According to Hostelworld, solo traveler bookings have increased by 42% since 2015. What's more, women are leading the solo travel revolution: female solo bookings grew by 45% between 2015 and 2017.
But, what's behind the rise in solo vacations? More than anything, lone vacationers enjoy the delicious freedom solo travel affords. For others, solo travel can even represent a watershed moment in their lives ("Eat, Pray, Love" style). Either way, these seven stunning solo vacations will challenge you in ways you never imagined. If you'd like to build your confidence, resilience, and creativity (as well as celebrate life), solo travel is the way to go.
New York City
The Big Apple is certainly The City That Never Sleeps. That said, this world-famous destination is great for solo travel. New York City offers a plethora of transportation options, so it's easy enough to get around.
If you're looking for great food, hit up your barista or cab driver for recommendations on where to find the best pizza, ratatouille, moussaka, or dim sum in the city. Chances are a world-class restaurant or hole-in-the-wall gem is around the corner.
What can solo travelers do in New York City? What can't they do? You can explore neighborhoods like Greenwich Village on foot, take a leisurely ride on the Staten Island ferry, or even catch several Broadway shows back-to-back.
Want your solo travels to involve plenty of beach, sun, and sand? If so, book a ticket to Thailand, pronto. This South-East Asian nation has long been a favorite destination for solo backpackers, with plenty of hostels catering to the younger crowd.
But, don't get us wrong: Thailand doesn't just cater to college kids. Cities like Chiang Mai play host to large expat populations. According to Chiang Mai Buddy, about 40,000 expats live in Chiang Mai. And, why not? The city is safe, affordable, and boasts an incredible supply of delicious street food.
We highly recommend an evening tuk-tuk tour to visit Bangkok's temples, street markets, and food stalls.
According to The Irish Times, more than 10 million tourists visited Ireland in 2017. While Ireland has long been a popular destination for all visitors, solo travelers find the country especially welcoming.
Why? The Irish people are incredibly friendly, eager to help, and always ready to point someone in the direction of the best pub in town. They'll make you feel at home and are expert storytellers, too. So, don't be afraid to buy them a pint as they dish on the latest craic (news or gossip) in town.
If you're worried about getting around, don't be. There are plenty of bus and train routes to take you to destinations from coast to coast. If you crave an authentic Irish vacation, head to the Dingle Peninsula on the west coast. You'll find plenty to do, whether you attend the region's famous festivals or take an exciting guided tour.
Singapore is another Asian destination that's popular with solo tourists. This island nation is the sixth safest country in the world and is extremely easy to navigate (all pluses for solo travelers). The lack of a language barrier also makes Singapore an extremely attractive destination. According to The Straits Times, English is the most commonly spoken language. That's good news for solo travelers, who won't have trouble navigating conversations with locals.
That said, what can solo travelers enjoy in Singapore? Like Bangkok, Singapore boasts a fantastic array of delicious street food. If you're craving authentic local fare, your best bet is to head to one of the massively popular food courts on the island. For the latter, we recommend the People's Park Complex (Chinatown), Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, Tiong Bahru Food Centre, and Makansutra Gluttons Bay in the Marina Bay District. Once there, don't forget to try Singapore's famous Hainanese chicken rice, laksa noodles, or chili crabs.
Looking for a new adventure on your solo getaway? Hop on the next flight to Norway. According to BBC News, Norway is the happiest place on earth. Perhaps it's due to the country's embrace of hygge culture, where simplicity and gratitude reign. Or, maybe it's the amazing diversity of outdoor activities available to solo tourists throughout the year. You can ride a snowmobile up a mountain in the winter or kayak through the fjords in the summer.
Solo travelers may find it convenient to make a city like Oslo or Stavanger their home base during a visit since rural locations are sparsely populated and difficult to navigate during the winter months.
If you're a solo traveler, you're in for a treat when you visit Norway: the country is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Whether you take a sailing trip up the Geirangerfjord or explore the Vega Archipelago, you'll love the array of outdoor activities Norway offers.
Like Norway, Iceland often makes the list of one of the happiest countries on earth. It also has a booming tourism industry that caters well to solo travelers. In fact, tourism accounts for 42% of Iceland's economy, according to Skift.
Many of Iceland's tourists are backpackers, adventure seekers, and Iceland Air passengers on a prolonged layover stay. You'll find plenty of accommodations and tours that cater to solo travelers.
If you're on a budget, there are hostels that cater to solo travelers. Ever stayed in a pod hostel? If not, you'll have to give it a try at the Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik.
Costa Rica offers the perfect balance between peaceful solitude and top-tier hospitality. And, it's definitely a popular solo travel destination. In 2018, the country welcomed more than three million global visitors.
That means you'll have some company on the island — but not too much. You can spend time on the beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying seafood. Or, you can head into the nearest city to sign up for a yoga class, surf lesson, or food tour. If, however, you'd like a broader experience, you may enjoy vacation packages tailored to solo travelers like yourself. For example, Costa Rica Experts offers three solo vacation packages: a solo eco-retreat, a solo multi-sport adventure, and a solo eco-lodge experience.
If you're on a strict budget, you may prefer the budget solo packages offered by Monteverde Tours. With low crime rates and great weather all year long, Costa Rica is a great place to visit when you crave the sun on your back and the wind in your face.