Wandering solo – Discovering the best solo travel destinations and its many joys
We interviewed ten Finnair’s Instagram followers and asked them to share their best tips for your next (or first!) solo travel experience. Discover their recommendations for some great solo travel destinations and their favourite parts about travelling alone.
In our other Blue Wings story about solo travelling, our ten experts share their best tips for getting started with travelling alone. This time, they’ll reveal their recommendations for suitable destinations for travellers adventuring alone and let you in on the secrets of solo travel and why you, too, should do it.
Near, far, wherever you desire
If you haven't travelled alone before, staying in another city in your home country could be a less intimidating and complicated way to try it. Book nice accommodation in a nearby city or do a staycation in your hometown to see how you feel. Another way to get an easy start to solo travelling is to travel to a city abroad that you’re already familiar with. That way you’ll have familiar restaurants, areas and activities to do.
Our experts generally recommend European destinations for solo travelling. Especially for Europeans, they are easy to travel to, you can utilise the local healthcare if needed and home is not too far. Our interviewees mention Finland, Denmark and Italy as very easy countries to travel to when taking your first trip alone.
Out of the European cities Dublin, Madrid, Krakow, London, Tallinn, Prague and Amsterdam are mentioned. One of the interviewees highly recommends Lisbon, which works great for both leisure travel and remote work: “Evolving into a hub for remote work, Lisbon attracts freelancers and digital nomads with its vibrant co-working spaces, Wi-Fi-equipped cafes, and a community fostering networking. It’s an ideal destination for seamlessly blending work and leisure.”
From the Asian options, our experts give special mentions to Japan, Korea and Singapore, which they find safe countries in which getting around is easy. For backpackers, one interviewee recommends Thailand: “Renowned among backpackers, Thailand exudes a lively and inclusive atmosphere. Solo travellers can effortlessly connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences and form lasting friendships amidst the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.”
Qatar is also mentioned as a good option for women travelling alone, as it’s one of the safest countries in the world. Cuba, on the other hand, is mentioned because of the hospitality of the locals, as well as a great place to improve your Spanish skills.
All and all, the world is full of amazing places that have their own charm and attractions. Big cities offer a lot to do, and you won’t get bored without a travel companion. However, if you are in need of recovery and rest, a beach holiday with a book you can’t put down might just be the perfect choice for you.
Why you, too, should be travelling solo
When trying to find out the best thing about solo travelling according to our experts, the list is long and comprehensive. Above all, they mention the full freedom that comes with it. One states: “The greatest joy that I experience travelling alone is the full freedom to go and do whatever I desire. I’m normally a person who likes to plan, but when I travel without a companion, I might go to breakfast and only then decide what to do that day. And then change the plans as I go!”
”When travelling alone, you have the full freedom to do and see things at your own pace and according to your interests. You have the freedom to plan or not plan, stay awake or sleep, and try the restaurants, cafes, stores and activities that interest only you. You can plan ahead the next two seconds or three hours, just how you feel, and surrender to thinking only about your own comfort,” says another interviewee.
Taking trips by yourself teaches you things about yourself, as you have more time to reflect on your own thoughts and emotions, and let your mind wander freely. You will also need to be more independent, and you might face some challenges that require personal growth and problem-solving skills. There will be situations that require you to step out of your comfort zone, which will, in the long run, increase your self-confidence.
However, travelling alone doesn’t mean that you will have to be alone. Our interviewees assure that it’s, in fact, easier to meet new people when you need to go out of your comfort zone, and you can’t lean on your travel companion. They have met lovely people on their solo trips, and some relationships have even lasted until today. One of our solo experts says: “Even though you travel alone, it doesn’t mean that you need to stay silent and not speak during your trip. It’s relatively easy to find locals or other tourists to talk to when you start longing for company.”
Altogether, travelling alone is often a huge learning opportunity. One interviewee concludes: “Why everyone should solo travel: It’s a transformative experience that enhances social and problem-solving skills, builds confidence, presents challenges for personal growth, and creates a repository of lifetime memories and stories worth sharing.”