A woman hiking on a mountain looking at the sun

Planning a solo trip? Top 10 safest travel spots for women

An increasing number of women are travelling and exploring the world on their own terms. How many women are choosing to vacation alone?

A recent TripAdvisor survey found that:

  • 41% of women polled have travelled alone before
  • 74% have either travelled alone or plan to travel solo in 2015
  • 54% said they travel solo because they enjoy being able to do whatever they want
  • 35% value the independence and challenge of travelling alone

Solo travel can definitely be an intimidating undertaking, but it can also offer experiences that you would not get by travelling with others.

Why are women travelling solo?

The benefits of travelling alone are plentiful:

  • Learning more about yourself
  • Flexibility to do what you want to without needing to coordinate your plans with those of other travellers
  • Flexibility to change your plans at a moment’s notice
  • Making new friends
  • Savouring new experiences
  • Learning to go outside your comfort zone
  • Increased confidence
  • Challenging yourself and overcoming fears
  • Often more affordable than travelling with other people
  • Gaining a sense of accomplishment
  • Having time for reflection
  • Learning to assimilate to other cultures more quickly

Where to travel

The TripAdvisor survey found that after the respondents’ country of residence, the most popular travel destination was Europe (42%) and the second-most popular was Asia (15%).

What about the most popular countries? “A ranking of the most reviewed destinations on TripAdvisor written by solo female travelers might also suggest that London, Paris and New York are the preferred destinations of this demographic,” says CTVNews.

Travel website EscapeHere put together a great list of places where women are most likely to be safe travelling alone. Here is their list of 10 safe and cool cities for women to visit alone:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark: Known for its shopping and beautiful architecture.
  2. Ottawa, Canada: It’s multicultural, close to Quebec and has the beautiful Rideau Canal.
  3. Auckland, New Zealand: Known as the City of Sails, it features beautiful beaches and sailing ships.
  4. Helsinki, Finland: Known for Art Nouveau-style architecture, with great walking tours, art galleries and shopping.
  5. Hilo, Hawaii: Located on the Big Island, it has amazing natural beauty, breathtaking beaches and a laid-back culture.
  6. Perth, Australia: With some of the best beaches and backpacking cultures in the world, it is one of the most popular solo traveller destinations worldwide.
  7. Oslo, Norway: Known for its art and nightlife, this Scandinavian country is one of the safest.
  8. Setubal, Portugal: A smaller city with wonderful beaches, fresh seafood and great wine. What else do you need?
  9. Malmö, Sweden: Great people and a great culture, with a natural landscape for hiking and boating.
  10. Marseille, France: A historic city with a unique culture and premier beaches.

Tips for solo travel

Travelling alone has unique considerations. Here are some tips to ensure your trip is a safe and exciting experience:

  • Research your destination: As for any other trip, take the time to research your destination and map out some of the places you want to visit and stay at. Learn about the exchange rate, areas to avoid and how to blend in.
  • Check in with your family: Even if you are not concerned about travelling by yourself, your family might be. Make sure that you check in with them occasionally, and give them a copy of your travel itinerary.
  • Check travel advisories: Be aware of all travel advisories and potential dangers that exist where you will be travelling. “Look for warnings about destinations you are about to visit by checking with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website. At this site, you can also officially register that you are travelling abroad so the government can contact you should alerts escalate or if a crisis arises at home,” says Susan Campbell for Reader’s Digest.
  • Pack for one: Having too much luggage when travelling alone can be a challenge. Pack smart and avoid packing things that you probably won’t need.
  • Trust your gut: You make all the decisions when you travel alone. Trust your intuition and always be aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  • Get travel insurance: Travel insurance for solo travellers is vital. You never know when you may need travel assistance, and dependable travel insurance coverage ensures you can get help when you need it, no matter where you are.