25 Bucket List Destinations for the Solo Traveler

La contribución de viajes y turismo al PIB mundial podría volver a niveles pre-pandemia, reporta WTTC. (Photo: via twinsterphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus).
Chelsea Davis
by Chelsea Davis
Last updated: 6:00 AM ET, Thu January 17, 2019

Discover Yourself With Solo Travel

Solo travel can be intimidating, but with the right research and inspired mindset, it can transform both who you are and how you look at the world. Whether you're ready to go on an adventure completely alone or are in search of the right tour operator to guide your trip, here are 25 bucket list destinations around the globe that are begging to be explored this year.


With its impressive scenery full of waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, lagoons and more, Iceland is a safe destination for solo travelers looking to self-reflect and have some "me" time. With vast expanses of breathtaking views and uninhabited land, it's a place begging to be explored. Go on a reindeer safari, deep-sea fish, whale watch, soak in hot springs and visit local farms for a fresh taste of local bounty. And if you're lucky, you'll see the Northern Lights. For nightlife, bars, shopping and a glimpse of city life, make a stop in Reykjavik, the country's capital.

Tokyo, Japan

For a trip packed with fascinating culture, authentic food, incredible shopping, nightlife and so much more, head to Tokyo. Visit tranquil shrines such as the Meiji Shrine; experience trendy Harajuku for a look at some of Japan's hottest styles and pop culture; enjoy a hot bowl of ramen, fresh sushi or a number of tasty street foods; snap pictures at the famous Shibuya Crossing or take in views of the city from Tokyo Skytree. There is an endless array of things to do and it's well suited for the solo traveler: safe, clean and more people speak English than you'd think!

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

As one of the most iconic destinations in America, solo travelers can't go wrong with a trip to see the sweeping panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. Hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies will find endless fun in the canyon, which is home to stunning rock formations and show-stopping sunsets. Travelers seeking more adventure can opt for guided jeep tours, river rafting, helicopter tours and even an exploration deeper into the canyon atop a mule.

Paris, France

Art aficionados and lovers of culture, fashion and food will thrive in the French capital of Paris. Pretend you're a local and read a book along the Seine with a croissant in hand or spend an evening out at an underground jazz club. From the iconic sites of the Eiffel Tour, the Louvre and the charming Luxemburg Gardens to chic cafes, unparalleled restaurants and countless galleries, solo travelers will feel right at home wandering through this city's romantic streets.

Kenya, Africa

For a life-changing adventure, head to Kenya and experience wildlife on the ultimate safari with G Adventures. Home to the annual Great Migration, where animals travel between Tanzania's Serengeti and Kenya's Masai Mara Park reserve, there is no better place in the world to see elusive animals such as leopards and cheetahs up close and personal. Kenya tours also include an introduction to the nomadic Masai people, their culture and ancient traditions, as well as stops at World Heritage sites such as Victoria Falls.


Love rugged beauty, friendly people, Guinness and Gaelic culture? Make the trip to Ireland. Witness firsthand the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher while surrounded by the crashing waves of the Atlantic. Kiss the fabled Blarney Stone to gain the gift of eloquence. Take a tour of the scenic Ring of Kerry to admire it's "forty shades of green." And maybe, stay at one of the country's epic castles. From Dublin to Cork, there's plenty of nature, history and excursions to keep any solo traveler happy.


For the solo traveler seeking culture and authenticity, book a trip on Aqua Expeditions' five-star luxury river cruiser, the Aqua Mekong. This cruise takes guests on an adventure along the Mekong River, the longest river in Southeast Asia, which flows through six countries from China to Cambodia and Vietnam. Aqua Expeditions can arrange pre- or post- Mekong cruise itineraries for guests that include a visit to Angkor Wat, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of 300-plus temples in Cambodia built during the Khmer Empire.

Kauai, Hawaii

For the thrill seeker, Kauai has it all: a perfect combination of rugged, lush terrain and pristine, white sand beaches and all the adventure activities you could ask for. From ziplining, ATV-ing, snorkeling and diving to surfing, helicopter tours, hiking, horseback riding and more, lovers of the outdoors will thrive in this laid back oasis. Fun fact? Lots of hit movies and TV shows have been filmed here, including Jurassic Park and Castaway.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Avid travelers should experience the endless array of wildlife and beauty of Australia's Great Barrier Reef before it's too late. From snorkeling, diving and kayaking to helicopter tours, rainforest expeditions and private charters, there are plenty of ways to see and immerse oneself in the biodiversity of the world's largest living thing. What better place to be at peace with yourself than within the clear waters of the reef surrounded by sea life and coral, away from the crowds?

Chiang Mai, Thailand

For beautiful, ornate temples unlike anywhere in the world, history, friendly people and natural beauty, head to the Northern part of Thailand to Chiang Mai. Visitors can experience hyper-local activities such as tea picking in a plantation in the peaks of the Doi Tung mountain range, walking through the famous Mae Fah Luang Gardens, venturing through the Night Bazaar and walking with rescued elephants at places such as Anantara Golden Triangle. Safe, inexpensive and welcoming, it's a perfect place for the solo traveler looking for culture and good food.

The Galapagos, Ecuador

Love wildlife, otherworldly landscapes and rugged nature? Book a trip to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where most of the archipelago remains uninhabited. Depending on the month, visitors can spot animals unique to the area including marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants. Before arriving at the Galapagos, travel through the colonial town of Quito, also a World Heritage Site, to admire historical buildings, architecture and the surrounding volcanoes that can be seen in the distance.

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Embrace the solitude and great outdoors in one of America's most iconic parks: Yosemite. Within a total of 761,000 acres, guests can look forward to incredible views of mountainous terrain, meadows, forestry and waterfalls, in addition to activities such as hiking, rock climbing, camping, fishing and more. Not to mention, bear sightings. With giant sequoias, sparkling lakes and rock formations such as the famed Half Dome and El Capitan, a trip here won't be one you soon forget.

Sacred Valley, Peru

A perfect combination of luxury accommodation, cultural immersion and exciting quests, the Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure by Mountain Lodges of Peru is ideal for the solo traveler who loves cultural exploration and hiking, yet still wants to be pampered. Travelers can choose to spend all day hiking or can mix a half-day of hiking with cultural activities like meeting professional women weavers, partaking in traditional pachamanca or visiting markets. All trips end with a requisite stop at Machu Picchu, which is every traveler's dream. Prior to your trek, spend a few days in Cusco at XO Art House, a new bed & breakfast-style hotel located in the flourishing arts quarter of Cusco.

Highway 1 and Big Sur, California, USA

Stretching from Dana Point to Mendocino County, a solo Highway 1 road trip is the perfect time to relax and reflect as it's just you and the open road! The most famous stretch of the drive covers California's central coast up to Monterey and Big Sur, which is home to the iconic Bixby Bridge and McWay Falls. In Big Sur, solo travelers can camp underneath the coastal city's starry sky or splurge on some of California's most luxurious hotels like Post Ranch Inn. Other spots along Highway 1 that are a must-see include the historic Hearst Castle in San Luis Obispo, Limekiln State Park, where you can walk among the redwoods, and any of the beautiful California beaches along the highway.

Costa Rica

Whether looking for a peaceful retreat filled with yoga, meditation and nature, or an adventure filled trip loaded with adrenaline pumping activities like zip lining, surfing and hiking up volcanic peaks, this country has you covered. With lush rainforests, pristine, tropical beaches and some of the friendliest people in the world, experience Pura Vida (pure life) as a solo traveler in this safe Central American country.

Pyramids of Eqypt

The pyramids of Egypt date back to the 10th millennium, offering an astounding amount of both history and mind-blowing architecture that needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. To get the most out of a trip to this otherworldly destination, check out a tour with Trafalgar, which offers a Wonders of Ancient Egypt tour. Visit The Great Pyramids, explore Cairo and take a cruise on the Nile all while taking in the grandeur of the tombs, temples, hieroglyphs and more that surround you.

Alice Springs, Australia

Alice Springs has some of the Northern Territory's most unique offerings for animal lovers, adventurous eaters and nature enthusiasts. Spend the day soaking in the epic desert landscapes in and around the West MacDonnell Ranges or soar above the clouds in a hot air balloon with Outback Ballooning. Try emu or crocodile-steak at one of the many eclectic restaurants that offer visitors the chance to try meals found only in the region. At the Kangaroo Sanctuary, visitors can get up close with kangaroos. At the Alice Springs Desert Park, learn more about the wildlife diversity of the various desert landscapes.

Great Wall of China

Lovers of history can't miss out on a trip to visit the one and only Great Wall of China. Spanning over 20,000 km, this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be explored by section, of which some have been restored to their former glory. Try to get there early to avoid crowds. Take a China Highlights nine-day tour with Intrepid if you're looking to explore the wall, in addition to iconic attractions such as the Terracotta Warriors and dumpling making with a local family.

Savannah, Georgia, USA

For an easy solo trip, head to Savannah, where travelers can navigate the city by foot, eat and drink their way through the historic districts and squares that fill the city and soak in that famous Southern hospitality and a slower pace of life. After a decadent meal at a classic Savannah establishment such as the Olde Pink House, take a stroll to admire the beautiful homes on Jones Street, shop around Broughton Street or enjoy a riverboat cruise to catch some fresh air. If you're feeling adventurous, once night falls, take a ghost tour and experience the city's haunted past.


As a country filled with beauty, culture, color, spirituality and wonder, India is undoubtedly a place everyone should visit at least once. You'll benefit from an experienced guide who can help navigate the endless amounts of temples, bazaars and bustling streets that India offers. Classic Journeys' India: Rajasthan & Taj Tours includes a trip to Taj Mahal and activities like strolling alongside a goatherd on India's quiet country lanes and visiting a 17th-century palace. This tour is perfect for solo travelers wanting to take in India's vast wealth of experiences without having to worry about the complex logistics of traveling throughout the country.


Looking for indescribable natural beauty? Canada's Rocky Mountains are where it's at. From ice fields, glaciers and looming snow-capped mountains to incredible lake landscapes, lush forests and rugged terrain, travelers looking for the ultimate mountain adventure will find it here. Popular activities include dog sledding across the Great Divide, wildlife spotting in Jasper National Park, touring the iconic Lake Louise and Moraine Lake and hiking through the endless alpine trails in Banff.

Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the most well-known cities in the world, so what better way to explore its rich history, decadent food and sites than solo? Marvel at the impressive architecture of the Pantheon, ascend Palatine Hill to roam the same streets the Julius Caesar once did, take in iconic views of the Colosseum, toss a coin in the famed Trevi Fountain and, of course, you can't visit Rome without exploring Vatican City. Once you get hungry, refuel with, what else, pizza and pasta.

Kilimanjaro Treks

As the world's tallest freestanding mountain, climbing Kilimanjaro may seem like an impossibility for most. But, lucky for us, there are a number of tour companies that offer routes suitable for all skill and fitness levels. Plus, you're likely to meet friends on your way up since it's actually against the Tanzanian law to climb the mountain alone. Despite the difficulty of ascending such a mammoth peak, you'll feel more accomplished than ever once you finally get to the summit. Check out Thomson Safari's Kilimanjaro Treks, which boast a 98% summit success.

London, England

Best explored on foot, London is a bustling city filled with unique things to see. From the famous Houses of Parliament and Big Ben to the London Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral and sprawling views of the city from Sky Garden, a solo traveler will have no problem staying busy. Attend a show in the West End, peruse all the delicious culinary offerings at Borough Market, grab cream tea at one of the many iconic tea rooms or take a seat at one of the pubs in Shoreditch. Want to get out of the city? Take a day trip to nearby Stonehenge.


For an authentic taste of wilderness, travelers can't pass up an expedition to Antarctica. With otherworldly landscapes, colossal glaciers and stunning views of an endless, icy peninsula, it's a trip of a lifetime most won't ever experience. Check out Go Collette's Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent tour for two weeks of adventures that include whale watching and penguin and leopard seal encounters to kayaking among icebergs and cruising through thick ice layers to discover more of Antarctica's untouched terrain.

Rediscover yourself on a trip of a lifetime at one of these epic places.

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me