By: Becky Mahan
Solo travel: you almost certainly know someone who does it, and maybe you've considered it yourself. Whatever your primary travel style, it's worth considering a solo trip at least once in your life. Aside from full-fledged itinerary freedom, traveling "alone" allows you to meet new people, immerse yourself in local culture, and push your own boundaries. Your experience just might be life-changing.
We did some digging and found the best (and safest) countries for solo travelers in six different tribes. Whether you're a serial soloist or searching for the perfect place to try it out for the first time, here are some suggestions for great places, as well as tips to combat loneliness on the road:
Tribe: Backpackers Destination: Australia
Why Go: Australia may well be the backpacker capital of the world: beloved for its fantastic road-tripping opportunities, rugged coastline (particularly the Great Ocean Road) and some of the best golden beaches on the planet (hello, Bondi!), ancient rainforests (the Daintree is the oldest on the planet) and giant spiritual rocks (Ayers Rock in Uluru, in case you weren't sure), and its welcoming attitude toward holiday work visas, the Land Down Under practically begs backpackers to explore its wild territory. Plus, you'll find it a sort of pilgrimage for solo travelers.
Tribe: Outdoors Destination: Costa Rica
Why Go: Bird watching in a cloud forest? Diving with sharks in Isla de Coco? Ziplining over a jungle canopy? Whatever your open air delight, Costa Rica has it. The country has been named happiest in the world, and its eco-friendly and sustainable tourism continues to be polished and perfected. Here, even solo travelers often end up in guided tours, which means easy friend-making opps.
Tribe: Adventure Destination: New Zealand
Why Go: New Zealand didn't inspire the landscape in The Lord of the Rings (and countless other adventure movies) for nothing: the country's wild, rugged islands and ultimately unspoiled nature (Milford Sound is one of the most untouched places on the planet) attract visitors from everywhere. In particular, adrenaline junkies flock to the islands for extreme activities like white-water rafting, skydiving, and glacier/ice climbing - and most especially, bungee jumping, which was "founded" in Queenstown. And, as one of the safest countries in the world, thrill-seeking solo travelers can have the time of their lives without a worry in the world (except maybe jumping out of a jet 13,000 feet in the air.)
Tribe: Trendsters Destination: Canada
Why Go: Poor Canada often gets overlooked in the giant shadow of its American sister, but the vast country has more to offer than just moose and maple syrup (eh?) It's the world's second-largest country, so focus on the cities to break it down: whether it's Montreal"s thriving cafe/bar scene; Vancouver's eco-minded green spaces and world fusion cuisine; or Toronto"s chic art galleries and trendy museums, you'll find them to be cosmopolitan and cutting-edge.
Why Go: Vietnam's stunning land (and water) scapes will enthrall you, while the affordability will shock you. Book a hotel room and eat three meals for less than $20 a day, and you'll still have plenty of spending money for snorkeling in the bio luminescent Ha Long Bay, perusing the lovely villages of the Mekong Delta, and sipping coffee beneath the trees in Hanoi.
Why Go: There are a myriad reasons to visit Spain, and the fact that it's widely considered the most LGBT-friendly country in the world is just icing on the cake. The open-minded Spaniards have a history of standing for equal rights, and same-sex marriage has been legalized since 2005. If you can visit Madrid in late June/early July, do: Europe's biggest gay pride festival takes place around this time. (Though book your Madrid hotels early, as they fill up).
Trip.com'smission is to help people find great places to stay, eat and play that are perfect for them. Explore our 19 Tribes here.