8th Feb 2019
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Top three countries to visit for first time solo travellers
Author: Ben Hocking
Top three countries to visit for first time solo travellers

Claire has never travelled alone but plans to later this year. She's asked us about the safest destinations to visit.

•••

Q. Claire
I'm planning to take a holiday without my husband later this year but I'm not sure where to go. I've never travelled alone and I'd love to go overseas, but my husband is worried about my safety. Are there any destinations you can recommend?

A. Australians travel alone for many different reasons: their partner isn’t keen on travelling, they don’t have anyone to travel with, or they simply choose to be on their own. However, if you haven’t done it before, solo travel can be a daunting experience.

Fortunately, UK travel insurance provider Get Going has produced a solo travellers’ manual that covers all aspects of travel: from safety to language tips and to hearing from those who have been there. It’s perfect for anyone looking to broaden their world view.

Here are the top three countries to visit based on Get Going’s solo traveller index.

1. Japan

Japan is a place where ancient traditions and culture intertwine with modern life. Whether you are looking to visit the atmospheric Kyoto Temples and Gardens or experiencing the neon-lit streetscapes of Tokyo, Japan has it all. Safety is a great concern to many solo travellers, so it’s worth noting that Japan also has the lowest level of crime out of all countries in the index, as well as being in the top 10 of the world’s Global Peace Ranking.

2. Cuba

Rich in both character and history, the Caribbean island boasts eclectic architecture and ranks as one of the top locations for solo travel. Safety is always a high priority, and travellers can rest assured that the island is a great place to visit and has a low level of crime. If that isn’t enough, Cuba also ranked among the best in terms of beer prices!

3. New Zealand

The islands of New Zealand are littered with sublime forests, imposing mountains and stunning beaches ready for any keen explorer. New Zealand has the highest Global Peace Ranking of all of the countries in the Get Going study. When it comes to the local cuisine you’re spoilt for choice, with a host of eateries to choose from.

The rest of the top 10
4. Spain
5. Germany
6. Canada
7. Ghana
8. Australia
9. Indonesia
10. India

Which country did you first visit as a solo traveller? How did you rate the experience? Can you help Claire with a safe, fun destination?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    MJM
    9th Feb 2019
    10:35am
    I travel solo all the time Singapore is very safe so is Hawaii and Bali, Hong king and Vanuatu . I don’t go out much at night having early meals and retiring early to get the most out of the daylight. I will be doing NZ Japan and Italy in the next couple of years. Solo is very liberating and you find out things about yourself like resilience. I feel sad that people say to me “ oh I could never do it” I am a bra ve warrior woman ... go me haha
    MJM
    9th Feb 2019
    10:35am
    I travel solo all the time Singapore is very safe so is Hawaii and Bali, Hong king and Vanuatu . I don’t go out much at night having early meals and retiring early to get the most out of the daylight. I will be doing NZ Japan and Italy in the next couple of years. Solo is very liberating and you find out things about yourself like resilience. I feel sad that people say to me “ oh I could never do it” I am a bra ve warrior woman ... go me haha
    Gazza
    9th Feb 2019
    1:25pm
    Having travelled the world over many years and met wonderful people and had memorable adventures I still think that solo travel is not for the faint hearted. Those who are confident to travel by themselves with only themselves as the party are a consistent target. To travel solo within a tour group is secure and in most cases fun. You make new friends and you generally enjoy the travel because everything is organised for you. This is not for the adventurous solo traveller who needs the room to do their own thing which could be a good thing or a bad thing? The bottom line is you have to be comfortable with your decision and have reliable backup in place.
    Gazza
    9th Feb 2019
    1:25pm
    Having travelled the world over many years and met wonderful people and had memorable adventures I still think that solo travel is not for the faint hearted. Those who are confident to travel by themselves with only themselves as the party are a consistent target. To travel solo within a tour group is secure and in most cases fun. You make new friends and you generally enjoy the travel because everything is organised for you. This is not for the adventurous solo traveller who needs the room to do their own thing which could be a good thing or a bad thing? The bottom line is you have to be comfortable with your decision and have reliable backup in place.
    Gazza
    9th Feb 2019
    1:26pm
    Having travelled the world over many years and met wonderful people and had memorable adventures I still think that solo travel is not for the faint hearted. Those who are confident to travel by themselves with only themselves as the party are a consistent target. To travel solo within a tour group is secure and in most cases fun. You make new friends and you generally enjoy the travel because everything is organised for you. This is not for the adventurous solo traveller who needs the room to do their own thing which could be a good thing or a bad thing? The bottom line is you have to be comfortable with your decision and have reliable backup in place.
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:25pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:27pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    Troubadour
    9th Feb 2019
    2:27pm
    Singapore for sure - but surprised Switzerland and Austria is not on there,
    been there 2 or 3 times and always felt safe and they are beautiful countries - AND great food!
    bandy
    9th Feb 2019
    3:21pm
    Claire its all about doing your home work when you travel alone have been doing it for years, Macedonia small crountry only 2million people cheap to get around Croatia a beautiful crounty Zargreb fantastic & Dubrovnik.My best visit ws to Crete if you like history intend to visit Madeira this may so far have had no major problems & I meet many interresting people do your home work & go for it Im seventy four & loving it cheers
    bandy
    9th Feb 2019
    3:21pm
    Claire its all about doing your home work when you travel alone have been doing it for years, Macedonia small crountry only 2million people cheap to get around Croatia a beautiful crounty Zargreb fantastic & Dubrovnik.My best visit ws to Crete if you like history intend to visit Madeira this may so far have had no major problems & I meet many interresting people do your home work & go for it Im seventy four & loving it cheers
    bandy
    9th Feb 2019
    3:22pm
    Claire its all about doing your home work when you travel alone have been doing it for years, Macedonia small crountry only 2million people cheap to get around Croatia a beautiful crounty Zargreb fantastic & Dubrovnik.My best visit ws to Crete if you like history intend to visit Madeira this may so far have had no major problems & I meet many interresting people do your home work & go for it Im seventy four & loving it cheers
    bandy
    9th Feb 2019
    3:22pm
    Claire its all about doing your home work when you travel alone have been doing it for years, Macedonia small crountry only 2million people cheap to get around Croatia a beautiful crounty Zargreb fantastic & Dubrovnik.My best visit ws to Crete if you like history intend to visit Madeira this may so far have had no major problems & I meet many interresting people do your home work & go for it Im seventy four & loving it cheers
    bandy
    9th Feb 2019
    3:23pm
    Claire its all about doing your home work when you travel alone have been doing it for years, Macedonia small crountry only 2million people cheap to get around Croatia a beautiful crounty Zargreb fantastic & Dubrovnik.My best visit ws to Crete if you like history intend to visit Madeira this may so far have had no major problems & I meet many interresting people do your home work & go for it Im seventy four & loving it cheers
    ItchyFeet
    10th Feb 2019
    9:21am
    I am a 63 year old male & travelled solo for the first time late last year after having lost my wife to cancer a few months earlier.
    I travelled to London, Belgium & Iceland.
    All were spectacular in their own way & I felt
    Safe everywhere I went.
    It was an emotional roller coaster but well worth doing.
    This year I plan to travel solo to Scandinavia.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2019
    3:23pm
    Pick a country that has a language you can speak or where your language is widely spoken. At least that way communication will be less fraught which means you will feel less at risk if something should go awry.
    Don't do anything or go to places you would not at home eg walking alone in a dark unlit street for example. Don't take unnecessary risks like flashing the cash or wearing expensive jewellery. But do get out there. Spend some of your evening planning the next day, where to go, how to get there and don't be shy about asking your hotel or other accommodation for help doing it.
    If going alone still bothers you, why not try a few days away in Australia first? Go to a different city for the weekend as a dry run. You are safe, can get help if you need to and are just a few hours from home at the most.

    Above all, just go, listen to your gut, engage with people and have the time of your life.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2019
    3:24pm
    Pick a country that has a language you can speak or where your language is widely spoken. At least that way communication will be less fraught which means you will feel less at risk if something should go awry.
    Don't do anything or go to places you would not at home eg walking alone in a dark unlit street for example. Don't take unnecessary risks like flashing the cash or wearing expensive jewellery. But do get out there. Spend some of your evening planning the next day, where to go, how to get there and don't be shy about asking your hotel or other accommodation for help doing it.
    If going alone still bothers you, why not try a few days away in Australia first? Go to a different city for the weekend as a dry run. You are safe, can get help if you need to and are just a few hours from home at the most.

    Above all, just go, listen to your gut, engage with people and have the time of your life.


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