Travelling alone is, arguably, one of the best ways to travel. True, gone is the 'safety net' of friends and family, but along with the safety net vanishing, so is the desire to make sure that everyone has a good time. Solo travelling is all about you - your personal preferences, your ideal meal, and your exciting excursion - so why not make the best of it? If you're wanting to have an adventure all by yourself, take a look at these five places that are just destined to be explored individually
OK, so this one is less of a place, and more of an abstract idea, but honestly, the perfect places to travel alone are in big, famous cities. Throughout the world there are cities perfect for solo travelling - Sydney, Madrid, Berlin, San Francisco - and they're all ideal for shorter breaks, so why not start with something not too daunting (as solo travelling can be) with a city break holiday? Take New York for example. Everyone has their own ideas of how they want to see New York, from historical tours, foodie experiences, and just weekends upon weekends of shopping trips, so why not discover it for yourself? The subway system is fairly easy to navigate (once you've got the hang of buying tickets), and can take you all over Manhattan Island. Paris is another place you might like to go, living 'la vie en rose' in a gorgeous little boutique café, and not having to worry overly about getting split up from your group at all the tourist hotspots. The shopping isn't too bad either, but what can you expect from a fashion capital?
It's a tiny island, and crammed full of personality and things to do. It's one of the safest countries in the world to travel there, as the fact that it's not got many people in it means that the crime rate is pretty low. This is a place you'd go, in fact, if you want to get away from everyone, so it's just ideal to go to on your own. Natural beauty is rife here, so be prepared for places you'll not want to leave. Reykjavik, the capital, is a utopia of modern architecture, and the entirety of Iceland is available to you using well supplied and easy-to-use bus routes. Even without a car, popular tourist destinations, like the Blue Lagoon and Lake Myvatn, are easily within reach.
It's not just for random gap year kids any more. Vietnam has already thrown itself into the solo travel market with large cities, beautiful countryside, and wonderful traditions, and it could actually be thanks to the gap year market that it's become so great for solo travellers. The locals are friendly and always willing to help someone who's a bit unsure as to where they should be, and the cities are easily navigable by cyclos and motor-taxis. Public transport between the cities is fantastic too, with the 'Reunification Express' running the length of the country to safely deposit travellers between Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City, and there is always the chance to venture out into the countryside of Vietnam and along the less trod paths, to experience the real life and lovely traditions of this beautiful country.
Another country chock full of natural wonders, New Zealand is perfect for an adrenaline junkie, or someone that just fancies seeing some pretty awe-inspiring sights. Another incredibly safe country, New Zealand benefits from a fantastic public transport, and, thanks to its status as a tourist hotspot, there are a range of tour busses that zip you up and down the country to spy some of New Zealand's most treasured locations. Perhaps have a trip to the Waitomo Glowworm caves, where, if you look up at the ceiling, you'd be forgiven if you thought you were staring at the night sky. Alternatively, head to Rotorua, which showcases some of the incredible Maori traditions that are proudly displayed all over the country.
Of course, if you're not a fan of venturing completely away, just explore the world on your doorstep! With four countries and a plethora of tiny islands in one handy, easy to reach location, there is no better place to travel than our own Great Britain. For a spot of skiing, the Highlands of Scotland is the place to be, with the Cairngorms, a long established ski destination that is frankly an unsung hero of the skiing world. For a bit of that Mediterranean feel, the Isles of Scilly (and a few of the other Channel Islands) is the perfect place to go, and Ireland and Wales provide all of the history and tradition anyone could need. Of course, for those of a more cosmopolitan bent, any of the cities around the UK are just waiting to be explored. Not just London, but Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast offer all of the fabulous city life you could need!