The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

Tired of waiting on other people's schedules to see the world? Here are some of the best first-time solo female travel destinations!

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The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations - Rachel Off Duty

Is it on your “to-do” list to travel more without quitting your job?

One of the best ways to see more of the world is to take the plunge into solo travel.

I know, it’s scary.

“What if I’m lonely the entire time?”

“What if I get lost?”

“What about safety?”

Those are all valid concerns, but at the heart of it, it’s usually just your comfort zone throwing a tantrum.

If you’re 100% committed to traveling more, your comfort zone needs to take a back seat, quiet down, and enjoy the ride.

When you’re not tied to other people’s schedules, it frees you up to take a trip whenever you feel like it. 

Got a day off from work? Hop in the car and go on a road trip

Need to use up your vacation days, but your friends have none left? Book that dream trip to Bali and go live your best life.

If you’re ready to start putting yourself first and see more of the world, but you don’t know where to begin, read on for the best first-time solo female travel destinations!

The Benefits of Traveling Alone

Without a doubt, solo travel is like taking a big step into the great unknown. But, on the other side of all that scariness, there are tons of rewards to be had, like:

  • Freedom: You get to choose your itinerary. You get to go wherever you want to go, on your own schedule. It’s liberating. Feel like spending the day on the beach? Your call! Want to order room service? Indulge yourself!
  • Confidence: As a solo female traveler, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities. All the organizing falls on your shoulders, which of course, is terrifying at first. Still, with each booked flight, each successfully navigated public transportation system, each time you order food in a new language, your confidence grows. Over time, these once daunting scenarios become a fun challenge because you begin to realize that you can do anything! 
  • Resourcefulness: With no one to tell you what to do or how to solve a problem, you become resourceful. You learn how to figure things out even if no one around you speaks a word of English. That resourcefulness is a trait that’ll enhance your entire life, both when you’re on the road and at home. 

RELATED: 10 Incredible Benefits of Traveling Alone

The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

New Zealand

Rachel Off Duty: People Enjoy a Scenic Overlook in New Zealand

Need a dose of adrenaline? Head to New Zealand. It’s the adventure capital of the world, and it is a great choice for your first solo female travel destination.

Why?

New Zealand is safe, beautiful, and there’s so much to do you won’t miss having an adventure buddy. 

One of the best ways to explore the country is with a camper van. 

You can road trip across the North and South Islands and tick of bucket list adventures like:

  • Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Exploring the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Whale watching in the Bay of Plenty
  • Waterfall hopping in Milford Sound
  • Wine tasting on Waiheke Island
  • Visiting The Shire at the Hobbiton Movie Set

RELATED: Road Tripping Like a Pro – Planning Tips To Help You Stay Sane on Long Drives

Iceland

Rachel Off Duty: The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations - Iceland

Iceland, aka “The Land of Ice and Fire,” is a haven for adventurous women who love the great outdoors.

No matter what time of year you visit the country, there is always a cavern to explore, waterfalls to discover, and glaciers to hike.

For first-time solo female travelers, you can explore the country worry-free. Crime is relatively low, and Iceland ranks as the most peaceful country in the world.

Like New Zealand, Iceland is another fantastic destination for a solo road trip. 

Rent a camper van and cruise down the famous Golden Circle. It’s a loop around the southern uplands starting at Reykjavik and stopping at three of the most popular attractions in Iceland. 

Detour to Faxaflói Bay for whale watching, go on a day trip to the Blue Lagoon, and try freshwater diving at the Silfra fissure (one of the best diving spots in the world).

RELATED: Road Trip Down Iceland’s Golden Circle Loop

The USA

Rachel
Rachel Off Duty: The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations - Sedona
Rachel Off Duty: The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations - Channel Islands National Park

For all my American readers wondering why this made the list – think domestic travel is dull? Think again!

When it comes to fantastic solo female travel destinations with plenty to see and do, the USA ticks so many boxes. Hike through one of the country’s countless national parks (like Glacier National Park or Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks), give backcountry camping a try, or stay at a nearby cabin in the woods.

If the rugged wilderness isn’t your thing, head to the coast. You can beach cruise down south Florida’s coastline, go on a road trip across California, or visit North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

For my fellow city lovers, again, the options are endless. New York City is equally perfect for solo travelers and girls’ getaways with your best friends. With a robust public transport system and some of the best restaurants and rooftop bars in the country, boredom is not a feeling you’ll find in the Big Apple, even if you’re flying solo.

Some of my other favorite USA solo female travel destinations include:

  • Palm Springs, California: Pool parties and desert vibes. Need I say more?
  • Arizona: Home of red rock vortexes, saguaro cacti, and The Grand Canyon.
  • Seattle, Washington: Go hiking in Mount Rainier, visit the Needle, and eat your way through Pike Place Market.

While there’s so much to explore on the mainland, don’t forget about the USA’s offshore gems. Catch a flight to Hawaii (my home state), discover the tropical beauty of Puerto Rico, or hop on a ferry to the Channel Islands!

With such variety (and proximity), the USA is the ultimate solo travel destination.

Bali

Rachel Off Duty: Solo Travel in Bali

A few years ago, I went on my first solo trip to Bali, and I fell hard for the ‘Island of the Gods’.

Despite its small size, Bali is filled to the brim with adventure, spellbinding rice terraces, gorgeous temples, warm beaches, and spectacular waterfalls.

The best part? It’s a cheap place to travel alone and a popular digital nomad destination.

Co-working spaces are aplenty, and many cafes in more popular cities like Canggu and Ubud have decent Wi-Fi connections for you to catch up on emails in between adventures.

When it comes to getting around, you can rent a scooter for as little as $10 per day, catch a ride with GoJek (Southeast Asia’s version of Uber), or hire a driver for the day.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Know Before Visiting Bali

Australia

Rachel Off Duty: A Woman Drinks Coffee and Takes in the Views in Tasmania, Australia

Australia is one of my favorite countries to explore, and I’ve absolutely loved traveling around Australia solo.

Because of its massive size, there is something to do for every kind of traveler. Plus, it’s easy to get around by car, public transport, or domestic flight, and you won’t have any issues finding fellow explorers and new friends along the way.

Love island-hopping? Plan a solo adventure around Norfolk Island, Kangaroo Island, or Hamilton Island.

More into towering skyscrapers and creature comforts? Travel alone to the sprawling metropolises of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. Or head for a more chilled-out seaside town like Byron Bay.

Want to get into the wilderness? Visit the Outback, the Blue Mountains National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park, or Freycinet National Park in Tasmania (one of my personal favorites).

RELATED: How to Spend 5 Days in Tasmania

Canada

Rachel Off Duty: A Woman Wanders Old Town Quebec, Canada

Don’t want to travel too far on your first solo female travel trip? Canada is the perfect destination to get your bearings.

It’s close enough to home for you to find quick flights and similar culture, yet far away enough to give you a definitive taste of international travel.

I flew to Quebec for a 3-day solo weekend near Christmas, and I’m still dreaming about all the savory poutine and mind-blowing pastries I ate! In fact, my entire solo trip was like exploring a picture-perfect holiday postcard!

Quebec is easily built for people traveling alone. You can easily walk to some of the top attractions (there is no better way to get acquainted with Old Quebec on foot!), and you can use public transport, rent a car, or book a tour to get further out of the city.

Outside of Quebec, here are some other destinations in Canada you can build your first solo travel trip around:

  • Niagara Falls
  • Banff National Park
  • Toronto
  • Whistler
  • Churchill (to see the polar bears!)
  • Vancouver

RELATED: How to Spend 3 Days in Quebec Over the Holidays

Scotland

Rachel Off Duty: A Woman Photographs the Coastline in Isle of Skye, Scotland

Scotland is an incredible country to explore as a first-time solo female traveler.

It’s home to intriguing history, folklore, and traditions. The bustling streets cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are must-sees and a real-world setting to transport any Harry Potter fans.

Further out into the Scottish highlands is the Isle of Skye. If you’re willing to rent a car and make the drive, few places in Europe can hold a candle to its natural beauty!

I spent 48 hours taking in the untamed coastline of the Isle of Skye on my last trip to Scotland. Waterfalls, towering cliffs, and unparalleled views made it one of the highlights of my entire trip, by far.

RELATED: Stay in This Remote Hotel in Scotland – The Cowshed Boutique Bunkhouse

Singapore 

Rachel Off Duty: Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck in Singapore
Rachel Off Duty: Selfies at the Merlion in Singapore

Singapore has long had an expensive reputation.

Many travelers associate it with being a super spendy destination that isn’t well-suited for solo, or budget, exploration.

While it’s true Singapore may not be the cheapest first-time solo travel destination on this list, it’s way more affordable than you might think.

Accommodation will be your biggest expense, but other than that, there’s so much to see for free. With only a couple of days needed, you can easily add Singapore into any solo female trip around Southeast Asia.

All you need is a transport card and a good pair of walking shoes, and you’re set! 

I spent three days exploring Singapore, visiting places like:

  • The Jewel in Changi Airport (free!)
  • Gardens at the Bay (free!)
  • Flower Dome & Cloud Forest ($21 USD)
  • Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck ($18 USD)
  • The Merlion (free!)
  • Little India (free!)
  • Chinatown (free!)
  • Universal Studios

RELATED: 10 Tips To Know Before Visiting Singapore

Costa Rica

Rachel Off Duty: Volcanoes in Costa Rica

As soon as you touch down in Costa Rica, you’ll hear the phrase “Pura Vida.” 

It means “pure life,” and it’s not just a greeting, but a way of life! After a few days in Costa Rica, you’ll be adopting the Pura Vida life in no time. The friendliness, simplicity, and zest for life in Costa Rica reminds me so much of the aloha culture in Hawaii. 

But what is solo travel in Costa Rica really like?

Your biggest hurdle is the language barrier, of course. I recommend brushing up on some basic Spanish phrases to make it easier to get around alone.

But beyond that (and with a little help from Google translate), Costa Rica is an incredible first-time solo female travel destination for women who love nature, beaches, adventure, and relaxation.

Holding the title as the “greenest country in the world,” you can spend your entire trip exploring lush rainforests, hiking to volcanoes, or lounging around on palm-fringed beaches.

My favorite destinations for women traveling to Costa Rica alone are:

  • Tamarindo: A prime spot for surfing and spotting nesting sea turtles.
  • La Fortuna: The best place to explore the Arenal Volcano!
  • Monteverde: The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a must-see.

All three offer spectacular natural beauty, and I felt extremely safe exploring these places as they are all more accustomed to tourism. 

Which of these first-time solo female travel destinations are you adding to your bucket list? Have you been on any incredible trips for solo travelers? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations - Rachel Off Duty
The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations - Rachel Off Duty

Hey there! I’m Rachel, a travel writer and a full-time advertising / marketing expert. In 2019, I traveled more than 25 times while working 9 to 5, and since then I’ve committed myself to living a more adventurous life, even if it means bringing my laptop along for the ride.

Are you hungry to travel more, but overwhelmed with how to juggle work and play? You’ve come to the right place!

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