So you are ready for your first solo trip. You have convinced your parents, made up your mind, bought your backpack and are ready to go. The only thing that is now missing is the DESTINATION.
So here are some of the best destinations for first-time solo travelers. Please make sure you check the Visa regulations for your own nationalities. Personally, I believe the best continents to start your solo traveling journey are Europe and specific parts of Asia. There two destinations are very popular with young solo travelers and therefore it is easier to organize and plan than other destinations. Below you will find much more information on specific places, to be able to make an informed choice.
Europe is generally one of the most popular destinations for solo travelers. It is mostly safe and can be traveled without any significant issues. You can choose almost any city, and you will enjoy it. There are many hostels and cheap restaurants. You will, for sure, enjoy the experience and meet other travelers.
Now London is one of the most popular destinations in the World. If you are traveling alone for the first time, this might be a destination that has been calling you for a long time. One of the advantages of London, and England in general, is the language. Since most people learn English in school or after, it will make communication easier. It also has important landmarks, and of course all the theaters and museums. It is a heaven for art and theater people. From London, you can explore the rest of England. You can take a train down to the sleepy town of Brighton or travel further up to Edinburgh. There are many options. You will, for sure, find something you will enjoy. The one thing that might scare you from London is the vast city. It can be chaotic and hectic, but it is well organized, and you can always ask someone. Also, it can be a bit expensive. Which can be managed if you try.
Many people dream about this destination. The fabulous cities and beautiful nature are fascinating. You have many options from the fashion city, Milano, over the historical towns in Tuscany to the capital of Rome and further to the chaotic South. There are friendly people and of course the fantastic food. It has also become a popular destination and, therefore, more comfortable to travel. There are cheap trains and buses to take from one city to another and hostels in almost every town. One of the downsides of Italy is the language. Very few Italians speak English, and therefore communication may cause problems. You can always learn some simple phrases, which the Italians will love. If you like organization stay in the north, the south can be chaotic. Also, be a little more careful when traveling through the South, especially Sicily. Nothing to be concerned about, just use common sense. I have a few city reviews from Italy and probably some more to come. Check out my guide to Cagliari or Milan.
This is a straightforward country because of the structure and organization. The trains will run on time, the prices are set, and everything will be as expected. Many hostels here have online websites that work, and you can book tickets for trains and buses online. It can be very easy to travel through. They will also speak more English than in other countries in Europe. There are also different options in Germany. You can go down south to see the more traditional side, or to the party city of Berlin. Just do a little research before so you know where you want to go. The German people are not always the most welcoming, so that can be a downside for some of you.
One of the countries many people come for the beaches, but also amazing cities. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I have a whole city guide that will give you many things to see and do there. You can read all about it here. While next to the cities, there are also amazing beaches and beach villages. You can enjoy the small towns of the Costa del Sol or Alicante, the favourite weekend getaways for the people from Madrid. The people are super friendly and you can find the best things for your price range. There is also the many historical sights around the whole country, which you should definitely explore. You will run into language barriers, but you will get around it, especially with these lovely people. For sure a destination to put on your list, even if it is not the one you pick for your first destinations.
Southeast Asia is one of the most popular destinations for students from Europe taking a gap year. If you come here, you will meet so many other travelers, both solo and in groups. This is not a place to pre-plan too much. You are better off planning and booking as you go so that you can follow advice from other travelers. Many of these countries are Buddhist, which makes them very comfortable to travel.
This is probably the number one destination in Southeast Asia. People love the beaches, the nature, and so much more. Also, not to forget the fantastic capital, Bangkok. There is so much to see and experience. There are adventures close to water, or hikes in the mountains. Plus, there is the food. Thai food is just absolutely amazing full of taste and flavor. You will also not have any language barrier since most Thai people speak English as well as Thai. Furthermore, the people are so friendly and kind. You will find many different hostels and cheap adventures. You will, for sure, enjoy your time in this beautiful.
This is one of the less known countries of this region. It still has a lot of tradition and authenticity. You will see many temples and waterfalls, which can be very beautiful. You will see nature mostly, with trees and forests as well as water. Make sure you enjoy the food. There will be the typical food from this region, but also many dishes from the French colonization. You will be able to eat fantastic bread and sandwiches. They also make an amazing snack for a long bus ride, so make sure you pack some before a trip. There may be fewer hostels around, but they are quite good. Insider tip: in Luang Prabang, opt for Downtown Backpackers Hostel. They have a friendly and clean atmosphere as well as an amazing breakfast. Also, book your transport through your hostel. You will have a much easier time planning.
This is another one of those trendy destinations. This country is for many the ones they have heard about in school because of the Vietnam War. Therefore many people think of Vietnam when visiting Southeast Asia. It is also very safe, regardless of what you may hear. Vietnam also has many of the most iconic scenes that are floating around Instagram, such as the Ha Long Bay. You will meet many travelers here, so no worries when coming alone. The food is different than you usually see in this area. It is still amazing, though.
This is probably a fantasy for many of you. Japan is the dream trip. There is so much to see from the adventurous city of Tokyo to the beautiful landscapes around Kyoto. Most people also love the food and culture. One big downside of Japan is the cost. Everything from hostels over food to travel is expensive. Therefore just make sure that your budget is big enough to do all the things you want to.
Korea is an amazing country. Korean culture started to become famous around the world, so that it may be a dream for you as well. You can choose from big cities to the beaches of Jeju. You will eat a lot of Korean BBQ and all the cute Korean food. In Seoul, make sure you check out the street performers. They are cool and not the typical scene. The people are also amiable and helpful. You may have a language barrier, but they have so much technology to combat it when it does not become a problem.
Those are some of my suggestions for destinations for first-time solo travelers. I am sure if you pick any of them or any other destination for that matter, you will have a great time. The main thing is just to start and get out there. Once you have been to the first place, the next one will be much easier.
As always, please share your travel stories with me. I love to hear from you in the comments below or on any of my social media. You can find all the links to that at the bottom of the page.