Great Trip Ideas for First-Time Solo Female Travellers

Desert with a solo female traveller

Despite being quite an independent woman I had some apprehension on my first solo travel trip overseas. So many questions about how I was going to survive filled my mind, and as the first one of my friends to travel alone I had no one to help answer these questions.

Travelling alone for the first time can be scary but there are there are ways to travel solo which are fun, stress-free and may even introduce you to a whole new group of friends! Once you’ve mastered your first trip – and you will master it! – the world will be your oyster!

Here are my top trip suggestions for the first-time solo female traveller:

female exploring barcelona, spain city

City Breaks

Best for: girls who are culture aficionados, food lovers, shopaholics, or who want to party all-night long!

City breaks are great choices for first-time solo travellers often with good transport systems to make the most of the city, chic dining and hotel options, and plenty of information available to plan your trip.
Best of all there is so much to do in a small area – spend your morning taking in the local gallery, lunch shopping up a storm, dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant, and then partying your pants off til dawn. City breaks will never leave you bored if you tap into the vibe!

If you’re a bargain hunter a city break is a fantastic option because, by comparing the costs against booking online through a third-party (i.e: Lastminute) or booking direct with the airlines and hotels, it can save you quite a bit of money even if booking close to the departure date – anyone up for a night out?!

Worried about not making friends? Try a shopping tour of the city!

Destinations: Within Australia? Try the arts capital of Melbourne. In the US? San Francisco or New Orleans are my top tips. Asia? Hong Kong is a top choice. In Europe? Choose almost anywhere and you can have a great break. My favourites would be Berlin or Copenhagen!

Girl at spa wearing frangipani flower

Relaxing Retreats

Best for: lush ladies who just want to take a break to relax, unwind and pamper themselves.

Stressed out? Need a break? Relaxing retreats can be a great way to spoil yourself and truly unwind. Spend the days by the pool without feeling guilty, or spend time learning to meditate in an ashram. The choice is yours and yours alone without worrying about what your travel partner or significant other things of “that goop you’ve got on your face” or “wasting the day” enjoying nature as it was intended.

Worried about making friends? Join a yoga class and take a chance by introducing yourself to someone new!

Destinations: Head into the Daintree rainforest in Queesland to try natural spa treatments, or get in touch with yourself at yoga retreat in Byron BayNew South Wales. Definitely click here to check out the ways in which you  can Relax with daily massages in Chiang Mai, Thailand; or if you believe hanging out with animals with relaxing try swimming with the dolphins in Hawaii.

girl leaning over a waterfall adventure

Outdoor Adventures

Best for: adrenaline junkie, nature loving, adventurous girls who can’t wait to smell the fresh air.

Think the best way to get bang for your buck is by doing things? Well then an outdoor activity might be just the thing for you! Spend time hiking to the top of mountains just to take in the view, learn to blaze your own path as you sand board the dunes in the Australian outback, or take a rainforest hike just to spend time bathing in a waterfall – all these and more are options for the adventurous.

One of the best things about outdoor adventures is that they are usually done in the group so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet new friends whilst trekking the Inca Trail or taking an archery class, sure you might not remember the crossbow broadheads protocols but you might make a new friend that does. Archery is very calming and usually produces good conversations.

Worried about making new friends? Join a group hike and make it a goal to talk to everyone!

Destinations:  Stateside, why not try Colorado? Summer or winter the state offers everything from dirt bike riding to ice climbing. Down under? New Zealand’s South Island offers glacier hiking and plenty of bungees. If you’re a bit of

Female surfing waves

Skill-Learning Holidays

Best for: girls who want to try learn a new skill and love being in group situations!

Ever thought that you’d like to give surfing a go? Maybe you were inspired to learn to cook by movies Julie & Julia or tv shows like Masterchef – then a skill-learning holiday might be the perfect fit for your first solo trip.

Learn how to Tango in its birth place – Buenos Aires, or learn the skills of the silversmiths and create your own jewellery as a keepsake. The best thing about skill-learning holidays is that you don’t have to think of what someone else will want to do so you can tap into your passion!

Worried about making new friends? Get a group together and practice your new skill together – I’ve heard that the French for “I would like to order a pint of beer please” is actually very simple! (FYI, that’s “une pinte de bière, s’il vous plaît.” 😉 )

Destinations: Get your PADI diving certification whilst visiting Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.  Why not try a intensive language course in France or Spain? Or perhaps learning to cook like Nona in Sicily, Italy or Morocco!

Which type of solo travel break would you take?


Photo credits: Yarik Mishin / A Girls Gotta Spa / Stephan Geyer / Zanthia / SodaHead

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  • Reply
    November 5, 2012 at 5:53 am

    this might well be my favourite post here since i started reading your blog.
    just that extra bit of inspiration 🙂
    tho’ i am totally into the solo travel city break right now, but have so many amazing things ready for next year X

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Sammi! I really appreciate your feedback.

      Look forward to hearing about your amazing travel plans for next year 🙂

  • Reply
    November 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I agree, a City Break gives you a great start, to test out your ability to map things out yourself, be comfortable with your own company, and see if you can cope with the unexpected whilst only being away from your home comforts for a couple of days.

  • Reply
    Molly Nurse
    November 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Love this. I’m just recently started my solo travel adventures with a long weekend to London and I can’t wait to do more. I’m staying in same sex dorms so I think that helps you to meet people. I also chat to other travelers on walking tours (AND pub crawls). They are safe way to see a city and chat.

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Congratulations on your first solo trip, Molly!
      London is a great city for a first time solo travel, and great ideas meeting people on the walking tours and pub crawls. A cheeky pint always helps to make friend 😉

  • Reply
    Allegra Stein
    November 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    This is fabulous! The suggestions are the perfect little taster of traveling on one’s own — nothing too intimidating or overwhelming. It’s like combining the travel piece with things so many of us already love. It’s the perfect way, too, of working through those fears of uncertainty…

  • Reply
    Today the Travellers’ Eye is Nicole Blaess-Smith in Alice Springs, Australia | | TravelwyseTravelwyse
    November 15, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    […] There are more people than ever travelling (and blogging) solo around the world, so it’s geat when an experienced globe trotter like Nicole can advise on Great Trip Ideas for First-Time Solo Female Travellers. […]

  • Reply
    March 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you for the great tips! I’m thinking of taking my 1st solo trip in November and so your tips will be of great help.

    I’ve only just discovered your blog but I will be a regular reader from now on. You’ve provided me with some great inspiration to expand and improve my own blog and of course create some of my own travel goals.

    Thanks so much

    • Reply
      March 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Anna,

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Good luck with your first solo trip in November – I can’t wait to read how it goes!

      If you need a hand with anything blog or travel wise please don’t hesitate to get in contact. 🙂

  • Reply
    Scarlett Shao
    January 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    I just finished my first solo trip around the world and I’m so glad that I chose to do it solo. I think solo travelers, especially women, are more approachable so it was incredibly easy to make friends. I can’t think of a single moment I was alone in my six months time. The experience has truly given me the confidence to go on future trips on my own. I can’t wait!!


  • Reply
    Kelly Rogers
    April 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for all these great tips. My colleagues had been to Chiang Mai. They said they like the place so much that they want to come back. It’s very cheap there, and the place is so clean.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I have done England solo and I can’t think of a better way to promote solo travel than with blogs like these! I like the layout of this blog and the ideas are fantastic with different activities for different personalities! It’s great to see a blog specifically aimed towards female travellers as this is quite a scary and overwhelming thing to do, but I’m positive these ideas also can apply to those men out there wanting to travel solo! Love the pictures and the inspiring messages too 🙂

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Loved your tips, Nicole. I am definitely apprehensive about travelling solo overseas as a young woman. You gave me great insight into where I should travel to, and what activities would be the best for a solo female interested in meeting new people. The ‘best for’ section is a refreshing approach and I like how you have segmented the different adventures. Made me feel more at ease and cannot wait to travel!

    • Reply
      May 4, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Tori!
      There are so many fantastic female writers and bloggers that would be more than happy to help you out with suggestions or advice if you need it.

      Enjoy your upcoming travels! 🙂

  • Reply
    Chermaine Leo
    May 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve always been scared at the thought of travelling overseas by myself but your blog has really convinced me of the fun experiences I could gain. I’m the ‘shopaholic, foodie’ type of girl you mentioned will definitely consider taking your recommendation of taking a ‘City Break’ and travelling to San Francisco.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Hello, this is such an amazing blog! this particular post is so informative and helpful for solo travellers, I love how you have titled sections for the different holiday experiences with places to visit and the photos are really great in portraying the experiences. Your blog is well put together and modern with many other social media options. I like the fact you’ve kept to a particular colour scheme of white and red making it look very professional. You’ve also managed to utilize a lot of space by spreading out your content across the page and therefore a white background works really well for your site.

  • Reply
    Molly C
    May 26, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    What an amazing blog! It’s always great to see someone sharing their travel experiences and offering tips along the way. I have done a few solo trips around Europe, and am looking to do another one across the States in September. I’m definitely going to put your hint about shopping in San Fran to good use, but do you have any suggestions about things to do in the Big Apple?


  • Reply
    Aimee Hood
    May 28, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I am travelling to Europe in about 4 weeks time with four of my close friends. However, we are separating towards the end of my trip, so I will be by myself in Prague, Paris and London. I was really worried about travelling by myself, however this blog has re-assured me there are so many exciting opportunities and fun experiences I can gain. Love this page!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    I am planning to go on a solo trip again. I am Chinese so the first solo trip I went was Taiwan. nice place to be in. good food. no so much of shopping. great weather.
    Now I am looking to go somewhere different but at the same time safe for a Chinese female traveller. China is out of my list. so I am hoping you could give some great advise..
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      August 10, 2015 at 3:28 am

      Hi Joey,
      Thanks for getting in contact with me.

      What are you looking to do in the destination?

      If you have a little bit of money to spend on your holiday, Singapore might be a good option and has plenty of attractions, shopping and great food. Have you been to Hong Kong? Much like Singapore, Hong Kong has a lot to offer – shopping, sights, great food (especially seafood) and some nature hikes on lantau island that not too many people know about.
      I have happily (and safely) travelled to both of these countries before.

      Other options could be Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur has fantastic shopping, some attractions, and delicious night markets. Penang has lots of beaches and nightlife, but is a bit quieter.)

      Could Japan or South Korea be an option? Again, I’ve travelled to both of these countries by myself and found them safe. Personally, I was a little overwhelmed by the languages but there’s a lot of culture, attractions, and shopping to be done.
      Japan is very easy to travel around. So, if you flew into Tokyo you could spend a few days before going to Kyoto or Osaka by bullet train.

      Sorry for such a long list! Do let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll see how I can help you.

      Have a great trip and let me know where you are going! 🙂

      Best wishes,

      [email protected]

      • Reply
        August 10, 2015 at 11:42 pm

        Hi Nicole,

        Thanks for the suggestion and I hope you have had a great time in Singapore (my home). Lots of good food here.

        When I travel, I prefer sightseeing (landscape or building), museums and even relax in a café to people-watch. So far, I am really impressed by the landscape I have seen in Australia, especially Phillips Island, Victoria. And I love the café culture there too. They are everywhere and a simple dish in any café just taste fantastic.

        Hong Kong is a less likely option. The country feels too congested every where you goes. Japan and South Korea seems like a good option though. With your travel experience, you definitely have good places to recommend.

        With thanks,

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