Solo Female Travel


A gorgeous white sand beach in Mexico, one of the best destinations for solo female travellers

Taking your first solo trip

So you’re considering travelling alone for the first time? That’s awesome, there are so many great destinations to explore!

No matter whether you’re looking for info on the best places to travel alone, what you need to pack or how to keep yourself safe when on the other side of the globe, you’ve come to the right place.

You may have heard me say this already but I’ll say it again, leaving New Zealand to travel the world by myself was the best thing I ever did and it’s my goal to empower you to take the same step.

Once we break it all down and dive into the nitty-gritty you’ll be feeling confident and ready to take on the world. You got this gal! 

Best destinations for solo female travellers

Travelling alone can be nerve-wracking and even more so if you’re planning your first solo adventure, but don’t worry it is totally normal if you feel that way. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a big deal and it’s not something we tend to do very often.  

When it comes to narrowing down the perfect destination for your solo vacation, a big thing to think about is personal safety. When I was planning my first solo trip, I literally googled what the safest countries to travel solo were and based my decisions on that. Of course, there were other factors that influenced my decision, I tend to gravitate towards coastal cities and beautiful beaches since I love being near the ocean, but safety was a big factor for me. 

Now if you’re on the fence about going on your first solo journey and not sure if it’s for you, let me tell you something. I used to be one of those people who said they could never travel alone and I mean NEVER. However, one day my mindset completely changed and my determination to travel the world overruled the fear of what might happen when it came to travelling as a solo female.

Yes, I still felt a bit anxious whenever it was time to move onto the country or city because of the unknown but that feeling would quickly disappear once I arrived and realised it wasn’t all that scary. 

My number one message for you? If I can do it, you can do it too.

The secret is to just take it one step at a time. Don’t think too far ahead and overwhelm yourself and for the love of god, DON’T stress yourself out unnecessarily about something that hasn’t even happened yet…(guilty).

You are probably going to surprise yourself at how capable you actually are once you go on your first solo trip. And guess what? You are going to have the time of your life!

Solo travel is SO. MUCH. FUN.

Now as cheesy as the whole “travelling solo to find yourself” thing is, it’s kinda true… You become comfortable with your own company real quick and you have room to be 100% yourself without fear of judgement because guess what? When you travel to the other side of the world, nobody knows who you are. It’s the freshest of fresh starts.

Now with so many options out there for first-time solo female travel destinations, how on earth do you choose?

Best solo travel destinations

Each country is quite different from one another and safety concerns will differ from place to place.  I’ve solo travelled in places like Europe, Mexico and South East Asia so you’ll get a pretty good overview of what it’s like in each of these places and hopefully feel inspired to head there for yourself!

1. Portugal

With its welcoming locals and low crime rates, Portugal is a fantastic destination for solo female travellers and one of my favourites. I spent quite a bit of time in Sagres, Portugal while I volunteered in a hostel. It was so much fun as it allowed me to travel at my own pace and I came to really love this country. I think this experience is what sparked my love of travelling to small towns!

It’s also a pretty cheap country to travel to in Europe which is always a bonus when you’re on your own. I had no problems with the language barrier either while living here which was great.

You’ll enjoy the charming streets of Lisbon, the natural beauty of the Algarve, and the picturesque vineyards of Douro Valley in a safe and relaxed environment.

2. Greece

Known for its rich history, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking views, Greece is a great place for solo female travellers with a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. 

Explore the ancient ruins of Athens, soak up the sun on the islands of Santorini and Mykonos, and immerse yourself in Greek culture with friendly locals always willing to help.

I loved my time in Greece and had no problem getting between the islands and exploring by myself. In fact, in a way it was perfect because I got to go wherever I wanted!

3. Mexico

Mexico is a vibrant country full of diverse landscapes, from beautiful beaches to ancient ruins. I love the rich culture here and the food is soo tasty! 

Solo travellers can revel in the colourful markets of Oaxaca, relax on the pristine shores of Tulum, and experience the warm hospitality of the Mexican people while feeling safe and welcomed.

4. Thailand

Thailand’s friendly locals, delicious street food, and affordable prices make it an ideal destination for solo female travellers. In fact I chose to live in Chiang Mai solo because not only is it a popular destination for digital nomads but the city has low crime rates. 

I always felt safe here, even at night and Thailand still remains one of my favourite countries to this day! As far as feeling at home in foreign places goes, this is as close as I got to it.

Explore the bustling markets of Bangkok, unwind on the stunning beaches of Phuket, and discover the lush jungles of Chiang Mai while feeling secure and embraced by the local culture. Of course the food scene in Thailand is to die for too!

5. New Zealand

Okay so I might not have travelled solo in my own country but from my experience of solo travelling in other places around the world, I know New Zealand is a good place for it.  With its stunning natural beauty, friendly locals and abundance of activities, New Zealand is the perfect place to venture out on your own.

One of my favourite places in New Zealand was Queenstown. This small town surrounded by mountains and lakes has a unique energy that just draws you in. There are plenty of hostels and budget accommodations available, making it easy to find affordable lodging for solo travellers.

My top tips for solo female travel

From exploring new cultures to trying exotic cuisines, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being in a new place and experiencing something different.

Whether you’re chasing the northern lights or discovering the best national parks, the possibilities are endless! Here are my top tips for solo female travel based on my personal experience:

1. Research your destination:
Before heading out on a solo adventure, it’s important to research the culture, customs and safety of your chosen destination. This will help you feel more prepared and confident when exploring a new place.

I also like to look into public transportation options so I know how I’m going to get around. This gets a little harder when you’re planning on staying in more remote areas but if you stick to major cities you should find it pretty easy and cheap to get around. Bonus points if the city is super walkable and you can get around on foot!

2. Stay connected:
Make sure to stay in touch with family and friends back home, especially if you’re travelling alone. Share your itinerary and check in regularly to let them know you’re safe. Social media is a great option for this and an easy way to keep lots of people updated on the new destinations you’re visiting.

3. Trust your instincts:
As a solo traveller, it’s important to trust your gut and always use common sense. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to say no or remove yourself from a situation. 

4. Be mindful of cultural differences:
It’s essential to respect the local culture and customs of the country you’re visiting. Be aware of your actions and dress appropriately to avoid any unwanted attention or disrespect.

5. Pack light:
It can be tempting to overpack when travelling alone, but remember that you’ll have to carry everything on your own. Pack only the essentials and leave room for souvenirs or items you may need along the way.

In hindsight, I overpacked for my first trip but at the time I didn’t know how long I was going to be gone for so I literally packed my life up into a backpack!

6. Stay in safe accommodation:
When booking your accommodation, prioritise safety over price. This one is probably my most important travel tip. There was one time I did not do this and just looked for the cheapest hotel and it was one of the worst decisions I made because I ended up in a rather bad area of Manila and I felt incredibly unsafe and on edge the whole time.

After that, I decided to value my personal safety over saving money. Be sure to look for reputable hotels or hostels with good reviews (over an 8-star rating on Hostelworld) and security measures such as lockers and 24-hour front desks.

7. Make friends:
Solo travel doesn’t mean you have to be alone all the time. Join tours or group activities to meet fellow travellers and make new connections.

8. Have fun:
Most importantly, remember why you chose to travel solo in the first place – for the freedom, independence, and adventure. Embrace it and have fun exploring new places and meeting new people on your own terms!

Money Saving Hacks

When you’re travelling solo the bank account tends to take a little bit of a hit. At the end of the day the most important thing is your safety. Believe me, I’ve tried to cut corners and save $$ here and there and every time I regretted it. There was one time I was in the Philippines and I just had one night in Manilla before catching my flight out to the islands so I booked myself a night in a cheap motel room.

Let’s just say I ended up in an incredibly dark and dodgy part of town and felt so unsafe I wanted to cry and throw up at the same time. In the end, I was totally fine but it was NOT worth the stress OR the risk… So, safe to say I learnt my lesson.

However, there are other ways you can SAFELY save money. Flights, trains or buses are a great way because transport is going to be one of your biggest expenses. Even if you travel slowly, it all adds up trying to get yourself from A to B.

Check out my post 15 Cheap Flight Hacks for the top tips and tricks I use when it comes to searching for cheap flights.

Another huge expense, if not your largest, is going to be your accommodation. I would highly highly recommend looking into volunteering in hostels during your travels! It cuts down your travel expenses significantly and not only that, it’s a cool experience!

How it works is you usually work in reception, or help out with a bit of cleaning or offer your skills to the hostel then in exchange you get free accommodation, free food and sometimes some free activities too! 

It’s also an awesome way to meet people and can make the whole travelling solo thing seem a bit less scary cause more often than not, there will be other volunteers and they will also be solo travellers.

I wrote an in-depth list of the pros and cons of working in a hostel to help give you a bit of an idea on what you might be getting yourself in for.