Solo travel is a great way to get in touch with your inner self and explore a destination on your own terms. Traveling alone however comes with its own set of risk factors, safety being the major one. Although you can get robbed (or worse) anywhere in the world, some countries tend to be safer than others. This is even more so for women vacationers who are inherently more at risk when traveling alone, even in their home country. When planning a vacation therefore, it is important to pay attention to the destination and how safe it is for you to travel alone. Below are the top 5 destinations for women traveling alone.
South Korea has a little bit of everything, making it a great vacationing destination. From the beaches of Jeju Province, to Gyeongju’s ancient culture, and the interesting and diverse city of Seoul, there really is something for everyone. South Korea has made tremendous progress in many areas, with the most notable being security and education.
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The country is generally very safe even for tourists. The literacy rate is one of the highest in the world, hitting 98% for women over the age of 15. There are many expatriates in South Korea especially those from English speaking countries who primarily teach English in the country. There are also plenty of women expatriates working here either alone or with their families, so a foreign woman doesn’t necessarily raise eyebrows. Still, it is important to use common sense as far as your safety is concern, and use the same set of rules you would while back home.
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Ireland is another great country to visit by a solo traveler. The locals are particularly friendly, and the people here are used to seeing women traveling on their own so it doesn’t strike as strange. You can easily walk in to the local pub and sample the local brews without any problems. Pubs are great places to meet new people, but beware of going home with strangers, just as you would back home. Ireland is especially great for native English speakers as making friends and generally getting around will be easy. Although Dublin is the country’s hotspot, the peaceful and picturesque countryside is every bit as impressive as it is on postcards, and is definitely worth visiting.
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The Greeks are some of the friendliest people that you could ever hope to encounter, so making a solo trip to Greece should be high on your list. The country is a prime destination for tourists, so a ‘foreign’ woman walking alone or having lunch is really not a big deal. The men are known for their excessive machismo, but this is just part of the Greek charm. They are still friendly and respectful towards women. There is plenty to do in Greece including hiking up Mt. Olympus, visiting the big cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki or visiting the famous Greek Islands. Just like in any other country, there are a few bad apples so you still have to exercise caution and always be aware of your surroundings.
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Granted that Latin America has a bit of a bad reputation; Costa Rica will definitely change your mind. The people are warm and welcoming and always ready to help. Most of the locals also speak English, so the fact that you can’t speak Spanish to save your life shouldn’t be that much of a concern. Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world without a standing army, so peace and hospitality is deeply embedded in the people’s culture. Also this being a prime tourist destination, you are sure to blend right in. The country has some of the most diverse landscapes in the world, and there is no shortage of things to do here. Whether it is zip-lining through the jungle, surfing or hiking around the volcanoes, there is more than enough adventure to be had.
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Iceland is a great country to explore for the solo female traveler. The country is a model to be followed in terms of the health rates, education level, laws and employment. The country also has one of the highest numbers of women in politics. Although the people here are friendly, they generally tend to mind their own business, so you won’t be bothered when going about your vacation. Iceland is legendary for its stunning scenery, especially the South of the country where you can expect to find otherworldly glaciers, waterfalls and volcanoes.
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Planning your solo trip
The fact that you will be traveling alone means that you need to pack and prepare for your trip with extra caution. There will be no one to help you out should you get in a jam on account of something you neglected to carry, so a travel checklist is essential. Make sure that you have all your things in order well before the date of travel to give you enough time to add essential items to your checklist that you might otherwise forget.