numerous guided group tours available that have a large number of solo travellers – see more on this below.
 

 

 

3. Airport bliss

travelling alone at the airport

The thrills start at the airport for me. I love being able to wander around Duty Free without kids in tow, sampling new perfumes, and eyeing up the latest cosmetics.

Its the little things – like being able to browse Duty Free at my own pace, without someone telling me that we need to go to the gate. And, when I finally get on that plane, I can watch all the movies I never get to see at home, while enjoying a few glasses of wine at the same time! 
 

 

 

4. Freedom

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It is not possible to have the same level of freedom travelling with a friend or partner that you have when travelling solo. You don’t need to consider anyone else’s wishes. You have planned the trip you want, or not planned if thats your travel style. If you don’t want to spend hours in a destination’s top attraction, you don’t have to!
 

 

 
Once you get to your destination, you won’t have the Spanish inquisition about where you want to go for dinner – you can dine where you want, when 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.
 

 

 

5. Meet new people

cruise holidays are ideal for solo travel
Solo travel is not only a reason to travel alone, it is also a great way to meet new friends. Solo friendly hotels or hostels are a great way to meet like minded people, as are guided group tours.

Some cruise lines have dedicated solo cabins with a solo lounge, and luxury resorts in the Caribbean have dedicated months for solo travellers – more on that below.  

 

 

6. Growth

solo holidays

You will be surprised at how much you learn about yourself, and how much more independent you will become when you travel solo. Solo holidays build your confidence, give you valuable ‘Me Time’ and provide a great sense of achievement. 

 

 

Solo Travel Tips

 

1. Choose the right accommodation

5 star hotels

Adult-only hotels or hostels are a great way to meet solo travellers. If it is your first time to travel solo, choose a hotel or apartment with cooking facilities. While I recommend getting outside your comfort zone and dining in a restaurant alone, if you want a night in, a kitchen can be handy. 
 

 

 

2. Check local events

concert

Follow tourist boards and local blogs on social media, they usually have an event guide so you can see what’s on at the time of your trip. Even if you are not staying in a Hostel, it is a good idea to find the local one, they usually organise meet ups and events for travellers.
 

 

 

3. Book a group tour

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If staying a city, food or walking tours are a great idea, especially on your first day. If you are in a holiday resort, check out local boat trips, excursions or exercise sessions. Your hotel should be able to advise you if there are any morning yoga sessions or group hikes.

Not only are these a great way to meet people, but you can ask the guide for safe destinations for solo travellers, they are likely to have some good recommendations – hence doing tours on the first day of your trip are a good idea.

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4. Bring some essentials

Crossbody or bumbags are ideal for keeping your money and valuables sale. If travelling outside the EU make sure you check the roaming rates in advance, and pre-purchase an eSim or local sim card.

If you feel anxious dining alone, having a book to read can take away any uneasy feeling. A scarf is not only handy if the weather turns against you, but they can be used as a shawl for entering religious venues.
 

 

 

5. Be careful

things to watch out for on holidays

This post is all about the benefits of travelling solo, but it should go without saying that safety is paramount. Research your destination before you go and avoid walking alone in any areas known for criminality.

Use common sense and protect your valuables, beware of taxi scams, always let someone know where you are at all times, and make sure you have travel insurance.

Read: 10 things to watch out for on holidays
 

 

 

Top 10 solo holidays

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

 

 

 

 

1. City breaks

City breaks are a good choice if you just fancy a few days away. 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.

solo holidays - city breaks

Alternatively choose somewhere that is compact and easy to navigate. 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.
 

 

 
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 on my own.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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

Porto or Lisbon are other great choices, the later is obviously larger and has much more to offer, but Porto is so compact that you could easily see the highlights over two days.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I visited Malaga city for the first time last year, this is another great choice for a city break, and you have the added advantage of being able to enjoy some beach time too!

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

Read: Top 10 things to do in Lisbon

Read: Malaga travel guide – top things to do and where to stay

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

Wellness breaks are becoming more and more popular for solo holidays, while fitness boot-camps and walking holidays are now the norm. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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 a retreat.  The Body Holiday is the ultimate wellness all-inclusive resort and it dedicates the month of September to solo travellers.
 

 

 
You can 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 st lucia for solo holidays

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?
 

See more here   
 

 

 

3. Cruises

It may surprise you to learn that cruises are a great choice for solo holidays. There are so many dining options to choose from, 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.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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!
 

 

 
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 travelling solo on a cruise.

single studio on norwegian encore

Read: My review of Norwegian Encore

See more here
 

 

 

4. Guided Group Tours

solo holidays to Jordan

A group tour is the perfect way to enjoy a solo trip for the first time. They are particularly handy if there is a bucket list trip you want to take, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable travelling alone.

South America, Vietnam and Jordan are ideal destinations for solo group tours, but there are also plenty of group tours in European destinations too, including yoga, photography and walking holidays.
 

 

 
Irish owned Travel Department and TD Active offer guided tours for groups and solo travellers. I love that their website shows the single supplement clearly for each departure date. I have chosen some of my favourites in these posts, or you can get prices directly via the links below.
 
Read: Top 10 escorted tours from Ireland in 2023 

Read: Top 10 adventure holidays for active travellers
 
Search TD Active
 
Travel Department
 

 

 

5. Beach holidays 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sometimes a few days away is all you need to re-charge the batteries. A short flight and a nice hotel is just what’s required for some ‘Me Time’. The Algarve, Costa del Sol or Greek islands are ideal choices for solo holidays. There are plenty of sandy beaches, superb restaurants and plenty of excursions available.

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 during the winter time and most have indoor pools with Spas.

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6.  The ultimate retreat – Ubud, Bali

solo holidays in 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. Your local travel agency will be able to organise this for you, or search independently below.

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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

 

Search flights here Chania airport

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8. Independent long haul trips with Hostelworld 

Hostelworld is a great choice for solo holidays. Not only are staying in hostels more affordable, but you are bound to meet lots of solo travellers on your journey, and who knows you you may end up changing your plans and travelling with them instead.

thailand is one of the best countries for solo holidays

Many hostels are like hotels now – en-suite private rooms are the norm, you don’t have to stay in a dormitory. Hostelworld has a great app with a chat function, so you can chat to fellow travellers who are staying in your hostel, or in another hostel nearby, before you travel and while you are there. 
 

 

 
Hostels usually organise group events too, including city tours and pub crawls, 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.

Search flights here
 
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9. Road Trip: Route 66 

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. 

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10. Nature Lovers: Iceland

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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. 

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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.

 

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