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A woman's guide to traveling solo on International Women's Day

Traveling solo is not just an adventure, it’s an opportunity for self-discovery, growth, and empowerment. It’s also becoming more popular, with over 54% of women planning to travel solo in 2024[1].

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, this guide is dedicated to empowering women through solo travel and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones and embrace self-discovery, growth, and exhilarating adventures.

The Power of Traveling Solo

Embarking on a solo journey, especially as a woman, is more than just an exhilarating adventure. It is a platform for personal growth and a catalyst for empowerment. Traveling solo compels you to step away from the safety of familiarity and face the new, unexplored realms of the world. It makes you your decision-maker, your time manager, and your personal resource planner.

It throws you into diverse cultures, helps you understand new languages, introduces you to unique culinary experiences, and exposes you to sights that take your breath away, all while giving you the liberty to experience these at your own pace. The journey of exploring the world alone shapes you, instilling a sense of confidence and self-sufficiency that is liberating. This progression of self is a significant stride towards empowering women worldwide.

women traveling solo

“I have traveled solo, the first time not by choice, but it ended up being the best and most empowering experience. From then on, I’ve traveled many legs of my journies solo – often traveling independently between meeting different groups of friends”- Veronica, 1000MTG, Business Partnerships Manager.

Venturing alone into the world, you discover that you’re capable of more than you ever imagined. Each hurdle you overcome, every new experience you embrace, and every connection you make along your journey contributes to your growth. After all, empowerment is not just about having the strength to overcome obstacles, but also about embracing your independence and being fearless in the face of the unknown.

“I have come to find solo travel to be a liberating experience. While initially apprehensive, my journeys have highlighted my inherent strengths such as my knack for connecting with people and forming new relationships, enhanced my overall trust in humanity, and made me aware of my excellent planning skills and adaptability when navigating unfamiliar territories.” -Mahala, 1000MTG, Global Marketing Manager

Overcoming Fear and Misconceptions

Before we dive into the wonderful world of where to travel as a solo female, the concept of traveling solo can be daunting, particularly for women, often due to societal misconceptions and apprehension of the unknown. It’s crucial to understand that these feelings of unease are a normal response when venturing into unfamiliar territory but should not obstruct your aspiration to traverse the globe. Overcoming these fears is primarily about adequate preparation and a positive mindset.

“Regardless of whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or with a group, safety is always a top concern. To ensure your safety during transit and exploration, it is important to know your destination and plan ahead”-Mahala, 1000MTG, Global Marketing Manager

In today’s connected world, you’re never truly alone. There are numerous online communities and forums where you can connect with other solo female travelers. They can provide first-hand advice, share experiences, and even debunk some of the common misconceptions about solo female travel. Their insights can be invaluable in helping you ease your anxieties.

“Travelling solo does have its challenges though but nothing that can’t be overcome. For instance, back in the early 2000’s I ended up getting stuck in the Miami airport for 12 hours as the staff there said it wasn’t safe to go out alone as a female and I came to the realization that some of my freedom was taken away from me just because I was female, this was a hard realization”- Veronica, 1000MTG, Business Partnerships Manager.

The challenge of solo travel is part of the allure. It’s about facing and conquering fears, stepping out of your comfort zone, and proving to yourself that you can. Remember, the world is a much friendlier place than it often appears to be. For every unsettling news story, there are countless untold stories of kindness, hospitality, and friendship.

The Best Destinations for Solo Female Travel

1. Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, the heart of traditional Japan, offers an idyllic escape for the solo female traveler. Immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage as you wander through serene gardens and ancient temples. Make your way to the famous Fushimi Inari shrine, known for its mesmerizing Torii gate pathway. Savor the chance to partake in a time-honored tea ceremony or feast on delicious local cuisine. Besides its cultural abundance, Kyoto is a clean, safe city, making it a favored spot for solo explorers.

2. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud is the ultimate retreat for those seeking tranquility and self-growth. Known for its lush, verdant landscapes, sacred temples, and holistic wellness retreats, it offers an environment that inspires introspection and peace. You can meander through the stunning Tegalalang Rice Terraces, interact with primates at the Sacred Monkey Forest, or experience deep relaxation during a yoga session surrounded by Ubud’s serene vistas. The locals in Bali are celebrated for their warm-heartedness and hospitality, making solo travelers feel not just safe, but accepted.

3. Vienna, Austria

Venture into the heart of Europe with a solo trip to Vienna, Austria. This city effortlessly blends centuries-old history with a vibrant art scene. Wander through its charming baroque streets, take in a world-class opera, or relish a traditional Viennese coffee at one of the many iconic cafés. Pay a visit to the grand Schönbrunn Palace and the extensive Museum Quartier. The masterpiece, “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt at the Belvedere, is a must-see. Known for its safety and smooth public transportation, Vienna offers solo female travelers an easy, worry-free exploration experience.

4. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, an emblem of gender equality, is an inviting and secure destination for solo female explorers. It boasts a landscape as unique as its name, featuring the mesmerizing Northern Lights, active geysers, and natural hot springs. Venture to the world-renowned Blue Lagoon for a therapeutic dip or embark on the Golden Circle route to explore Iceland’s natural wonders. The locals, known for their friendliness, are fluent in English, making your travels effortless and enjoyable. The safe and inviting atmosphere of Reykjavik is bound to make your solo adventure an unforgettable one.

5. Auckland, New Zealand

Indulge in the coastal charm of Auckland, New Zealand. Its breath-taking harbors and rich local culture provide the perfect seaside retreat. Venture up Mt. Eden and feast your eyes on awe-inspiring vistas or take a refreshing sail to Waiheke Island for an unforgettable wine-tasting experience. Delve into the indigenous Maori culture at the Auckland Museum, offering a unique peek into the island’s history. Famously friendly, the locals, known as Kiwis, extend a warm welcome to solo travelers, ensuring a sense of community even when you’re miles away from home.

6. Barcelona, Spain

Dive into Barcelona, a vivacious city that offers a mix of rich culture, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Begin your exploration at the iconic Sagrada Familia and be awed by its grandeur. Saunter down the animated La Rambla for a taste of the city’s spirited lifestyle. Find tranquility at the city’s beautiful beaches, perfect for a solo day out. Barcelona is also a gastronomic paradise, a place to indulge in the world-renowned tapas or savor a mouth-watering paella at a local restaurant. Even amidst the city’s constant energy, Barcelona maintains a laid-back atmosphere, providing a safe and relaxed environment that encourages solo female travelers to navigate and enjoy its wonders at their own pace.

7. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, a beautiful fusion of urban comforts and island allure, is an excellent choice for female solo travelers. Spend your days sunbathing on the iconic Waikiki Beach or hiking up Diamond Head for breathtaking panoramic views. Explore the significant history of Pearl Harbor, providing a deeper understanding of this paradise’s past. The city exudes an infectious aloha spirit, with local Hawaiians known for their overwhelming hospitality. You’ll feel at home in this sunny city, making your solo expedition not just secure, but also heartwarming and memorable.

8. Marrackech, Morocco

Dive into the vibrant culture and mystique of Marrakech, an ideal locale for solo female travelers in search of a unique experience. Meander through the maze-like Medina, get lost in the brilliant hues of the Majorelle Garden, and tantalize your taste buds with the flavors of authentic Moroccan fare on one of the many city tours available to you. Despite the city’s dynamic pulse, Marrakech offers a safe and welcoming environment. The city’s residents are generally friendly and willing to assist, aiding in the navigation of the city’s exciting hustle and bustle. Embrace the exotic allure of Marrakech and be prepared for a travel experience like no other.

9. Vancouver, Canada

Nestled between towering mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Begin your adventure by strolling through the lush landscapes of Stanley Park, Canada’s largest urban park. Continue your journey to Granville Island, a vibrant peninsula teeming with unique shops, eateries, and a bustling public market. Don’t miss the thrilling experience of traversing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, where you can admire the breathtaking views from above the treetops. Safety and friendliness are inherent in Canadian culture, which means you can enjoy your solo exploration of Vancouver with ease and comfort.

10. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, acclaimed for its embodiment of hygge (coziness and comfort), is an enchanting safe haven for solo female travelers. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Nyhavn harbor, adorned with colorful, historic houses. Pay a visit to the renowned Little Mermaid statue, a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale. Embrace the city’s passion for cycling and explore the cityscape on two wheels. The courteous Danish residents, fluent in English, contribute to a relaxed and hassle-free experience for solo travelers. Copenhagen beckons you to unwind, bask in its serene aura, and discover its quaint charm at your own pace.

Bonus! Staff picks

Veronica, 1000MTG, Business Partnerships Manager has personally enjoyed Paris, London, and Singapore while solo traveling as all three of the places have a good general level of safety and security meaning that has always felt safe and she could seek assistance quickly if needed. They are also three places that are filled with history, culture and fun and she found that it was easy and fun to make friends in these places as well.

Mahala, 1000MTG, Global Marketing Manager loved traveling solo in Southeast Asia as the locals are friendly and supportive, especially towards solo travelers and will often welcome you into their lives and homes. In addition, she has personally enjoyed attending retreats in the Philippines and Cambodia, where she had the chance to make new friends and explore the local attractions and culture together after having some time for personal reflection. The only downside-leaving all your newfound friends to go home.


Embrace the Journey

The act of a woman journeying solo goes beyond the simple thrill of exploring new territories. It’s about testing one’s limits, expanding personal boundaries, and unveiling the authentic self that often lies dormant amidst the hustle and bustle of routine life. It’s about embracing your personal power, cherishing independence, and fostering self-belief.

On International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the enriching journey of solo travel and the invaluable life lessons it imparts. As the adage goes, “Travel isn’t merely about spending, it’s an investment that makes you wealthier in experience and wisdom.” So, without further ado, get your luggage ready, chart that exciting solo voyage, and empower your being in unimaginable ways. Here’s to joyful journeys and a fulfilling International Women’s Day!


[1]- Travel Predictions (2024) 


Are you ready to embark on a solo expedition?

Contact a 1000 Mile Travel Vacations travel agent today!