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Solo female travel | tales from the road to inspire your next adventure

Solo female travel can be a scary concept for many, taking on the world without the support of a close friend or partner. But solo traveller Janet shows us the many opportunities for unforgettable solo experiences full of adventure and self-discovery!

I’ve been travelling solo around the world for almost 10 years and have already accumulated endless stories of love, compassion, friendship, fear and independence.

Below are some of my favourite solo travel destinations, together with travel tales from the road in places- and hotels – that are ideal for a party of one.

Exit your comfort zone on a solo female adventure in Hamburg, Germany

While Berlin was always my favourite German city, especially if looking for world-class bars and clubs, following a visit to Hamburg this summer my loyalty to Berlin has swayed. As a solo traveller, I found the people of Hamburg some of the friendliest I’ve ever come across – which says a lot coming from an Irish person and I ended up joining newly made friends at a bird-themed EDM festival down at the docks, and left in the early hours of the morning with more new friends than I could count on both hands.

Hotels in Hamburg

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Motel One | perfect for party-loving ladies travelling alone

1/4

That’s the thing about solo travel, it pushes you outside your comfort zone and forces you to make friends wherever you are. While in Hamburg I stayed at Motel One, right near the vibrant Saint Pauli nightlife district. The hotel had a lively bar and beer garden, and is one of the only hotels I’ve stayed at in the world where making friends was as easy as sitting at the bar waiting for the next friendly face to say hello – and invite you to an EDM festival.

Motel One Hamburg am Michel

Hamburg, 1.1 km to Alsterarkaden
8.4 Very good (2815 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Find your female independence travelling solo in Switzerland

One of the best things about solo travel is it finally gives you the independence and freedom you’ve always pined for. Switzerland was probably the last place on my mind when I used to dream of taking a solo trip in Europe, but the reality is that if you can’t find anyone to join you on your dream trip, then you must suck it up and book it anyway.

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Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald | a Swiss haven for ladies travelling solo

1/4

Waking up in a hotel as beautiful as Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald, located in one of the prettiest villages in Switzerland with panoramic views of the lush valley below and the towering peaks the nearby Mount Eiger, is sure to help you find your sense of adventure. Solo or not!

Every morning I woke up here, earlier than I’ve woken on any other holiday, I was itching to run outside and explore. I had to face my fears of hiking solo, and even signed up to a Canyon Swing, a terrifying adrenaline rush I won’t be forgetting for the rest of my life.

Once my weary feet brought me back to Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald each evening, their steamy outdoor hot tub awaited me, and I thanked my lucky stars for having the bravery to book a holiday to Switzerland solo!

Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (1057 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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Learning to budget for one travelling in the Maldives

Girls (and guys!) – you do not have to wait until your honeymoon to travel to one of the most beautiful countries on earth. I travelled there solo for 8 days and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was also one of the first times in my life that I was forced to make strict daily travel budget for myself, for fear of running out of money within 48 hours and being stranded in paradise with not a cent to my name.

Hotels in Maldives

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Bandos Maldives Resort | affordable luxury for ladies that want a special solo trip

This is one of the pros of solo travel, learning to manage your own time and money, as no one is going to come to your rescue. While it took many hours and a lot of research, I finally came across Bandos Maldives, a luxury resort in paradise that would not break the bank.

I was delighted to learn that Bandos Maldives  offered a range of fun day excursions such as trips to local islands, sandbars and nearby luxury resorts as well as sunset dolphin cruises, for far less than I had earlier imagined. Day trips allow you to mix with other guests and make friends, and group trips bring the price down to a number your small budget can cope with.

My solomoon to the Maldives was a resounding success – so much so that I even returned the next year on a girls getaway – keen to show paradise to my fellow female travel buddies.

Bandos Maldives

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (2314 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
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Cherish your inner bookworm on a solo female adventure to Ireland

One of my absolute favourite things about solo travel, is that I don’t have to feel guilty or make excuses to anyone when my plan for the day is to curl up on a sunbed, hammock, or cosy couch, and read a book. No apologies, no stress, no feeling guilty for not sightseeing for 10 hours – simply the ability to make your own decisions about how and where you spend your time.

Hotels in County Kerry

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Parknasilla Resort | solo travel your way to a digital detox

1/4

I’ve always loved reading, but in my daily life, and often when on the road, I rarely find enough time to really get stuck in to a good book. On a recent trip back to Ireland, I checked into Parknasilla Resort in County Kerry, one of my favourite hotels in Ireland – and one that comes with single rooms and no sneaky single supplements!

There’s no better hotel in the country to switch off from the real world and to sign yourself up for a digital detox than at Parknasilla. Curl up in front of an open fire in one of the drawing rooms, take a long dip in their outdoor hot tubs or stroll around the gorgeous boardwalks that zig zag their way across the property, until you find the perfect bench or rock to sit down on and read your book without a worry in the world.

Parknasilla Resort & Spa

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (787 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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Flying solo to improve your language skills in Sri Lanka

While travelling in Sri Lanka, I found that miscommunication and language barriers were one the biggest issues I encountered time and again. Following my third trip to the teardrop of Asia, I made a conscious effort to start learning Sinhalese (official language of Sri Lanka) and within a few days was able to have very basic conversations with people I met and understand how much money I was been asked for by tuk tuk drivers, stall owners etc.

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Cinnamon Bey Beruwala Hotel | solo adventure of a lifetime for solo ladies

1/4

My language skills really paid off when I checked into Cinnamon Bey Beruwala Hotel, and the head chef, who had limited English, offered to take me to the local market to buy the fish of the day for the hotels exclusive Rock Salt restaurant.

Never in my life have I stayed in a hotel where the staff take guests out on little adventures – and I loved every moment of it. My limited Sinhalese was quickly put to use in the market as I conversed with the local fishermen, and followed the chef around searching for the perfect catch.

Hotel Cinnamon Bey Beruwela

8.1 Very good (678 reviews)
Very good Cleanliness 8.3 / 10
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Expand your taste buds on a solo trip to Costa Brava

As a travel writer and aspiring food vlogger, you would think I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. The truth is, I’ve always told myself and others that I’m allergic to certain food types when the reality is that it’s all in my head.

Recently, however, I’ve tried to expand my taste buds even if it meant putting on a brave face, closing my eyes for fear of crying and putting whatever piece of seafood or strange meat lying in front of me into my terrified mouth!

Hotels in Costa Brava

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Santa Marta Hotel | solo female culinary experience by the sea

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There’s no better place to try this for yourself than along the Costa Brava in Spain, a region famed for their seafood dishes and strange looking culinary delights such as pitch black, squid ink paella. Staying in a dreamy place like Hotel Santa Marta, with sweeping ocean views, a private beach and infinity pool and an atmosphere that makes one feel they’re starring in their own Hollywood movie (many have actually been filmed in this region) – will definitely sweeten the deal. They even offer free shuttles into town, so you don’t have to stress about having no one to split an expensive taxi ride with.

Santa Marta Hotel

Top rated
Lloret de Mar, 0.1 km to Cala Santa Cristina
8.6 Excellent (413 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
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Sightseeing and catching sunsets travelling solo in Northern Ireland

Another of the main pros of travelling solo, be at home or abroad, is that you get up, go to sleep and go on adventures on your own time frame. This is something I cherished when exploring Northern Ireland – keen to see both the sunrise and the sunset at the Giant’s Causeway.

Putting off breakfast and eating an early dinner to make this happen was something I never would have been able to do when travelling with others – I’ve tried it and failed in the past.

Hotels in Northern Ireland

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The Bushmills Inn

Staying in a hotel as welcoming as The Bushmills Inn, just a stone’s throw from the Causeway Coast, allowed me to explore on my own time and catch as many sunsets as I saw fit.

It also allowed me to hide out in their secret library (yes it’s through a secret door), treat myself to a whiskey tasting plate and simply enjoy my own company while on a short staycation. As with any small hotel in Ireland, the staff will bend over backwards to help you and you’ll make friends with the barmen in no time!

The Bushmills Inn

Top rated
Bushmills, 0.6 km to Old Bushmills Destillery
8.9 Excellent (448 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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Form new friendships on a female solo trip to Thailand

Travelling solo doesn’t have to mean experiencing things alone. And for anyone, like me, that loves to meet new friends along the way, Thailand is one of the best spots to meet like-minded solo travellers from all over the world.

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Aonang Cliff Beach Resort | sociable hotel experience for girls travelling solo

1/4

While travelling solo in Thailand two years ago I checked into the Aonang Cliff Beach Resort – enticed by their outdoor bathtub perched on bedroom balconies, with panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. Happy out to sit in my bathtub, beer in hand, tanning my legs and getting into a good book – I did wonder if the whole experience would be better if I could share it with someone else, anyone else.

That night at sunset, I hung around the pool bar and was delighted to make friends with some other solo travellers who were staying there. Something that never would have happened if I was with friends or a significant other. We partied the night away at the hotel and even went to some nearby Thai bars, and I can happily and honestly say that those 3 people are still firm friends today. Solo travel (and open plan pool bars!) open your world to new friendships, some that will last a lifetime.

Hotel Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort

Ao Nang, 33 km to Ao Nang Beach
7.7 Good (140 reviews)
Very good Service 8 / 10
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Again, travelling solo had pushed me out of my comfort zone but has always rewarded me tenfold; by learning a new language, making new friends and having adventures and loving every moment of my endless travels. Where will your next stop be?

Author

Janet Newenham is an award-winning travel writer and blogger from Cork, Ireland who has been running the travel site Journalist On The Run for almost 10 years. Currently based in Bali, Indonesia, she’s a firm advocate of solo travel and the digital nomad lifestyle.
Journalist On The Run

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