5 Destinations For First Time Solo Female Travelers

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Trying to pick a place to explore for the very first time as a solo traveler can be daunting to say the least, especially if you are a woman.

The world tells us to be afraid and to be hesitant about traveling alone overseas; even now after 8 years of solo travel, people still question me when I talk about my ventures around the world, and even more so when I mention that I travel alone.

It’s hard not to be discouraged when you are faced with such negativity about your travels, especially when starting out.

But if you are considering traveling solo for the first time, here are some relatively easy and safe destinations for women that are great starting spots to begin.

1. Iceland

Iceland - a great destination for solo travel

Iceland has definitely become a hit place to visit, now with cheap and frequent flights both from Europe and North America – you can even do a free week-long stopover with Icelandair between the two continents to make the most of a trip overseas.

With a population of just 300,000 people on a good day, it makes sense that it has a small-town vibe nationwide.

Iceland is probably one of the safest countries I’ve traveled to over the years and I felt totally comfortable there on my own.

Between its location, ease and accessibility, culture and safety record, Iceland is the perfect place for first time solo travelers, especially women.

2. Peru

Peru - a great destination for solo female travelers

While Peru might not initially strike you as a great destination for solo female travelers, I’ve found the opposite to be the case.

I’ve included it on the list because I wanted to cover most continents and Peru is such a popular tourist destination. This means it has a moderately solid tourism infrastructure, at least for South America.

If you travel here alone, for the most part you likely won’t be alone, there will be a lot of backpackers and other travelers in similar situations.

I found that I didn’t have any problems there traveling for 2 weeks a few years ago, and I found it incredibly helpful that there was an established tourism industry in Peru, making the logistics and planning less of a hassle.

3. New Zealand

New Zealand - a great destination for solo female travel

One of the main reasons I decided to base myself in New Zealand is because it is such a welcoming and open destination for solo female travelers like me.

Seriously, I don’t think there is a safer or easier country to travel to – New Zealand is perfect for first-time solo travelers.

It’s very easy to travel around whether by bus, car, planes or even hitchhiking, which is still a very common practice here.

The people are incredibly friendly and helpful if you have any problems or get into trouble and because there are only 4 million people nationwide, it very much has a small-town vibe like Iceland – everyone knows each other.

4. Thailand

Thailand - a great destination for solo female travel

Southeast Asia is a great place for solo travelers. It’s a major backpacker hub and it’s a very easy place to travel around.

It has quite the reputation for first time travelers, especially because it’s so cheap and your money can last a lot longer there – because of that though it’s often caters towards younger backpackers on a budget, though I’ve found that you can have a very good boutique or even luxury trip for an affordable price.

Thailand has a very established tourism industry as well and if you’re looking for a good place to start traveling for the first time alone in Asia, it’s ideal.

5. South Africa

South Africa - a great destination for solo female travel

Africa doesn’t always have the best reputation for solo female travelers, or even solo travelers in general, but I’ve found that to not be the case at all.

I recently spent a few weeks in South Africa and had the most amazing time. Cities like Cape Town are very hip and fun, and I found them to be accessible and easy for solo travelers.

There are a few things you have to be more cautious and wary about in South Africa, like not walking alone at night and avoiding bad neighborhoods, but the same can be said for many urban centers around the world.

If you are looking to visit Africa as your first solo destination, South Africa is a great place to start.

More Solo Travel Tips

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What destinations would you visit as a solo female traveler and why?

26 thoughts on “5 Destinations For First Time Solo Female Travelers”

  1. Definitely Vietnam! I travelled solo to this peaceful happy country, it was my first experience of travelling and I will definitely return again with my little boy next time. I felt totally safe and met people who helped me immensely in the first few days of being in a big crazy city. Love love love Vietnam!!!

  2. Did you forget about Malaysia???? I have been there alone but I took my little sister with me who were only 14 that time….. Malaysia is so safe for a solo female traveller….. Me and my sister walked on the road alone in the night time and we didn’t face anything bad…..

    1. A good degree of vigilant is needed. I am malaysian. We dont generally feel safe walking on the street at night. But it’s ok on crowded busy streets but not everywhere.

  3. I would put Tokyo in the list. It’s the safest city in the world even though many are misinformed that sexual harassment is regular thing. It is not. I feel safe wandering around Tokyo by myself even late at night. Transportation system is robust which allowed us to transfer from one point to another easily too.

    Mima
    Tokyo Blogger the Explorer

    1. Tokyo should definitely be on here. I have a lot of friends who live in South Africa and they recommend not going there alone.

  4. I agree these are all great places to travel too and definitely easier then other places but I guess I don’t love the idea that there are “special” places for solo females to travel too. Because we would be lost and helpless other places? I think most people plan their trips based off their dreams and not seeking an “easy” place to go to first. Though since I think I’m hoping to make it to all these places its good to know there is infrastructure there

  5. Great list here! I definitely have wanted to visit places by myself. Glad to see there’s a list of good locations to go solo. Thailand sounds right up my alley!

  6. Great list! I completely agree with Peru and I loved my time there. There are many travelers, solo or groups, going through the same general route, so you will be sure to find a party. A few words of warning: be careful on sketchy buses. I have known a few people get bags stolen from underneath buses. But you shouldn’t worry, just travel with some of the big name companies and you will be fine. Thanks for the post!

  7. Great list! Iceland is awesome but very expensive. To those of you who are planning to go, make sure you research it.

    1. I didn’t have an idea Iceland is an expensive place to visit. Is it the airfare or the accommodation and general tourist services that are expensive. Its a place I would recommend one to go to however from the many documentaries that i have seen. Its like they record close to zero percent crime rates there.

      1. It’s quite expensive in general; accomodation, eating out, sightseeing, activities etc. I’d recommend a shorter but more intense visit to keep accommodation and dining costs down!

  8. I think you’ve picked some great destinations for this list. I’ve been to 2 out of 5 (solo) and I definitely agree with you – safe, easy and for the most part friendly palces. Luckily I still have 3 of these to go and I’m definitely looking forward to visiting them all on my own. Thanks for a good list!

  9. Great list of places for a solo traveler, but I want to share my last trip to Australia, where I followed a road tour from Perth to Darwin, which was fantastic.

  10. Backpack Babe

    First of all, LOVE liz!! I follow her blog, but yes these are all great places for solo female travelers. Especially Thailand, though I’ve never been to Iceland and it looks like a dream! South Africa looks freaking awesome too! I think most European countries are pretty safe too 🙂 <3

    Thanks!

  11. Phylis Forsyth

    For myself, I would like to see places in the U.S. as a solo, at least in the beginning. It’s daunting enough to go alone, without adding the unfamiliarity of a foreign country. Your article does feature some beautiful places.

  12. A great article. I love following the solo female travellers. I find the photos and articles more happy and full of life. In my opinion ladies writing more heartfelt than man.

  13. I totally agree. I went to Iceland on a solo trip and absolutely loved it. Rented a car and drove around the island. I will definitely return. I would also add Japan to my list as it is so easy to travel around Japan solo.

  14. I have to agree with Peru as one of your choices. I did Peru on my own a few years ago and was an absolute blast. Love reading your articles. Keep up the great work!

  15. Tasmia Tarannum

    I had no idea Cape Town can be that beautiful. I’m definitely adding this to my bucket list! As a solo traveler, I am always looking for information about traveling. Thanks for sharing your ideas through this blog.

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