With each passing year, more American women (and women in general) are choosing to travel solo. Traveling alone as a woman can be daunting for first timer’s, but also thrilling and memorable.
If you’re not a seasoned traveler and are considering setting off on your own for the first time, you’re probably wondering where to go. Here are five of the safest countries in the world for women traveling alone, whether you’re traveling on foot or by plane.
Australians are strong supporters of the “gap year.” The “gap year” is the year after graduating college that is dedicated to traveling around the world. Other countries have this custom but Australia really takes it to heart. It’s never too hard to run into young Aussies, especially women, traveling abroad.
By the same token, Australians can readily empathize with others who travel to their country. The people down under are very relaxed and laid back. Women are well respected there and usually have few problems. Consider looking into a car hire and doing a road trip on the Great Ocean Road.
The Dutch are very well behaved and quietly classy people. They believe that women should be independent, thus there’s very little harassment that takes place. English is widely spoken in larger urban areas and to some extent in rural areas as well.
The Dutch are quite friendly folk and there’s no better way to interact with the locals than by joining one of their favorite pastimes: bicycle riding. There’s nothing like riding along a dyke path, through tulip gardens, as windmills loom in the distance.
America’s neighbor to the north has far less crime. The exchange rate is about even and most of Canada is pretty affordable. Canada may not be the most exotic location, but its proximity to the United States and shared culture make it a safe, comfortable place to visit. Cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are cosmopolitan and offer a wide variety of culture.
If that doesn’t suit you, try hiking along the breath taking trails of the Canadian Rockies. In years past, Americans have been known to travel abroad with maple leaf and Canadian flag stickers or patches on their personal belongings to avoid trouble. That by itself tells you everything you need to know about Canada.
The Irish made their reputation by being extremely welcoming and very hospitable. Their friendliness, iconic landscapes and heartwarming pubs where the Guinness perpetually flows isn’t the stuff of lore. That said there’s no stigma attached to women drinking in Ireland like in other countries. Combine that with the gregarious nature of the Irish and you’re bound to find a memorable time.
If you’re a bit shy, try doing a bed and breakfast circuit. The Irish relish the opportunity to introduce you to their culture, but also to their people. Staying at a bed and breakfast will allow you to meet locals, as well as other travelers, so you won’t ever be alone, unless you want to.
Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world without a standing army. Do you need another reason to go? Despite many Latin American countries suffering from men who are too forward, Costa Rica refreshingly stands apart. Costa Ricans are calm, cool people that enjoy pura vida, or “the good life.”
Women can shop at the markets there without fear of being scammed or ripped off. Aside from the endearing nature of Costa Ricans, the country boasts some of the best ecotourism in all of the Americas. With a number of different climate zones, you’ll never be bored as the flora and fauna is astounding. The country also offers a dizzying amount of sports, from whitewater rafting, scuba diving, horseback riding, zip lining, surfing and many more.
I can attest to the friendliness of the Irish, including Northern Ireland. Granted, my foreign travel has been limited to Northern Ireland and Spain, but I always suggest Ireland as a first trip for those wary of overseas travel. It’s true, the people are exceptionally friendly to the point that if you ask for directions, they are likely to take you to your destination rather than give verbal directions.
I love places like that… where people are willing to take you across town in order to make sure you arrive at your destination. So nice!
Great article, very useful indeed! I can relate to the Irish friendliness as well and would add the English countryside too. Since I’m coming from the Balkans, I can strongly recommend it for visits, since Balkan people are very hospitable and welcoming foreigners.
Iceland is an excellent place to travel alone! The Icelandic respect women and consider them equal. They have a very low crime rate there. I recently returned from a solo trip there and I’m in love!