The year is more than halfway over, so if you’re behind on some of your 2019 travel goals, it may be time to ditch your favorite travel partner and take matters into your own hands. And why not? Unlike the pre-Google days, you now have an interactive map and translation service right at your fingertips — no matter where in the world you end up.
Between technology, affordable flights, and companies that cater to solo travelers, traveling alone is not only easier, it’s more popular than ever. According to Hostelworld, between 2015 and 2017 there’s been a 42 percent increase in solo traveler bookings — with female solo travelers up by an impressive 45 percent compared to a 40 percent increase for men.
“Solo travel doesn’t mean traveling alone, and it shouldn’t be a barrier to those wanting to explore the world. It’s a great way to branch out and meet like-minded people from all cultures and walks of life,” said Breffni Horgan, director of product for Hostelworld in a statement. “The increasing number of solo travelers could be due to a combination of better technology, with apps allowing us to easily discover our next location, that fact that more of us are staying single for longer and aren’t worried about waiting for a suitable travelling companion to come along, or the fact that flexi working can make it possible to combine a job with travel, operating remotely.”
More people may be taking the leap, but safety is still a concern for many, which is why we’ve compiled a varied list of trips that are perfect for a solo traveler. From experiencing local life on the shores of Guatemala's Lake Atitlan to speeding around in a NASCAR race car, these are the solo trips you’ll want to check off the list before the year is over.
A City Escape in Seoul, South Korea
Japan may get all the love, but neighboring South Korea delivers in terms of culture, food, and yes, K-pop. Google Translate will be your best friend as you navigate your way around Seoul’s Noryanjing Fish Market — where you can eat fresh caught fish for breakfast — before visiting the stalls of food and Korea’s famous cosmetics at Myeongdong Night Market.
You won’t want to leave the city without stopping by Bukchon Hanok Village, a 600-year-old traditional Korean village that’s located between three other sites: Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, and Jongmyo Royal Shrine.
And if this is your first solo trip, rest assured, Leyla with Women on the Road reports that South Korea “would easily qualify as one of the safest destinations for women – anywhere.”
Local Art Immersion on Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
The stunning Casa Palopó hotel will make you feel right at home on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. The hotel’s Travel Solo-lá Package was built for solo travelers who want a dose of culture and adventure alongside lazy days spent by the pool overlooking the lake.
Once you get settled into your room, the adventure begins. In addition to airport transfers and daily breakfast, the booking package includes a boat tour to two Mayan villages that sit on the lake’s shore. Art lovers will find their home-away-from-home in San Antonio, a ceramic-centric village where travelers will get an intimate look at the Pintando Santa Catarina Project, a philanthropic initiative that brings locals and visitors together for a great cause. A visit to the village of San Juan gives travelers the chance to participate in a weaving workshop, learn about the 100 percent natural cotton dying process, and visit the local women-run weaving cooperatives.
Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru
Hiking to Machu Picchu is at the top of numerous bucket lists — but it’s one of those things that if you don’t just do, you might end up putting off for years. Book with Flashpackcer Connect who will connect you with top guides to ensure you get there and back safely — and eat well along the way.
If you’re looking for a boost of luxury before you start your trek, you can get five-star treatment at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco. Things like coca tea to prevent altitude sickness and oxygen-regulated rooms to get acclimated will go a long way in helping your prepare for the days ahead. When the big day arrives, the hotel offers roundtrip transportation to the train that takes travelers to the Sacred Valley.
Enjoy Island Life on Malta
If you’re looking for a solo escape to Mediterranean waters — skip the overly touristy Mykonos and head to Malta. This tiny, often-overlooked country has everything you’d want out of a Mediterranean vacation — azure waters; a charming, historic vibe; and cuisine that’s a perfect melange of Italy, Greece, and the Maghreb influences.
Scuba divers and snorkelers should take the ferry to the smaller island of Gozo, while history buffs might want to stay on the main island to visit fortresses, temples, and subterranean halls and burial chambers that are over 6,000 years old. The centrally located Casa Ellul hotel is within walking distance to many sights and the perfect home-base for your Malta solo trip.
Be a NASCAR driver for a day in Daytona Beach, Florida
If you want to stay a little closer to home — or would just rather drive a NASCAR than hop on an eight-hour flight — make your way to Daytona Beach, Florida. With a location directly across from the Daytona International Speedway, The DAYTONA, is offering a solo traveler package that’s a dream come true for adrenaline seekers. The property’s NASCAR Rookie Experience Package delivers a driving tutorial with eight minutes of track time to practice your skills in a NASCAR race car. Afterward, kick back and celebrate NASCAR-style with a bottle of champagne.
When you’re not speeding around the track or kicking back with a bottle of champagne, you can get an up-close look at the vintage show cars displayed in the hotel lobby or grab a moonshine cocktail from the property’s bar and settle into your private cabana.