Backpacking and solo traveling is becoming increasingly popular among women – especially younger women – but it’s important to know what does and doesn’t make for a suitable destination before you set off on your travels. This is something that I have some experience with. I am fortunate enough to be well-travelled. Although I have had some uncomfortable experiences in some places and wonderful ones in others. I’d like to spare you the uncomfortable ones and send you in search of the wonderful ones instead! That’s why I’ve put together this article to showcase and highlight some of the best solo female travel destinations on the face of the planet. If you’ve got the travel itch – which is totally understandable after the events of the past year – here are a few places I think are well worth your consideration!
Portugal has become a big favorite with social media “influencers” in recent years. I presume somebody – probably Portugal’s tourist board, now that I think about it – pays marketing influencers to come and take their pictures and post their “inspiring” captions. Even a stopped clock is right once a day, though, and influencers occasionally have a point. They’re definitely right about Portugal. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but sometimes gets overlooked because of its proximity to Spain. Spain is far more popular as a vacation destination, and it never occurs to most people to cross the border into Portugal and find out what’s there. They really should, because Portugal has much to offer. From Lisbon to the Algarve, it’s a country of cliffs, beaches, vineyards, fishing villages, and incredible food.
Most people think of Rome when they think of Italy. Like the warriors of old, they hear the call of the Colosseum – which just so happens to be the name of an extremely popular gambling game. I make that comparison not only because visiting Rome can be so expensive that you’d need a slots jackpot to pay for it, but because slots are about lining everything up in a perfect order. If you don’t get at least three winning symbols in a row at Rainbow Riches Casino, which has recently been reviewed by sistersite.co.uk, you’ll win nothing in most games. If you don’t fit at least three Italian destinations into a vacation within the country, you’re missing out just as badly. By all means go to Rome, but also consider Venice, Milan, and Florence. Grab a selfie at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Make friends with the locals – they’re usually very happy to see them! Italian hospitality is among the best in the world. You owe it to yourself to experience it.
I know I just recommended Portugal as an alternative to Spain, but that doesn’t mean I am ruling out Spain altogether. Both countries are worth a visit, and if you’re backpacking, you might even be able to fit them both into the same trip! As far as Spain’s attitude to female travelers goes, it’s the only country in the world to have officially banned “manspreading.” How anyone goes about enforcing that law is beyond us, but the law exists! Another appealing factor to American travelers is that there are plenty of places in Spain where English is spoken commonly because of all the British enclaves. Don’t spend all your time there, though – that would be a waste of an opportunity to explore Spanish culture. Barcelona is a city that should be on every traveler’s “must-see” list – but there’s more to Spain than Barcelona. Make sure you spend a few days on the coast.
I am getting into “prohibitively expensive” territory now, but Japan has been rising up the list of popular vacation destinations for several years. At some point within the past decade, it’s become the global capital of great cuisine, with some of the best restaurants and chefs in the whole world. If you’re someone who likes to be left alone when you go out to eat, Japan is one of the very few countries where that’s a cultural norm. The language barrier might be an issue for some people, but in major tourist destinations, signage tends to be available in English as well as Japanese, and tourist guides are very happy to help. Crime is at an all-time low, public transportation can get you anywhere you might conceivably be interested in visiting, and the culture is one-of-a-kind.
Like Spain, France has also recently passed laws that make it a better place to visit for women on their own. It hasn’t banned man spreading, but it has made “catcalling” a criminal offense. If someone shows you unwanted attention in the street or shouts derogatory comments in your direction, they’re liable to be fined almost one thousand dollars. The outdoor cafes make people-watching a little more obvious than it is in most other places, but watching is as far as anyone’s allowed to go. Stick to the major sites, and you won’t be harassed. Paris is an obvious place to visit, but there’s also plenty of positives to spending time in Marseille or Toulouse. If wine is your thing, head south to the vineyards and the beautiful countryside. Nobody does farming like the French.
I don’t intend this list to be restrictive. There are other countries worthy of mention, and almost any destination can be made safe so long as you stick to official guidance and remain vigilant while you’re out alone. For maximum safety and the best likelihood of a totally positive experience, though, these options are hard to beat. I’ve missed traveling in 2020, and I’ve got a lot of making up for lost time to do. I know I’ll be visiting some of these places when the world opens to travel. Perhaps I’ll see you there?