The Best Summer Trips for Solo Travelers
Here's where to go when you want to go it alone.
Craving some adventure this summer? The notion of a solo trip might be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get past the initial fear of traveling alone, the benefits of vacationing by yourself become evident.
For starters, there’s something incredibly fulfilling and empowering about embarking on an independent getaway. It’s an unparalleled opportunity for personal growth. After all, how will know your limits if you never venture outside of your comfort zone? You get to set all the rules and have full control over the itinerary. Ever dreamt of watching the sun rise from Aventine Hill in Rome or sinking into a long, meditative sit in Bali? This is your chance to go for it.
If you're wondering where to travel to, here are some of the best summer destinations for solo travelers, from Bermuda to Bangkok.
More than just “coffee shops,” Amsterdam has an ever-evolving restaurant scene, world-renowned museums and stylish hotels. (The cozy rooms at The Hoxton, Amsterdam are practically made for solo travelers.) If you want to experience the city like a local, we recommend renting a bike. And, of course, touring the picturesque canals by boat is a must.
Nested in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a dynamic city with a slew of farmers markets, craft breweries, and public parks. Speaking of the great outdoors, you don’t have to look far to find scenic trails for hiking, biking, and running. Add to that epic camping and climbing options. While in Boulder, why not hit up a dispensary? After all, cannabis is legal in Colorado. (Just don't try to leave the state with it.)
Bermuda rivals the Caribbean when it comes to gorgeous beaches, genuine hospitality, and relaxing vibes. It’s also extremely safe. If that’s not enough to ease you into vacation mode, try ordering a Rum Swizzle (or two). Bermuda is also in a great location: Proximity to the East Coast means that most flights are only about two hours.
Berlin is a cultural mecca with loads of eclectic flair. There’s a vibrant art community, quirky cafés, and legendary nightlife. It also offers a mix of historic and modern sites. Visiting the graffiti-covered remnants of the Berlin Wall should be on your “must” list. Wondering where to stay? Snag an Airbnb in the cool Kreuzberg neighborhood or opt for a convenient hotel in Mitte.
Dry season (May to September) is the best time to zen out in this soulful destination. Beyond Instagram-worthy eateries, open-air yoga studios, and laid-back beach bars, Bali delivers a swath of authentic attractions — rice paddies, Hindu temples, nature reserves. Don’t forget to stock up on handmade souvenirs for pals back home at the lively artisan markets.
Norway consistently scores highly on the World Happiness Report. Hangout in Oslo for a few days and you’ll understand why. First off, the people are super friendly. And excellent public transportation makes it easy to get around to the monuments, museums, and galleries. Another feather in its cap for summer solo trippers? The chance to catch a glimpse of the magical Midnight Sun.
Go for the Colosseum, stay for the cacio e pepe. Rome is home to some of the most recognizable landmarks on the planet. You could spend weeks just admiring the heritage-rich highlights. The Trevi Fountain and Roman Forum aren’t all the Eternal City has going for it. If you fancy a fantastic meal and a glass of vino, Rome should be a contender.
Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is winter in Sydney. Vacationers can expect sunny skies, pleasant temps, and off-peak prices. In addition to the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour, the capital of New South Wales boasts a bevy of shops, restaurants, and pristine beaches. Bonus: everyone speaks English—a major perk when you’re trying to navigate a new place alone.
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
For a free-spirited escape with a deep sense of pura vida, look no further than Santa Teresa. Located 93 miles west of San José, this once under-the-radar fishing village is now a hotspot for outdoor recreation and ecotourism. Surfing still tops the list of popular pursuits. You can also partake in oceanfront yoga sessions and snorkeling. Hungry? Load up on fresh seafood at a local joint in town.
The Galápagos Islands — which famously inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution—continue to dazzle upwards of 275,800 visitors each year. Surrounded by endemic wildlife and other tourists, you won’t feel lonely for a moment. Travelers seeking a more structured itinerary can book a cruise (be sure to confirm single cabins are available) or a group tour with scheduled excursions.
Residents take pride in keeping PDX weird. Visiting this hipster haven is like stepping into an episode of “Portlandia.” Microbreweries, coffeehouses, and food trucks abound. There are lots of fun things to do in the summer, from spooky hikes to the Witch's Castle in Forest Park and jazz performances in Lan Su Chinese Garden to the annual World Naked Bike Ride.
Bangkok does get hot in the summer (though bouts of rain provide welcome relief), but you can beat the heat with spicy street food and $2 beer. In between photographing ornate shrines and dancing til dawn at the mega clubs, treat yourself to a well-deserved foot massage. Want to escape the sweltering city? Plan a day trip to one of the beautiful beaches near Bangkok.
São Miguel, Azores
You can thank Delta for making the Azores more accessible. São Miguel, the largest island in the archipelago, is the perfect spot for a companionless adventure. On the agenda? Trek to Vista do Rei and gaze upon the majesty of Lagoa das Sete Cidades. Discover the majesty of Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park. Don’t miss the 18th-century City Gates and St. Sebastian Church in Ponta Delgada.