Travelling solo can be daunting for anyone, but more so for women. Safety is always a concern, especially for those of us who've grown up constantly being told to be careful. However, a solo trip can open you up to new experiences and broaden your horizons in a way that a trip with family or friends simply cannot. Especially for a woman, it's important to get out there, travel and make some memories, all while learning about yourself and exploring new facets of your own complex personality. Here are some destinations that we think women will find safe and super interesting for a trip by themselves.
Bali, Indonesia - For peaceful times at the beach and beyond
Whether it's the pristine beaches, energetic nightlife, or the yoga and meditation sessions that seem to be everywhere, Bali has a lot to offer. It all depends on what interests you. Check out the temples and ancient architecture, visit a beach bar, or learn about their native form of herbal medicine. You can also participate in group meditation or yoga sessions, if you're of a spiritual bent of mind. Other travellers seem to advise solo women to stay away from the ultra-touristy areas and crowded beach parties at night, but there are tons of off-the-beaten path places to discover that are completely safe.
Japan - Where culture and history clash with modernity
Japan is known to have an incredibly low crime rate, and that's why it makes it to this list. If you're interested in fashion, Japanese style is unique and totally worth checking out. Japan is also a country with a ton of history and culture to explore, from the ancient period to the Second World War. With natural beauty and impressive cities, Japan is a great place to go as a woman travelling alone. Just be sure to learn a few useful phrases in Japanese and keep a map and some extra cash with you at all times.
Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavian beauty at its best!
Scandinavia as a whole is pretty safe for women, but Copenhagen takes the cake because it's claimed to be a lot cheaper than Oslo and Stockholm, the capitals of the other two Scandinavian countries. Copenhagen features some fantastic architecture, history and culture, as well as nightlife and great beer. There are lovely parks to visit, incredible design to be spotted, palaces and museums to explore and great food (even for vegetarians!) to be tasted. So what are you waiting for?
Hampi, India - Temples and ruins for the history buff
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temples and ruins of the capital of the medieval kingdom of Vijayanagara are full of beauty and mystique. Hampi is a great little town to explore, especially for those of you who are interested in history and medieval architecture. You can't drink in Hampi, but there are several charming restaurants and cafes that are a backpacker's delight, and budget accommodation as well as more plush living quarters are easy to come by.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Admire the opulence and shop till you drop
With insanely grand hotels and buildings, record-breaking skyscrapers, pretty beaches, and enormous malls, Dubai is a city worth visiting once in your life at least. This oil-rich city boasts a set of man-made islands shaped like the world map, an indoor ski resort (yes, you read that right), and the world's tallest building, to name a few. And if you're a fashionista, Dubai is a great place to shop, especially for high end luxury brands.
Himachal Pradesh, India - The trekker's and explorer's haven
If you love trekking and exploring, we'd suggest making your way to Himachal. The pahadi people are extremely friendly, so you won't feel lost or helpless while you're navigating the mountain paths (though we'd recommend trekking with an organised group over going completely solo). Spend a few days in Dharamshala and MacLeod Ganj, where you can explore the Buddhist temples and learn about traditional Tibetan art at Norbulingka, a crafts institute in the area. This destination is pretty safe for women, but you should still try to be back at your accommodation soon after dark and avoid lonely places at night.
Marseille, France - A Mediterranean retreat
The second-largest city in France and the capital of the picturesque Provence region, Marseille is a Mediterranean town that will show you another side of French culture from what you'd see in Paris. You can explore the old port, the cathedral and several museums of art and archaeology. Another cool thing to do is visit the Chateau d'If, the real-life former prison where the fictional Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned until he escaped and swam ashore. While there are some reports of harassment about the city, it seems largely safe if you are a little careful.
Iceland - Gorgeous landscapes and an easy ride
Iceland has a great reputation when it comes to solo travelling for women. It's got a very low crime rate and lots of female travel bloggers swear by it. It isn't a cheap country to travel in, but it's definitely stunning with the range of nature-related things to see. You could go glacier hiking, snorkelling or whale-watching, and you should definitely explore the capital, Reykjavik. This is one of those unusual travel destinations that you'll be proud to say you've visited.
Singapore - Shopaholics and quirk-lovers unite
Another super-safe destination, Singapore is lovely for women, especially those who love to shop. You can spend a week shopping here and still feel like you missed out, but resist the temptation because there's a lot more to do in the island country. Apart from the zoo, Jurong Bird Park and Underwater World, Singapore's Universal Studios is very popular. We'd also suggest exploring the cool neighbourhoods filled with quirky stores and cafes, and just taking in the energy and interesting architecture of the place.
Morocco - For those who crave the exotic
Though it can be hard to travel as a single woman in Morocco, it's such a pretty place full of history and great sights that it's worth the difficulty. With chaotic marketplaces, the Sahara desert, and gorgeous towns like Marrakech and Fes, Morocco is a destination that offers all kinds of experiences from adventure to shopping. Just remember to dress modestly and keep a little distance from the local men, and you should be alright.
Remember to do your research before you set out and be prepared with emergency numbers so you know who to call in case of any untoward incidents. Choose a destination based on your budget and how brave you feel at that point of time. Solo travel can be the best thing that ever happened to you, but it won't be if you're spending the whole trip in a paranoid huddle with your suitcase. So try to let go of your inhibitions and enjoy yourself!
Where would you like to go on a solo trip? If you have any other destinations you'd like to add to the list, tell us in the comments and we'll put it in.