As a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, there is a good chance that travelling is in your blood. This might mean that you are living and teaching in Bangkok and travel on your weekends and holidays, or that you are a digital nomad, so you live in Spain but travel whenever and wherever you want.
This is all well and good if you live with a partner who is happy to travel with you or always have a friend handy to vacay with, but some of us want to travel solo. Maybe you prefer the solitude and independence of travelling alone or maybe it’s because you don’t want the lack of a travel partner to jeopardise your plans.
We’re big fans of solo travel but we understand why you might be a bit nervous about doing it. So we thought we’d round up some of our fave holiday destinations for solo TEFL teachers for those of you who want to give it a go.
Read more: Solo Travel and Self Love
Why travel solo?
Go on holiday alone? Why on earth would I do that?
We hear you. The thought of travelling alone can be daunting. The simple fact that you are the only one who is going to make decisions about EVERYTHING can seem like more of a curse than a blessing. You decide where to go, book the tickets, find the accommodation. So if anything goes wrong, it’s on you. And then, when you’re on holiday, how are you going to entertain yourself if you have no friends?
But there are tons of benefits of travelling solo. Travelling solo is the ultimate adventure in responsibility. You have nobody to rely on, so you prove yourself an independent traveller (and person). The freedom is exhilarating. You can go wherever you want, eat whatever you want, do whatever you want. If that means eating McDonald’s when you’re craving it or watching a movie rather than visiting a museum or reading a book on the beach instead of hiking a mountain, then you do you. And no one will say anything.
Besides, if you are lonely, chances are you will meet friendly fellow travellers who would be happy to keep you company.
Read more: 3 Reasons You Should Plan a Solo Vacation
However, we must admit there are a few downfalls when it comes to travelling solo. Who will watch your belongings on the beach while you take a quick dip? How do you know you can trust the guy you just met? How safe will you feel walking around alone with a fancy camera around your neck? So it makes sense to do your due diligence and choose holiday destinations that are specifically suited to solo travellers.
Here are our faves:
Beautiful Costa Rica is known for solo travel. With a gorgeous coastline and a very eco-friendly attitude, Costa Rica is a magnet for surfers, yogis and other travellers looking for some peace and quiet, some sun and sand, and some alone time. The backpackers in the major tourist beach towns are experienced when it comes to solo travellers and so they are geared to help you as much as you need. Plus it is highly likely you will meet someone who will be happy to hang out at the beach with you for the day if that’s what you want.
Our pick in Costa Rica: Playa Conchal
Controversial, we know. But Canada is considered one of the safest countries in the world, which makes it a great option for solo travellers. Being such a vast country, it offers a wide range of experiences – from mountains, beaches and tundra to cosmopolitan cities. Canada is an especially good choice for adventure-lovers, with loads of activities to keep you busy.
Our top pick for Canada: Vancouver
Yes, the original backpacker destination is a very warm and welcoming country for solo travellers. The locals are super friendly, the local transportation is easy, and the streets are safe. Female travellers shouldn’t have any worries walking the streets at night or jumping in a taxi by themselves. And there is so much to do! It’s the perfect holiday destination. They are especially known for hosting skills courses such as cooking courses or walking tours which are a great way for solo travellers to meet people, if they want, or at least hang out with fellow travellers for a few hours.
Our top pick for Thailand: Koh Chang
Sun, surf and sea. If that’s what you’re craving then head on over to Portugal. There are a variety of different beaches to choose from, and when you’re tired of the sand you can head for a coffee or a drink in the towns. The many bars and restaurants dotted around Portugal’s tourist areas (did we mention the rooftop bars?!) means that there are always people around, which always makes you feel safer.
Our top pick for Portugal: Lisbon
Japan is easily one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world. Plus, with such a world-class transportation system it’s super easy to travel around whichever city you’re in, or even between cities. Eating alone is very normal in Japan so you will totally go unnoticed and with capsule hotels, you won’t have to worry about sharing a room with a bunch of strangers in a hostel, because you’ll have your own space at the same hostel prices.
Our top pick for Japan: Kyoto
Clean and friendly are the two words used the most to describe Singapore. A city-state, Singapore is so small you’re never far from where you want to go or need to be. Amazing shopping, fascinating culture and mouth-watering food, there’s a lot to do here. And you won’t feel out of place as a solo traveller, we promise.
Our top pick for Singapore: uh…Singapore?
Another very safe option, Iceland is a small country with a lot to offer. It was ranked as the safest country in the world for several years running and with such a small population, the country can seem more like a neighbourhood. The majority of the population speak English so it’s very easy to get by, though it is quite expensive. But when you consider the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for seeing the Northern Lights, that extra cost is well worth it.
Our top pick for Iceland: Reykjavik
An interesting choice, we know, but it’s definitely on our list. Germany offers a wide range of opportunities for solo travellers, regardless of your interests. The smaller cities especially are totally safe and very inclusive. The food is interesting, the history intriguing and the landscapes beautiful.
Our top pick for Germany: Berlin
As you can see there are a number of destinations we would recommend for solo travellers. Places which are beautiful tourist destinations in their own right, but with the added benefit of being appropriate for those of us who want to travel alone. There are, of course, plenty of other options too. Can you think of any more?
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