To all my ladies wondering whether or not to travel alone, you got this!
Just you and the ‘open road’ and there’s nothing quite like it! Test yourself, your stamina and learn new things about the world around you! You get to decide where you’re going to go first, which detours you might take and all the little adventures along the way.
Being in a new country all by yourself may seem daunting at first – but it’ll be worthwhile when you get to meet new people and make life-long memories! Just be sure to do plenty of research before heading out to any country, and choose wisely where to go.
Here are some of our favourite (and of course, safe) countries for solo-female travellers, so you can start planning your trip!
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has to be at the top of our list! Known for its pristine beaches, lush green rainforest and a vibrant atmosphere – not just solo travellers need to go to Costa Rica, EVERYONE does. The people, the food, the landscape…the food! Costa Rica can be unsafe in terms of petty crime and robberies. For the most part though, it’s one of the friendliest countries in Central America. It’s even more so if you’re staying with a welcoming local host!
Workaway has a lot of adventures awaiting you – including one of our Hosts of the Month, who runs a surf camp at Tamarindo! A beautiful location where if you can you could contribute your skilled expertise in yoga, surf instruction, social media, writing and videography to name a few! The reviews are absolutely bomb and a lot of solo travellers in particular have adored their stay there.
Charlie, a solo female traveller, said,
“This was my first workaway and could not have been a better way to start my solo-trip. Straight away you are welcomed by a whole family of friendly faces – can be a little overwhelming at first but give it a few days and you’ll feel at home in no time. ”
Along with surfing and exploring the hidden waterfalls of Tamarindo, there’s plenty of authentic experiences to be had in Costa Rica – like staying at this organic vegan farm and animal rescue sanctuary where you’d get to take care of animals and also work on a garden!
Oh, the exciting Thailand! It’s always great to go explore a paradise beach, visit a temple, join in a full moon party, or just relax. As one of the most visited countries in Southeast Asia, it’s been extremely safe over the years. At times there are uncertain situations like political unrest and the Zika virus – but they aren’t that common, and it’s just best to get your vaccines and keep an eye on the news before you travel! If you have to stay out till late, know your limits and avoid getting drunk. Thai people are in general very kind and welcoming; they will help you any way they can, even if they don’t speak that much English.
With so much to explore in Thailand, it’s so easy to get carried away! It’s good to take a step out of the major cities though and find beauty in lesser walked paths. Venture outside of Bangkok and have a relaxing yet productive stay at an eco friendly farm in Nakhon Pathom. Find out how to live more sustainably and pick up some handy skills by learning to filter water, build mud-houses and even a mud oven to bake some delicious pizza!
Workawayer Anne said,
“Their sustainable lifestyle and aim to have a no waste homestay and [their] garden is inspiring. It’s cool to see this hipster Thai couple in their stylish mud house! The place is very quiet and calm, you can enjoy a rest in nature here…”
If you’re a restless wanderer looking for a South American country to travel alone in, Chile is the one! With so many beautiful contrasts and diversity packed in one country, from barren landscapes to lush green grass, or to beautiful lakes surrounded by mountains… Chile surely has plenty of adventures to offer!
Compared to many other South American countries, Chile is very safe, there aren’t many robberies or attacks. Take precautions and never keep things of value out in the open, especially in bigger cities. You are less likely to fall “prey” if you appear to be more confident and assertive. If you have a chance, do go off grid too where you’ll be able to connect with people on a much deeper level during your trip!
We met so many other solo travellers here during our stay at this lovely home vineyard in Colchagua Valley, Chile, where wine is plenty for the tasting!
Workawayer Roxy shared,
“I absolutely recommend going to volunteer at Matt’s…He has a very nice house with all modern amenities and wonderful pets…The surrounding community is international and diverse, and a lot of fun.”
If you’re looking for an even more immersive experience in Chile you could also help out on an Organic Farm in Ancud, Chile where you’d get to meet adorable little bunnies and learn about Chilota culture through agrotourism!
It’s often said that in Namibia that there are more animals than people – so this is a perfect self-retreat! Take time off for yourself and be immersed in the culture, nature, and circle of life around you. While Namibia is quite sparsely populated, it’s a very safe and peaceful country in Africa. The only main dangers to look out for are the wild animals! If you do decide to swing over to the rural areas of Namibia, why not give back to the local community too?
For example, you could support Namibian people by working with bush Kindergarten to teach local Namibian kids English! This is an unforgettable experience you’d be able to take back with you. Be of positive influence to the Namibian people and share your culture with those who may have never experienced it before!
Delilah shared with us,
“This was an amazing experience. Thank you Joern for opening up your world to me. The children were amazing. I miss them so much! The work is fun but should be taken seriously. What you teach the kids will directly influence their opportunities one day. Teaching here is a big responsibility. You are completely in control of the class. The camp is amazing; so much nature to explore!”
Another place you heard was dangerous? Guess what? Morocco is safer than most think! Brave the desert and the potential dust and step into a world of dyed cloth, textiles and ceramics. The streets and homes will take you back to a time of whimsical exploration – get lost in the Moroccan patterns and colours that’ll show up wherever you go. The key to being safe is to stay alert and careful, as applied to all the other countries on this list. Use your right to say “no” as many times as needed if you find yourself in any uncomfortable situations, especially when approached by strangers. It’s also important to keep in mind that Islam is the largest faith in Morocco, so be respectful of any cultural differences and always try to dress appropriately.
A Workawayer of the month, Lisa was in Morocco for an entire month and explored a few places. Marrakech, a highly recommended place to visit with it’s camel riding and charming markets, was one of those places where she stayed with a teacher host!
When asked if it was different than she expected in Morocco, she explained,
“Definitely! I thought I might feel limited, as I just cannot wear whatever I want like at home or I cannot move freely because of being a girl, but this turned out to be just wrong. I felt much safer than I expected and I was getting along without any problems, despite the language barrier…”
She also shared with us how she dealt with the occasional loneliness that comes with travelling solo,
“…As you are together with your host(s) and /or fellow Workawayers during a longer time period, it is almost inevitable to establish a friendship or even feel like being part of a new family in the end.”
6. New Zealand
If you wanna start your adventure with a wonderful country that has extremely low crime, and is remarkably “safe” to go solo as a female, try New Zealand! Often known for the kindness of the people, the sheep, and the stunning expanse of land that graces the country, it’s definitely the place to soak up some other-worldly vibes. Wander off on your own in some of the most extraordinary scenery you’ve ever seen. Get lost in wonder travelling through green meadows, crystal lakes and the ice-topped mountains…
If you’re gonna be around such beautiful nature, why not help grow it? Join an initiative to work on a native tree regeneration project with the incredible and private backdrop of Northern New Zealand! You’ll be waking up to incredible views from a private beach. Or you could stay at a farm near Auckland and learn about Macadamia tree planting!
Night market galore! You’ll find endless rows of good food to try – ranging from stinky tofu to rice tube pudding, fried rice, tempura and more. Travelling solo in Taiwan is comfortable and easy. While known for the exciting nightlife and all the bright city lights, Taiwan is full of pleasant surprises for nature lovers as well. For solo female travellers who are looking for a new kind of experience, we recommend the calm windy coastlands or the cooler mountain areas where you can get a good hike!
Spend time in the scenic town of Dulan for example, where you’ll be greeted by a nonprofit growing vegetables, beans and peanuts with natural farming methods. Apart from farming, their hope is to help build up Dulan to be an eco and senior-friendly community. You’d also be able to learn more about distinct cultures in Taiwan as 80% of the residents in Dulan are aboriginals.
Workawayer Ana Maria shared about her time there,
“This was my first experience with Workaway and it was amazing, you will never get bored there, Susan, Beatriz their husbands, family and friends are amazing people, they just made me feel like part of their family. After work you have plenty of time to wander Taitung, Dulan and a lot of interesting places near, great place to relax and read on your free time.”
Very few places in the world are as serene and peaceful to stay in during the winter! ❄ And if you think winters are only for miserable people, that’s probably because you are not doing it right. 😉 There are plenty of magical places to visit and discover in Canada even when in the freezing cold! Their nature parks are filled with picturesque mountains and glistering lakes that will forever change your mind about winter.
While embracing the winter you could work with Sled Husky dogs in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains or go dog sledding. What a great chance to see and tend to huskies, and to have the opportunity to go skiing in the surrounding areas!
We LOVE telling you about places that you usually hear are unsafe. It is not unsafe. Yes, it used to be. But we don’t dwell on the past. Just like Solo-Travel Blogger Sarah who tells us,
“Colombians are the friendliest people I have ever met, and that goes for every Colombian I have met on the road too.”
That’s right, Colombia is a safe place to travel, it has been on a peaceful period since 2016 when the civil-war between the paramilitary group FARC and the government ended. With all the growth happening in Colombia, the city of Mendliín was even named the most innovative city in 2013! However like with the other countries above, be careful by protecting your valuables and avoid walking alone especially at night as there are still robberies that could happen. For the most part though, it’s a safe and fun country to be travelling alone!
In fact, live your best life in an eco-resort outside the city of Medellín. Enjoy the biodiverse nature filled with exotic plants, butterflies, birds and iguanas while helping to produce something sweet in an organic chocolate (cocoa) farm. It’s a great way to stay active while on vacation, work on creative projects that include carpentry and recycling. You’ll have an ocean view during the daytime and stars to gaze at during the night. A perfect balance of beautiful, peaceful and exciting all rolled into one trip!
And no, we are not just talking about Bali! There are many other locations in Indonesia that’d be great for a solo-trip. Think further afield like Wakatobi and Komodo Islands. See sights you never knew existed. Think outside the Bali box, there is so much more to see!
The WIFI in Indonesia is GOOD, and sim cards there are cheap. So you don’t have to worry too much about getting around and should be able to figure out how to get from point A to point B fairly easily.
With so many Workaway opportunities in Indonesia you’re bound to find an experience that fits your journey! Including one where you’ll be able to help out with teaching English and some gardening in Pontianak, Indonesia.
Workawayer Julia mentioned,
“Ismeth allowed me an absolutely incredible experience to truly experience authentic living in Indonesia. He was extremely welcoming and always ensured I was okay and made me feel like I was at home. I stayed for two weeks and had the amazing opportunity to teach English, something I have always dreamed of doing.”
So whether you’re looking for a solo adventure or a restful place, or hoping to meet new people and have some fun – travelling solo could do all of that for you and more! Read more solo female travel advice from us, and give it a go with any of the countries on the list. Don’t forget to let us know how it goes! Bon voyage!