The 13 best adventures for solo travelers
Looking to go on a solo travel adventure this year? Here we round up the very best adventure holidays for single travellers, including trips to Scotland, Finland, the Canary Islands, Oman, the Trans-Siberian Railway, Oman, Zambia, Myanmar, Mount Everest and South America.
How to travel alone for the first time
What is your favourite thing to do at home and away? Is it exploring bakeries? Checking out craft breweries? Drinking wine? Rock climbing or water sports? Whatever it is that you love doing, find an itinerary that focuses on something you enjoy doing and let it become the theme of your time away from home. This is a unique way to discover a new place and create memories when travelling alone!
1. Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland
It’s almost unfair how beautiful Iceland is. It’s the kind of place where you just stop pointing out waterfalls because there are so many. It’s also been rated the safest country in the world, and whether you go there completely on your own or join a tour, Iceland is awesome for first time solo female travelers.
2. Teach music to kids and organize a music festival in Kenya
In Thika, Kenya, there is a little organization called Makuyu Kids And Youth Center, where Worldpackers volunteers can go to have a beautiful cultural exchange with local children.
Working as a music tutor, the volunteer teaches basic instruments to the kids and organizes a performance at the end of four weeks. In exchange, the volunteer gets a private room, free meals and laundry, and the chance to explore the surrounding area.
3. Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat, Western Papua, Indonesia
Swimming in the little curves on deserted islands in Raja Ampat that you were ruined and that there could be no better nor more beautiful adventure than that. The diving was incredible, with massive schools of fish, manta rays, and sharks. You really loved about it was how beautiful and wild the islands were. You felt like You were in Jurassic Park minus the dinosaurs!
4. Hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is quite similar to the Everest base camp trek in terms of length and altitude. However, it’s just a bit more beautiful and ever so slightly less popular. I started this trail solo but it’s so easy to meet people that I made friends immediately who I am still close with to this day.
- Create delicious dishes for guests from around the world In New Zealand
Located in Kaiteriteri, New Zealand, the Kaiteri Lodge accepts travelers to come and work in the kitchen, cooking and preparing meals for the busy restaurant.
You get to live right across from one of the top 10 beaches in the country, which is also near the Abel Tasman National Park. When you’re not working hard in the kitchen, you get to have a wild experience in New Zealand, as the hosts help you find fun activities to do like kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking.
6. Driving the Road to Hana in Maui
The Road to Hana on Maui is famous for its 600+ turns and wealth of roadside attractions. There are so many waterfalls and black sand beaches along the way, not to mention a dreamy bamboo forest at the end. It is an absolute must-do when you’re on Maui, which is surprisingly awesome for solo female travelers!
Without having a navigator, knowing when to turn off can be a bit difficult on the Road to Hana, unless you have an app which tells you when to turn. I have the best stops and a link to the app on my Road to Hana Guide.
7. Work in a hostel and learn to surf in Japan
Come to Aoshima in the South of Japan and work just three hours a day in exchange for living in one of Japan’s best surf spots.
After completing your cleaning, housekeeping, or reception tasks for the day, you can spend time in nature hiking, exploring, and of course, learning to surf. The host provides you with surfboards and surf lessons, as this area is known as the «Hawaii» of Japan with its amazing waves.
8. Freediving with Humpback Whales in Tonga
To date, this is probably the most incredible animal encounter trip I’ve had. Imagine jumping into the water and seeing massive humpback whales twirling and swelling underneath you. There are no cages, no fences, and no cars between you and these majestic creatures. It was so beautiful and humbling. Join this non-profit organization in Fresno, central California, and help process and ship food to nations suffering from hunger.
The work and length of stay are flexible, so the host Glean and her workers are happy to accommodate you. You get to live in a comfortable dorm, eat free delicious meals, and enjoy a public computer and swimming pool, all while doing a good deed to help the impoverished nations of the world.
9. Marveling at the Rice Terraces in Yunnan, China
I don’t know about you, but Asian history just astounds me with how far back some of the still-functioning methods and traditions go. The rice terraces in Yunnan province, close to the border with Vietnam, perfectly illustrate this. These terraces are thousands of years old and when they fill in with water, they create a particularly stunning mirror for the sunset sky.
This part of the world is only beginning to open up to tourism, though the secret is out, which makes it a bit easier to access now for Western visitors. You can read more about my experience here.
10. Use your handyman skills in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Tower Bridge Hostel in Puerto Escondido accepts volunteers with any sort of useful skill for some hands-on maintenance work.
Whether you speak English or Spanish, Erik welcomes travelers into his hostel’s friendly environment and promotes cultural exchanges between guests and volunteers alike. You can enjoy some amazing surfing, biking, and exploring Mexico on your days off.
11. Kayaking with Beluga Whales in Manitoba, Canada
Imagine kayaking in the bay and feeling a little bump on the bottom of your kayak followed by a cheeky white Beluga face smiling at you from under the water. That’s what it’s like visiting Churchill, Manitoba in the summer when the beluga whales are hanging out and coming over to say hello. They’re so incredibly curious, any experience includes snorkeling with them, boating around them, and kayaking with them. If you’re lucky you may see some polar bears too!
12. Help patients in a meditation center in Myanmar
Thabarwa Meditation Center in Thanlyin, Myanmar, is a humanitarian organization that provides care for struggling people of the local community. Volunteers can practice good deeds by helping patients with physiotherapy and general care, and they can also teach English, create art projects and care for the garden and the local children.
There are plenty of ways for travelers to help the community, in exchange for learning about yoga and meditation and enjoying free meals, accommodation and language lessons.
13. Teach local students in Morocco
The British Academy accepts volunteers to engage with their students in their Berrechis, Fes, and Casablanca schools. The cost of living is very cheap in Morocco, though volunteers barely need to spend any money here, so this is a great experience for a traveler on a budget.
The program encourages travelers to enlighten the students about their own cultures and lifestyles, as well as make videos, advertising material, and art projects for the school. The program also encourages travelers to explore Morocco on their days off.