Would you be more present, more observant and more available to serendipity if you traveled alone? According to Culture Trip’s research, an increasing number of people are curious about exploring a new place without the comfort and compromise of a companion.
In-depth interviews with 150 consumers and a survey of 10,500 UK and US respondents revealed that while 14 percent of women have previously traveled solo (compared to 18 percent of men), 34 percent of both genders – around one in three – are considering an independent trip in the near future. Current trends show that over the past two years, interest in solo female travel has increased by a significant surge of 131%.
Given the reputation of epic solo trips to spark self-enquiry and personal development (think Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild) perhaps it’s not surprising that Culture Trip’s survey revealed 84 percent of women who have taken alone-trips within the last five years favor experiences that enable them to learn new things about themselves (compared to 78 percent of the other people surveyed). Over 93 percent of women who have recently taken a trip on their own stated that educating themselves and learning new things was a priority, while 74 percent wanted to explore different worldviews, beliefs and cultures.
Tempted to start planning your solo adventure? Culture Trip compiled a definitive list of 11 culturally exciting, geographically diverse and statistically safe cities for women who are ready to explore on their own.
We began by analyzing the year-over-year growth of user interest by location, measured by the change in the total number of organic views to location-specific articles about solo travel between 2017-18. Then we surveyed our global network of female contributors, tapping into their travel knowledge to get a second list of best locations for female solo travelers. Finally our in-house editorial team lent their expertise to tie it all together, and the results for the best places to travel solo are as follows:
South Korea’s capital city has seen the biggest increase in user interest among solo travel destinations on Culture Trip. With its 24-hour jjimjilbang spa culture and ahead-of-the-curve beauty stores (snail-infused face mask anyone?), Seoul is a great choice for an indulgent self-care-focused trip.
Culture Trip found that solo female travelers were more likely to seek out new cultural experiences than the average person. Kyoto offers a diverse taste of Japanese life, from matcha tea ceremonies and glittering temples to public onsen (bathhouses fed by hot springs) and sushi food halls.
Wellness retreats were popular with 47 percent of female solo travelers surveyed (that’s nine percent more than the average person), and what better city to get a wellness fix than Los Angeles? From hiking and crystal healing to infrared saunas and surf lessons, the city offers a veritable buffet of healthy activities.
While interest in Krakow is rising, Warsaw is still the most searched-for Polish destination on Culture Trip. Museums, memorials and distinctive architecture highlight city’s tumultuous history while an increasingly impressive food and drink scene (Hala Koszyki food hall is an itinerary essential) and new boutiques are evidence of the city’s steadfast popularity.
Colorful colonial buildings, balconies overflowing with flowers and beautiful churches make this Unesco World Heritage site the ultimate photo opp destination for appreciators of architecture. Don’t miss Casa de Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a museum dedicated to the city’s most famous writer.
Hong Kong is famous for its shopping. After perusing high-end designers, electrical markets, antique auctions and art shops, expect to return home with a suitcase that’s close to bursting.
Besides being a happening city in a pretty harborside location, Auckland is also a great base for exploring the natural wonders of New Zealand’s North Island, including beautiful coastline, volcanoes, geysers, glowworm caves, waterfalls and hot springs.
Berlin’s poignant history, creative soul and celebrated craft beer scene make it one of the most popular European destinations for solo travelers. If you love techno don’t miss Berghain (you can find some raving buddies while you wait in the notoriously long line for entry).
Even if you don’t time your visit to coincide with Carnival (the first week of March) expect to get swept up in Rio’s outdoor samba sessions, underground raves and sunset boat parties. This city knows how to have a good time.
Accra, Ghana’s capital city, is one to watch in 2019. This year, to mark 400 years since the first Africans were enslaved and taken to the US, the Ghana Tourism Authority is inviting the diaspora population to return to their homeland and sample the best culture, nature and nightlife Ghana has to offer.