I’ve been solo traveling for many years now and always enjoy my trips around the globe. Some of my adventures though have been more legendary than others. Here are my top five favorite trips!
I had the fortunate experience of being able to stay in Cape Town with locals. Therefore, I was treated to some sweet homemade meals, authentic to the area and the awesome experience of seeing the sites from a local perspective.
That being said, I did quite a few things solo and had a great time. I went to Table Mountain and hiked around the top, enjoying the gorgeous views. After that, I hung out in Capetown downtown (it’s safe to walk around in the day) and saw the sites. One of the other bonuses of this city is that the currency is great against the Canadian dollar. So, a really nice meal in a fancy restaurant was super cheap.
Next, can we talk about the wine? So good and soooo cheap! I went on a wine tour of Stellenbosh and loved it! I highly recommend picking up some bottles to bring back with you.
Finally, I went on an amazing safari in Phinda Reserve. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me so I went with a bit of a fancier safari. Read all about my experience at Phinda Mountain Reserve here.
With the affordable restaurants and wine, this was a winning trip for me! I highly recommend for solo travelers.
My first trip to Paris was a in 2007 and I fell in love with the look and feel of the city. It became on of my favourite solo trips and I’ve been back four times since and still am in love. I always stay in the 6th arrondissement. This arrondissement (area of town) is so picturesque and within walking distance to Notre Dame, Lourve, etc. I usually try and pick a hotel or Airbnb that’s close to the subway as I always take the train from CDG. Keep in mind that if you are lugging lots of luggage, the metros tend not to have escalators so factor that into your decision.
To me, Paris is the perfect solo trip as there are so many museums and attractions to keep you busy for days on end. I always try and go to one museum when I’m in Paris. There are a lot of great city museums too that are free so make sure to check them out.
Ok, so for dining in Paris, you shouldn’t be afraid. A lot of the Paris restaurants have inside and outside seating at cafes. The outside seating is my favourite for people watching. You can just grab a chair and sip on your cafe all day if you’d like. Parisian cafes and restaurants won’t rush you eating or drinking and you’ll have to ask for the cheque! For breakfast, make sure you go to any of the boulangeries (bakeries) and ask for a croissant or pain au chocolat. Sometimes they are still warm!
Wow, Lisbon was my most unexpected amazing travel experience. I loved the feel of the town and how affordable it was. I stayed in the centre of town and took the cable car to see the sights. I highly recommend just walking the cobblestone streets and getting to know the town on foot.
So, I don’t know any Portuguese and I would highly recommend you pick up a few words before heading to Lisbon. I had no idea how to order food and ended up eating ham sandwiches for two days while I figured it out. I found that people didn’t speak as much English as in other European cities I’d visited.
It didn’t feel as touristy in Lisbon (although this is changing by the minute) as other European cities I’ve visited so I felt I was getting an authentic experience with the locals. The nightlife is amazing and I recommend you do a bar crawl of the Barrio Alto area. I went with people I was staying with at my hostel but I’m sure there are fun tours you could join!
Lisbon will always have a special place in my heart and I highly recommend it as a great European city to visit!
One of my favorite trips of all time, Australia is one of the best and easiest trips to do solo. In fact, if you are starting long term travel, this is one of the best countries to get your feet wet.
My recommendation though for a more authentic Australian experience is to NOT start in Sydney. I know this is against popular opinion but you will get sucked into Sydney and I know a lot of people who go to Australia for months and never leave the city. I recommend you start in Perth. I spent 8 months on the West coast of Australia and feel I got the authentic Australian experience.
I traveled the West costa of Australia from top to bottom and I can tell you, it’s amazing. From picking Kiwis in Pemberton to bartending in Broome, I had the time of my life. Even if you don’t have months to travel, the West coast is not to be missed!
If you feel like doing the hostel route, you can meet tons of people to travel with on your journey. There are also a lot of hop on hop off buses that will take you up the coasts. It’s a very travel friendly country that is used to tourists.
Don’t miss the Great Barrier Reef! If you have the time, try and do a live aboard cruise for a few days. These can be done out of the WhitSunday Islands and will get you out to some great snorkeling/diving locations. There are all kinds of different boats so shop around.
I would say, have at least a month in Australia to scratch the surface of what this country has to offer. Keep in mind that the country is huge so the driving distances between cities are many hours. I recommend internal flights if you are short on time. You can find some good deals on internal flights with Quantas.
I was super nervous about going to China solo and how safe it would be for me. Turns out, it’s probably one of the safest countries I’ve ever traveled in solo. In China, it’s not uncommon for women to travel long distances alone so I didn’t feel I stuck out too much (well, besides the blond hair).
Since Beijing hosted the Olympics in 2008, the city has been cleaned up and is a lot more travel friendly for English speakers. The metro is super clean and modern with English signs everywhere. I found it really easy to get around the city.
I visited a few parks and museums on my own but to visit the Great Wall, I recommend you do a tour. It’s just easier to have someone else organize the transportation etc.
Don’t be afraid to try the food. Sure, you may not know what something is so try and ask beforehand if you are worried but I found the food to be amazing.
Beijing was my favourite city in China. It is a mix of old and new (with the old being pushed out for more modern buildings). I would recommend you visit the city asap before it changes anymore.
Wherever you go, if you end up loving or hating the destination, it’s still a great travel experience. I grow from each trip and learn more things about myself as I digest my travel experience. What are your favorite or least favorite travel destinations?