Sure, romantic getaways and family trips are fun, but the idea of going it alone is becoming more popular, even on international trips. About 24 percent of people traveled alone on their most recent overseas leisure vacation, according to the 2015 Visa Travel Global Intentions Study, up from 15 percent in 2013. Of that number, 40 percent were female.
If you’re an adventurous woman looking to give solo travel a try, here are 30 affordable trips to consider. Scout out a spot to revisit later with friends and family, or keep a few favorite havens all to yourself.
1. Quebec City
- Auberge du Tresor room rates start at $121 per night. Rates likely go down in winter.
The Carnaval de Quebec is a good alternative to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, and at Christmas, the medieval choristers sing carols through the Old City, according to Elizabeth Avery, founder of the site SoloTrekker4U.com. Quebec City offers skiing, dog sledding and skating in the winter, and an abundance of unique shopping and sights all year round.
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2. Loire Valley, France
- Clos d’Amboise room rates start at $160 per night.
There are many castles to see in the Loire Valley, including the Azay-le-Rideau, Blois, Chinon, Chenonceau and Amboise. Visit them to see the beautiful architecture and to take in the vibrant history of France’s Golden Age, according to Avery. When not exploring castles, cruise the Loire River, rent a bike or go for a hike to enjoy the beauty of the valley.
3. Siena, Italy
- Tuscan country lodging at L’Aia Country Holidays starts at $100 per night.
Siena, Italy’s central piazza might just be one of Europe’s finest medieval squares, according to the Telegraph. When not taking in the museums and ancient architecture, Avery suggested enjoying the Tuscan countryside by hiking, biking, horseback riding or playing a few rounds of golf at a nearby course. With just 11 rooms, L’Aia Country Holidays country house offers solo travelers ample opportunities to get to know others staying there.
4. Corfu, Greece
- The Siorra Vittoria boutique hotel room rates start at $120 per night.
Corfu is more than just a beach destination. There are plenty of activities both indoors and out, Avery said. The island offers museums, ancient ruins, Byzantine and classic architecture, in addition to wind surfing, sailing and other outdoor activities. You can also see castles, fortresses and the Old Town and central square, among other attractions, according to SoloTrekker4U.
5. Placencia Village, Belize
- The Lara Beyru Resort offers rooms starting at $121 per night.
Placencia Village, located on a peninsula, has some of the best beaches in Belize. That also makes it a popular tourist destination, according to SoloTrekker4U. The destination is great for solo travelers because there are many budget-friendly eateries.
Visitors can go snorkeling, diving, sailing or fishing. They can also explore Mayan ruins and visit Laughing Bird Caye National Park, which offers an abundance of wildlife.
6. San Juan, Puerto Rico
- The Chateau Cervantes offers rooms starting at $98 per night.
In San Juan, local attractions include the governor’s residence and historic fort, La Fortaleza, as well as the Cristo Chapel and the San Juan Bautista Cathedral. Travelers can also bargain at the local markets, or rent a car to travel to the El Yunque National Forest and observe wildlife. If you want to spend a day at the beach, Avery recommended avoiding the Friday afternoon crowds.
7. Trinidad and Tobago
- Travel packages offered by Travelocity include seven hotel nights and airfare from New York City, starting at around $700 per person.
Trinidad and Tobago offer two islands with their own distinctive attractions. “The island of Trinidad is home to the country’s capital, Port of Spain, [which] offers visitors shopping, culture, trendy restaurants, tasty street food, architecture and history,” said Warren Solomon, general manager of marketing at the nation’s tourism agency. “Only a 20-minute plane ride from Trinidad is sister-island Tobago … home to beautiful beaches, the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, stylish villas and resorts, and unique local culture and cuisine.”
- The 18-day G Adventures “China on a Shoestring — Hong Kong to Beijing” Yolo Tour is currently on sale, with prices starting at $1,799.
If you have some concerns about language barriers or being on your own for too long, a tour tailored to your interest and age group might be a good choice. G Adventures offers Yolo Tours to several destinations.
“Geared toward younger travelers, these trips include a flexible itinerary and groups of travelers within your age range to hang with so you don’t feel totally alone,” said Lindsey Epperly, a luxury travel consultant and owner of Epperly Travel.
- Prices for a five-night Royal Caribbean cruise leaving from Cape Liberty, N.J., start at $599.
Coach tours like the Yolo offerings aren’t for everyone, said Epperly. “For older travelers, who might enjoy relaxing a bit more than a coach tour would allow, many of the major cruise lines will waive single supplements for solo guests on select sailings,” she said.
For example, Royal Caribbean offers super studio ocean-view staterooms with balconies that don’t require a single supplement on two of its ships, which travel to a variety of destinations, including Bermuda.
10. Washington, D.C
- Rooms at the Embassy Circle Guest House start at $165.83 per night; Woodley Park Guest House offers some single-occupancy rooms with shared baths starting at $110 per night.
Visit monuments and memorials, not to mention the 19 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo. The capital city’s robust Metro system also means it’s easy to get around on the cheap, making D.C. one of the country’s coolest solo trips for women — or anyone else. The Embassy Circle and the Woodley Park are also currently offering a half-price Sunday night special.
11. Bucks County, Pa
- The Golden Plough Inn’s Summer Sizzle package offers room rates starting at $200 per night, plus a $50 voucher for any of the property’s four restaurants.
Bucks County offers a respite from urban life for city residents, or a second destination for solo travelers visiting New York City or Philadelphia.
“Bike tour with Bear Bicycle Touring Co., kayak down the Delaware River, explore and shop in downtown New Hope, see a play at the Bucks County Playhouse [or] sip and savor along the Bucks County Wine Trail,” suggested Alexa Johnson, public relations manager for the tourism promotion agency Visit Bucks County.
- Summer room rates at the W Minneapolis—The Foshay and Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis start at $199 per night.
Minneapolis offers plenty of culture, while also being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. If you’re up for a ride but don’t want to go solo, consider staying at either the W Minneapolis—The Foshay or the Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis.
“Both properties are walking distance from art galleries, museums, bars and other local attractions,” said Sydney Feldman, a hotel spokesperson. “Throughout summer, the properties’ general manager leads weekly cycling tours around picturesque Lake Calhoun.”
13. Mystic, Conn
- Room rates at the riverfront Steamboat Inn start at $150 per night.
Connecticut offers a variety of activities within easy driving distance of each other, and it’s close to big-city hubs like New York and Boston.
“Getaways are not only affordable but also highly varied — from active and relaxing opportunities to historical and cultural experiences,” said Emily Pangakis, spokesperson for the Connecticut Office of Tourism.
Active tourists might consider sailing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding classes at New England Science & Sailing in nearby Stonington, which hosts a ladies’ night every Thursday in the summer for $20.
14. New Hampshire
- Rooms at the Coppertoppe Inn and Retreat Center in Hebron start at $189 per night in August.
Depending on where you visit in New Hampshire, the state offers everything from NASCAR racing to quilting and knitting shops, said Sheila Oranch, innkeeper at the Coppertoppe Inn and Retreat Center.
“As a woman who has traveled solo many times, I sincerely recommend taking a B&B tour of New Hampshire,” she said. “Hosts know their areas well and can suggest interesting activities and sights, scenic drives and quiet beaches or hikes. Because owners live on-site, B&Bs are safer for solo travelers, and usually quieter.”
15. Mineola, Texas Retreat
- Retreat in the Pines prices start at $389 for an all-inclusive weekend.
Wellness retreats offering yoga, massages, cooking classes and more can be expensive, especially when they’re set near big cities. However, retreats that are far off the beaten path are often more serene — and affordable.
“Our retreats are for women only, and usually at least half of the attendees are solo travelers,” said Theresa Polley, founder of Retreat in the Pines, in Mineola, near Tyler, Texas. “Many of our solo travels stay connected with each other, and even come back to the retreat together.”
16. Florida National Scenic Trail
- Fitpacking offers an eight-day hike on the Florida National Scenic Trail starting at $1,250 for double occupancy for scheduled hotel nights, but single supplement pricing is available.
Fitpacking offers group backpacking trips of varying durations to a variety of U.S. locations — including the Florida National Scenic Trail. “Many of our clients are single women who don’t feel comfortable traveling in the wilderness alone,” said Steve Silberberg, owner of the backpacking vacation company. The trips range in price from $1,250 to $2,200 per week.
- Friendly Planet offers an eight-day cruise with double-occupancy pricing starting at $1,999. The single-occupancy upcharge starts at $449.
Travel opportunities to Cuba are opening up and some tour and cruise operators are offering affordably-priced options with activities that offer an overview of the once off-limits island. The Friendly Planet cruise sails from Montego Bay, Jamaica, and makes several ports of call in Cuba.
The cruise offers cultural and culinary highlights, including Cuban salsa, rumba and cha cha dancing lessons, a presentation of the history of rum and cigars, a Cuban cooking demonstration and a lesson on how to make a Cuban cocktail. The cruise features dedicated guides and escorts at every stop, which some solo female travelers might view as a big plus.
18. Lima, Peru
- Nightly room rates at the Hilton Lima Miraflores start at $134 in August.
If you opt for a tour, it pays to look for package deals. For example, travelers who stay at the Hilton Lima Miraflores, and book a room and tour directly through the Hilton website get 20 percent off any Lima city tour offered by Turibus. Depending on which tour you choose, you could see sights including the Huaca Pucllana, a ceremonial and archaeological site built in the fourth century, B.C., or Lima’s Magical Water Circuit.
19. Kilkenny, Ireland
- Contiki Vacations offers an eight-day trip to Ireland with prices starting at $1,076.
On a recent vacation of her own, Johnson, the Bucks County spokesperson, took a trip to Ireland, which she booked through Contiki.
“My favorite sight in Ireland was probably the Blarney Castle,” she said. “The view from the top is stunning Irish countryside, and kissing the stone is an age-old tradition you have to take part in. I also really liked the town of Kilkenny. I did a bike tour through it, and it is very scenic and charming.”
20. Chiang Rai, Thailand
- Rates at the Museflower Retreat start at around $43 per person per night.
There are plenty of attractions at this increasingly popular tourist destination. But if you really want a remote retreat, consider northern Thailand, which offers exotic affordability. The Museflower Retreat and Spa in Chiang Rai is an all-inclusive holistic wellness retreat where people seek to escape and relax in nature, with food harvested fresh from the on-site organic farm and fruit orchards.
21. Bali, Indonesia
- Villas are available through Villa-Finder.com in August starting at $130 per night.
Explore Bali’s ancient shrines and temples, or visit the Elephant Safari Park to ride a beast or watch an elephant paint works of art. Although less expensive accommodations are available, this destination is affordable enough for some solo travelers to justify splurging.
22. Dilijan, Armenia
- The rate for a medium room at the Old Dilijan Complex’s Ananov Guest House starts at around $51 per night.
Dilijan is a small resort town in northeastern Armenia that’s popular with backpackers, eco-tourists, history buffs, foodies, art enthusiasts and more, said Jackie Abramian, a media strategist and travel writer who has written a nonfiction book on Armenia.
“For outdoor enthusiasts, Dilijan is hugged by lush natural forests of preserved national park, and crisp, alpine mountain air ideal for trekking and hiking,” she said.
- Discounted prices for smarTours’ eight-day “Incredible India” package start at $1,299.
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting the Taj Mahal and India’s other sights, an organized tour might help the colossal continent seem more approachable for solo travelers. The eight-day “Incredible India” package offered by smarTours travels to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and includes international airfare from New York City. Single supplements start at $199.
24. Danube River
- Prices for smarTours’ “Danube Discovery Cruise” start at $2,899.
You can also book cruises with smarTours, which reach an attractive balance between the support and guidance offered by the crew and fellow passengers, and the opportunity for solo travelers to explore on their own, said Greg Geronemus, smarTours‘ co-CEO.
“We work very hard to accommodate our solo travelers and help them keep the cost of cruising as low as possible,” he said. “In particular, we have made a big push with our ‘find a roommate’ forum on our website, allowing solo travelers to coordinate on potentially sharing a cabin.”
The Danube Discovery Cruise is a 10-night cruise along the Danube River from Vienna to Bucharest, with several stops along the way, including Budapest and Belgrade. The package includes round-trip airfare from New York City.
25. Malawi, Africa
- Visitors to Liwonde Safari Camp in Liwonde National Park can pitch a tent for $10 per night, or stay solo in one of the camp’s luxury tents for $40.
Malawi offers friendly locals and natural attractions, including Lake Malawi, Mount Mulanje and Liwonde National Park, home to abundant wildlife, including more than 400 different kinds of birds.
“I know some women might worry about visiting Africa, but after visiting 13 different African countries — and now living in Ethiopia — I couldn’t suggest a better destination for female travelers,” said Valerie Bowden, founder of the website Backpacking Africa for Beginners.
26. Leon, Nicaragua
- Nightly rates at the four-star Hotel El Convento start at $67.
Megan Stetzel, founder of the travel blog Forks & Footprints, recommended volcano boarding, which entails sliding down Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro volcano on a specially designed board. The country “is also home to some incredible volcano hikes, perfect beaches for surfing or just sunbathing,” she said.
- Explore Worldwide’s Imperial Cities 15-day tour starts at around $1,000, and the company is currently waiving the single supplement.
Morocco offers everything from mountains to deserts to coastal climes. Visitors to the country can see the sights of Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakech. Explore Worldwide’s Imperial Cities and Deserts Tour takes travelers around exotic souks, or open-air markets, through gorges in the Atlas Mountains and on to discover desert oases, with the option of spending a night in the Sahara Desert.
- Extreme Iceland offers a three-day scenic hiking tour package starting at about $650.
This island nation is home to volcanoes, glaciers, natural hot pools and waterfalls. It also earns top marks for peacefulness and gender equality, according to Travel and Leisure magazine. Extreme Iceland offers a three-day hiking tour, departing from Reykjavik to Strandir in the West Fjords of Iceland. The package also includes a visit to thermal pools, two nights in a country hotel and breakfast.
When in Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon spa offers saunas, steam baths, silica mask treatments and a man-made waterfall, among other amenities. Standard admission into the Blue Lagoon starts at 40 euros if you book in advance online.
29. Munich, Germany
- Room rates at Motel One start at around $65 per night.
The dollar is standing at one of its strongest points compared with the euro, making travel to Germany and other euro-zone countries more affordable than in years past. If you opt for Munich, Travel and Leisure recommended bellying up at the local biergarten for a pint, or scouting the aisles of the Christmas markets for a hot mulled wine stand.
30. Coffee Creek, Calif
- Coffee Creek Ranch has weekly rates for singles starting at $1,513.
Coffee Creek Ranch, a dude ranch in Northern California, also offers a Mother’s Day week rate at half-off for moms and grandmothers. Women find the ranch and its activities unique, safe and enjoyable, according to the ranch’s co-owner Ruth Hartman. “These rates are all-inclusive: meals, private cabin and horseback riding. During the summer, singles are welcome anytime,” she said.
Some of the destinations included in this article might have reported cases of the Zika virus. Visit the CDC website for Zika travel information.
About the Author
Charlene Oldham specializes in education, workplace issues, consumer finance, health and wellness and business personalities. A former business news staff writer for the Dallas Morning News and whose varied resume includes a stint with Teach For America, Charlene has written freelance works that have appeared in publications including the Orlando Sentinel, SUCCESS, Organic Gardening and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.