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Traveling solo used to raise a number of concerns. Cruise Lines would charge more for single occupancies, servers would frown at the phrase “table for one, please”, and some people worried too much about being alone. But as Bob Dylan sings: “the times they are a-changing.”  

Maybe it’s a silver lining to the recent pandemic cloud, but the world of travel is more accommodating to solo travelers than ever. There are discounts, and even apps designed specifically for singles. So, get ready for some marvelous me time and check out the 18 best solo trips to take in 2023.

The 18 Best Solo Trips To Take In 2023

1. Take a self-guided tour of Ireland

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Ireland isn’t only a popular place, but it’s known for its friendly locals. While traditional group tours are always an option, solo travelers certainly should consider one of the numerous “locally hosted rail” options. These are excellent excursions for train buffs.  

These trips include hotels, daily activities, chauffeured drives, and, of course, train rides as well. Travelers are also given free time to venture out on their own too. There’s a special “24/7 emergency number” and professional guides meet visitors at every stop, to offer restaurant recommendations, and local tips. These outings are available all year long and start at $1,787.00.

2. Enjoy a European river cruise

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Image courtesy of Riviera River Cruises and Pinterest

Again, solo travelers often associate cruises with being charged with “single supplements” that can add up to a significant amount of money. However, cruise lines are reportedly reducing or even dropping the infamous added charges. There’s at least one company that focuses specifically on solo travelers, and they offer several different exclusive departures and destinations for singles. At least one cruise line has eliminated the single supplement on its current itineraries, including such destinations as Burgundy, Normandy, Paris, and Portugal. Prices start at $1,699.00. Cruises can be booked for March, August, October, and November.

3. Glamping in Montana, USA

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Image courtesy of yellowstonepark.com

Glamping, or glamorous camping, is quite popular. It’s rustic without roughing it. At least one company offers travelers the chance to sleep in safari-style tents in such iconic US sites as the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and even the North Yellowstone-Paradise Valley.  

The latter offers incredible views of both the Absaroka Mountains and the Yellowstone River. Tents include private bathrooms, elevated decks, king-size beds, and wood-burning stoves. It’s close to Yellowstone National Park as well. It’s a great place for solos to unplug and get away from it all for as little as $349.00 per night from June to September.

4. Explore the culture and nature of Sri Lanka

If you’re single, in your 30s and 40s, and looking for an international high-end vacation, consider exploring Sri Lanka. Enjoy a 12-day trip that’s exceptional for those seeking an adventure in a country they’ve never visited. Experienced staff deal with the itinerary minutiae of any unfamiliar terrain. For as little as $2,875.00, you can go on leopard safaris in popular Yala National Park, train rides through memorable Tea Country, and even temple cycling in the town of Polonnaruwa. Veteran visitors suggest booking your trip through April, from July to August, or October to December.

5. Go rescue turtles in the Mexican Caribbean

If you’re an eco-friendly solo traveler, head to Quintana Roo, Mexico. It’s there you can join in rescuing sea turtles at the Akumal Turtle Camp. Hosted by the Akumal Ecological Center since 1993, volunteers learn about the local species, the turtle monitoring protocols, and specific species identification prior to working in the field: marking turtle nests with GPS coordinates, protecting and tagging nesting females, and minimizing various predators from the individual nesting sites.  

You must commit to at least two weeks. Your cost for two weeks is $180.00 plus accommodations. You may participate between May through October.

6. All aboard the Royal Scotsman

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Image courtesy Belmond and David Noton

If you’re traveling solo and looking for time to reflect or catch up on your reading, this train ride is perfect. (Sure, you can read on the way to work, but this is the more luxurious option.) Specifically, climb aboard the Royal Scotsman as it rolls through the striking Scottish Highlands.  

Trips presently range from three to seven nights. They include guided tours through Glamis Castle and Mount Stuart. The iconic engine includes attractive private cabins, memorable multi-course meals, and a full-service spa too. Tickets start at $7,333.00 and can be booked from April to October.

7. Stay in a Pod Hotel in Japan

Image courtesy of Nine Hours Group

While a solo traveler could book a room in one of Midtown New York’s pod hotels, where single rooms there include one twin bed, a regular flat-screen TV, and free Wi-fi. The simplicity in Japan is a bit more extreme. At Nine Hours, for example, you would pay approximately $30.00 for nine hours. In other words, it’s just enough time to sleep and shower. The best time to visit is either early in the spring or late in the fall since that’s when the weather is most ideal for exploring the surrounding area.

8. Track the Gorillas of Rwanda

Safaris can be quite rewarding. Recenter and recharge in Africa. Here you’ll have just the hotel staff and, of course, the animals to keep you from getting lonely. Places like Kataza House and the Singita Kwitonda Lodge offer gorilla-tracking expeditions that are reportedly ideal for solo adventurers.  

Guides divide participants into groups of eight and lead them into the popular Volcanoes National Park to track gorillas. Permits are presently $1,500.00 per participant. Suites are $2,245.00 per night. Avoid the rainy season and go from June to September or any time in December.

9. Bicycle through the Italian Dolomites

Bicycling trips are great for single travelers. You’re part of a small group and yet you have time to be alone with your thoughts. Many tour businesses focus on cycling trips, but you can probably find one that also specializes in solo travel and offers options in accommodations. This adventure is a five-day, 220-mile ride that features challenging trails and beautiful scenery. For a minimum of $1,799.00, you get a Domane SL 7 bicycle, hotel accommodations, meals, and daily energy snacks and drinks. Take this trip from June through July.  

10. Escape the hustle and bustle in the Arctic

The Arctic offers individuals ample opportunity to soul-search and seek serenity. Take a cruise to the Arctic Circle and Svalbard. The ships are comparatively small and usually only carry 132 passengers, so you have some space but you certainly won’t be too lonely.

There are small group excursions available as well. As a rule, always ask for trips that waive the single supplement fees. Cruises start at roughly $10,490.00. The best time to go is from May through September.

11. Hike the Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos archipelago is located off the quaint coast of Ecuador. It’s also a well-known adventure travel destination. For as little as $7,779.00, you can take a two-week walking tour that covers 45 miles of these exceptional islands.  

Highlights of this adventure include touring the city of Quito nestled on the mainland, boating by colonies of sea lions, snorkeling with manta rays and sea turtles, and hiking up the striking Sierra Negra Volcano. The groups range from six to 16 people. There aren’t any single supplement charges. Go between March and May or in October or November.

12. Get a new look at the Pacific Northwest

Whether it is a major metropolis or a national park, the Pacific Northwest is certainly worth exploring. See it from the unique vantage point of a river cruise. Travel from Portland to Spokane along the Snake and Columbia Rivers.  

Stop in a number of ports in both Washington and Oregon. Enjoy the charming cities and noteworthy landscapes. There are open bars, unlimited tours, and even single-occupancy staterooms. Tickets start at $2,497.00. Book your cruise from March through November.  

13. Cruise Iceland’s Golden Circle

If you’re still concerned about safety while going solo, Iceland is the world’s safest country. Book your flight into Reykjavik, rent a little car, and just hit the road. This is a great place for a good, soul-seeking drive.

As a solo traveler, you can pull over and take pictures of the great glaciers and beautiful waterfalls whenever you wish! You can see all of Iceland if you follow Ring Road. If your time is limited, focus on such highlights as Geysir, Gullfoss, and Thingvellir which are all along the popular Golden Circle route. Gas costs $9.45 per gallon. Go in early May and beat the crowds.

14. Learn some Spanish in Colombia

Travel to Medellín, Colombia, and learn to speak Spanish at the same time! This special immersion course runs for one month. Every day you will meet with a private Spanish tutor, enjoy weekly happy hours with your classmates, and participate in an assortment of extras such as cooking classes and salsa dancing lessons. You can opt to stay in a private apartment of your own or a private room in a shared apartment. Either way, you will have Wi-Fi. The minimum cost is $2,999.00. Your choice of dates includes July 3rd through July 30th, or December 11th through January 4th, 2024.

15. Unwind with a silent retreat in Bali

Image courtesy of Bali Silent Retreat/Facebook

Meditation actually dates back millennia. Nevertheless, in the face of never-ending nonsense on social media, silent reflection is even more important today. Journey to the ancient foothills of revered Mount Batukaru volcano amidst the verdant jungle and rice fields.  

It is here you will discover The Bali Silent Retreat, an exceptional place to disconnect. Here there is no music and no talking. There is only the sound of silence backdropped by the noises of nature.

There’s no internet. Phones aren’t permitted. Stay in a dormitory, a single room, or a private bungalow. Accommodations run from $40.00 to $90.00 nightly. Day Passes are $37.00 and include programs and meals. Visit year-round.

16. Follow the Northern Lights in Finland

One popular solo travel company offers a package called “Finland’s Secret Island” tour. It’s a four-day excursion through Finnish Lapland. It features cold-water plunges, husky rides, and popular Northern Lights safaris on the back of speedy snowmobiles. Some travel bloggers suggest staying at the boutique Hotel Vartiosaari, nestled on a private island in the rushing Kemijoki River. The tour allows no more than 18 people per group. Prices start at $3,195.00 Go between January through the month of April.

17. Visit the elephants in Thailand

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No need for virtual protests, virtue signaling, or sharing one’s wokeness on social media. There are actually several ethical ways to experience elephants up close. Sign up for a two-week Thailand trip through Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai.  

Your visit to the latter includes a fun visit to the well-known Elephant Nature Park. This park is actually an official “rescue and rehabilitation center” where travelers are permitted to visit and feed these gentle giants. Your choice of accommodations here ranges from jungle cottages to twin-share hotel rooms. Prices start at $2,603.00. Visit from February to December.

18. Explore the South Caucasus

Photo from Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

If you’re a woman traveling solo, O.A.T., Overseas Adventure Travel, specializes in tours for small groups of women. They offer a variety of travel adventures in 75 countries across all continents. What scores them points, however, is that they do not charge single supplements.

Veteran visitors recommend reserving your place on the memorable “Georgia & Armenia: Ancient Lands of the Southern Caucasus” tour. This is a 16-day sojourn covering everything from Tbilisi in Georgia to Yerevan in Armenia. You will stop in the Georgian town of Borjomi, the monastery cave city of Vardzia, and see several other monasteries, olden temples, and wineries as well. There are also discussions and lectures concerning such subjects as “the Armenian genocide” and “the role of women in post-Soviet Georgia.” Your cost is approximately $5,495.00 Visit from April to October.

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