There are many reasons why solo trips are just as fun as travelling with your family, significant other, or friends. If you’ve never travelled alone, here’s why you may be convinced: you get to expand your comfort zone and overcome fear, you’ll learn a tonne about yourself, and (our personal fave!) you’re in charge of your schedule.
Be it a grad trip or a bucket list feature to gallivant around the globe alone, there are several cool places around the world particularly suitable for solo travellers. From Iceland filled with delightfully thoughtful natives to Australia’s social locals and a wide array of exciting towns, take your pick from our top trips for an overseas solo holiday.
Japan has everything from mystical cities and legendary scenery to efficient transportation. The friendly locals and incredible food around every corner only elevate this dream destination. But there are other irresistible factors that make it perfect for solo travel. Ohitorisama (living and doing things alone as a norm without any negative connotations) culture is widespread in Japan, with some even favouring solo activities. This means it’s perfectly normal to eat or drink alone in Japan, with dining options catered for individuals, not just pairs or groups.
Japan’s crime rates are low, making it one of the safest places for solo travel for either first time or female travellers. There are places and attractions here that are serene and quiet — perfect to reflect, relax and clear your mind while enjoying tranquility.
You can either visit three to four key cities in one itinerary for a broad overview, or immerse yourself by spending more time in just one or two cities to fully experience the way of life in Japan. A perfect way to start your trip will be to visit Tokyo and explore the many neighbourhoods and colourful city life of Japan. Then take in these other places on your journey around Japan:
Hakone is a traditional Japanese onsen (hot spring) town where you can see a sulphuric volcano close-up and hike around the rural countryside, then spend a peaceful night in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). You can get to Hakone from Tokyo via the Odakyu Railway on the “Romance Car” limited express train.
Kyoto’s top sights include Arashiyama Park’s bamboo forests and its many historical monuments like Nijo Castle. You can also make a dent in visiting its 1,600 temples. Once the sun sets, soak in the vibrant nightlife of Osaka and sample its unique local cuisine. If you want to admire the cherry blossoms in full bloom, schedule your travel during the elusive blink-and-you’ll-miss-it period from late March to early April. The most efficient way to get from Tokyo to Kyoto is by the Shinkansen high-speed train (a.k.a the bullet train!).
2. South Korea
Thanks to pop culture and entertainment, South Korea takes one of the top spots on many travel enthusiasts’ bucket list. Since it’s not too far away from Singapore, checking out what South Korea has to offer doesn’t have to take too much time if you prefer a shorter trip.
South Korea is good for solo travel since official signage and names have English translations as well, and its excellent transportation and train connectivity makes it easy to travel around the country. Make a lifetime of memories at this diverse destination.
Of course you’ll be stopping by the capital of cool — Seoul. In this bustling city, modern skyscrapers juxtapose with beautiful old palaces. Wandering through the streets and soaking it all in, you never know whether you’ll come across old world charm or cosmopolitan next.
For a breathtaking overview of the city, head to the top of the N Seoul Tower. Next up, tour magnificent temples, epic palaces and a-slice-of-life traditional markets, all right within Seoul. Hit up Myeongdong for retail therapy and the Itaewon district to partake in the trendy nightlife (Korean fried chicken, beers and karaoke anyone?).
Visit Gyeongju, the history and culture capital of South Korea, for some can’t-miss sights. Consider joining a cycling tour to check out the attractions, from the UNESCO world-heritage-listed Bulguksa temple to ancient royal tombs. You can also visit South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan, to really immerse yourself in the thriving markets and understand South Koreans’ way of life. Some options include Gukje Market for clothes and homewares, Jagalchi for all things fish, and Haeundae for delectable food.
Seeking out a closer-to-home solo travel destination? Then you simply have to visit Vietnam for a life-changing experience! Given its proximity to Singapore and affordability, Vietnam can suit a range of travel needs, especially those who want a time- or budget- friendly option without compromising on adventure.
Here are some things you can look forward to on this trip of a lifetime: glorious beachy sunrises in Nha Trang, invigorating hikes in the misty mountains of Sapa, and steaming bowls of noodles served right to your boat in the Mekong Delta.
Vietnam is full of warmth and hospitality. You can choose from a variety of accommodation options from traditional homestays with a local family to luxury resorts, and you’ll still be met with the beaming smiles and eagerness of the locals.
Vietnam is also a paradise for foodies with fantastic local delicacies and street food. Simply find an available stool at a sidewalk vendor, sit alongside the locals and you may find yourself having one of the best meals of your life! Don’t forget to sip on the country’s favourite drink — its robust, bold and sweet local coffee. Creative cafes have even come up with their own innovative and modern take on the local brew.
Main places to explore include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long Bay and Hoi An. To go off the beaten path and for alternatives to the popular tourist trails, head over to Bai Tu Long, Phu Quoc Island or Ha Giang. Vietnam is also home to some of the most stunning beaches and famous marine preserves. Swap out city life for the sun, sand and sea at Mui Ne or Da Nang.
Vietnam is generally safe for solo travelers, with good travel infrastructure and helpful locals, but do take the usual travel safety measures and keep a close watch on your belongings. When visiting remote areas, respect their conservative values and ways of life, and be sure to cover up appropriately when visiting temples.
Australia is huge and there’s plenty of cities and places to visit on every trip. Solo travellers will appreciate that major Australian cities are safe and well-connected, making it easy to get around. Foodies will also love sampling a variety of cuisines in Australia.
For extra special thrills and nature on your solo trip, the cities on the East Coast are your go-to — Sydney is a must-visit of course, being the most famous of Australian cities. Catch a show or tour the Sydney Opera House, take in intriguing museums and attractions, and go on easy hikes.
Hit up Surfer’s Paradise next, which is indeed paradise. Enjoy the sun, sand and sea like nowhere else. For some nightlife, Byron Bay has a beautiful beach and all the party action backpackers could want. Then switch up the pace with Noosa, which is a quaint town with magnificent views and hikes. End off your beach escapade by visiting a picturesque and remote beach unlike any other — Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Islands.
If you’re keen on more rural experiences, it would be best to join a tour group so that you’re not alone in the more remote parts of this vast country.
What does Ireland offer the solo traveller? An amazing mix of nature, history, culture and architecture. From the popular Cliffs of Moher to Glenoe Waterfall, there are many natural sights you can add to your itinerary. Then get acquainted with Gaelic games in Dublin at Croke Park, meet spooky inhabitants at Leap Castle and catch a showing of iconic Irish song and dance — The Riverdance.
There’s also copious amounts of the signature Irish hospitality and friendly conversations guaranteed, with stunning nature and scenery to revel in alone time amidst all that socialising. With chummy locals everywhere you go, you’ll have no trouble meeting new people.
Spend an evening like no other in a Dublin pub, enjoying the Irish tales told by locals that’s bound to come after all those pints. Speaking of pints — if you’re a fan of Guinness, perfect the art of a proper pour at the home of this famous drink, the Guinness Storehouse.
After spending some time exploring Dublin, venture out to Northern Ireland, Galway, see famous filming locations and enjoy even more stunning scenery outside this great city. Game of Thrones fanatics may already know this, but a tour of the filming locations is a must-do in Ireland! You might also get the opportunity to meet like-minded travellers on your solo trip when taking part in such tours, and make new friends from around the world.
Pro-tip: travellers are often surprised how cold Ireland can be, even during summer, so be sure to pack some warmer sweaters and a water-resistant jacket.
No other country combines nature, mesmerising beauty, solitude and time in a more poetic way than Iceland. If you’re looking for some quiet and introspective time, you can’t go wrong with Iceland. You’ll find good safety, English-speaking friendly locals and unique sights that are every photographer’s dream. Get to know yourself in this otherworldly, magical location.
Soak in the hot springs, explore the geysers, the famed Blue Lagoon, and colourful fishing villages. There’s plenty to enjoy in the great outdoors of Iceland. Take time to also mingle and engage in delightful conversations with the thoughtful locals. If you time it right, you might even catch the Northern Lights! September to March is the perfect period because the nights are longest, and you’ll be able to see these elusive lights dance across the sky at any time between nightfall to dawn.
Reykjavik is an enchanting capital city and a great base to explore the rest of the country. Driving is a great way to take in Iceland. That said, solo travellers might want to consider joining day tour groups so that they aren’t driving alone for long distances.
Prioritise personal safety at natural attractions — for example, hike glaciers only with a guide who’ll be more familiar with the area and activity than you are. While it might be tempting, don’t try to see all of Iceland in one trip. Instead, take time to properly soak in each destination. Travellers should also book accommodation in advance.
7. United States of America (USA)
The USA is another massive country, which could see you travelling solo for months if you choose to! It is a great place for solo travel with its diverse destinations that’s bound to satisfy most travel tastes and preferences.
If time isn’t as generous for you to travel long-term, here’s the one city you should definitely stop by: New York is quintessential for the solo traveller, from eating your way around the city on a food tour to enjoying live performances on and off Broadway, you’ll be living your best life in the city that never sleeps.
Check out other parts of the country for a totally different experience. Spend some laid-back time in the Florida Keys, swing by San Diego to chill by the various beaches and partake in water sports (don’t forget to see the famous San Diego Zoo while you’re here!), and enjoy museums, galleries, the National Zoo and plenty of other tourist attractions in Washington, D.C.
Experience an adventure of your choice on a solo trip
Solo trips can be fantastic for some one-on-one time with yourself, whether you’re looking to rest, reset and refresh or seeking an adventure of a lifetime. You have the luxury of choice and going at your own pace when you travel alone — that means you can see and do as much or as little as you want, and as a bonus you don’t even have to worry about setting the alarm for your turn in the shower!
However, when travelling alone, it’s always advisable to take extra precautions to keep yourself safe. Some things you can do include securing your valuables, scheduling your arrival during daytime instead of taking a night flight, do proper research when booking accommodation and places to visit, keep your loved ones updated on your travel plans, and have a list of emergency contacts at easy access.
Tempted to travel alone? Start planning your itinerary now and book these solo sojourns!
For more updates on Changi Airport, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, Telegram and YouTube. You can also sign up for a Changi Account and have the latest news and articles delivered right to your inbox.
Shop before you fly!
Shop 30 days in advance and up to 12 hours before your flight in the comfort of your own home. Plus, enjoy tax- and duty-free prices and online-exclusive offers. Shop now at iShopChangi!
Be rewarded when you shop at Changi!
Leap into a world of exclusive privileges as a Changi Rewards member. Enjoy GST-absorption for your purchases at participating outlets in the public areas of the airport and more. Sign up for the FREE membership here.
WiFi routers, travel insurance, attraction tickets and more!
Specially curated to meet your travelling needs, Changi Recommends offers an extensive range of travel necessities such as WiFi routers, travel insurance and more to help you get ready for your holiday. Shop now at Changi Recommends!