Where to Go On Your First Solo Trip [Girls Go Abroad Episode 005]

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This week on the Girls Go abroad Podcast we’re going to be talking all about where to go on your first solo trip, from choosing what country to go to to what you need to consider when you do. I’ll also give you a list of the best first time solo female travel destinations out there! Let’s jump right in!

How to Choose Your First Solo Travel Destination

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Alright, so how do you actually go about choosing your first solo female travel destination? Should you choose the place you’ve always wanted to go? Somewhere close to home? Somewhere totally out of the box? Somewhere on a list of the best solo female travel destinations?

Of course, where you should go on your first solo trip varies from person to person, but there are a few things that I think are important to keep in mind when you’re trying to come up with your first destination.

Of course, you might already know where you want to go if you’ve been thinking about it for a while. But whether you just want to validate that choice or truly have no idea where to go, listen up.

Alright, so what do you need to consider when choosing your destination for your first ever solo trip? Well, first up: where you want to go.

Now, this doesn’t have to be a specific destination, but have a think about the sort of place you’d like to go. Would you prefer a big city or a small town? Somewhere on the beach or in the mountains? Somewhere with a lot of adventure activities or with a lot of museums? Having these specifics in mind is a great way to start narrowing down your choices.

Next up you’re going to want to think about safety. One of the unfortunate facts of traveling on your own is that it is something you’ll need to pay attention to.

If you already have a destination in mind, then doing a quick check of travel warnings for it is a good place to start. You’ll also want to do a bit of research into female-specific safety in the destination. How are women treated in general? Are you likely to be catcalled? What level of modesty are women expected to show? That sort of stuff.

If you don’t have a destination in mind, then a quick Google search of the safest destinations for solo female travelers can be a good place to start getting some ideas, especially if safety is a major concern for you.

Finally, you’ll want to take budget into consideration when you’re choosing your destination. Do you have savings you’re ready to splurge, or are you going to be traveling on a budget? This can make a big difference in the sort of place you’ll go.

For example, if you want to travel on a budget, then somewhere like Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia can be a good place to start, as the dollar is much stronger in comparison to the currencies there–an unfortunate leftover of colonialism, communism, you name it, but a truth that you certainly shouldn’t ignore.

If money is no object, then somewhere more expensive-like Iceland–is a great place to choose for your first solo trip.

Great First Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

Alright, so now that we’ve gone over what you want to be looking for in first time solo female travel destinations in general, I want to go ahead and give you a few suggestions for spots I personally think make for great first time destinations. 


waterfalls in front of Kirkjufell in Iceland

First up? Iceland. Now, while this wasn’t my first solo female travel destination, it’s a pretty popular one, and for good reason. Not only is it a major bucket-list destination for a lot of people, but it’s also easy to reach from both North America and Europe, and it’s ridiculously safe.

Gender equality is a pretty big thing in Iceland, and crime rates are almost laughably low, so safety isn’t something that you’ll have to worry about as a solo female traveler. In addition to this, the tourist infrastructure is built up really well, so traveling around is easy.

Of course, Iceland isn’t exactly the least expensive destination in the world, but it can still be done on somewhat of a budget.

Here are a few of my blog posts from my budget trip to Iceland:


temple towers in bali

Another really great first-time solo female travel destination is Bali. Again, this is a major bucket-list destination for a lot of people, is relatively safe, and, unlike Iceland, is actually really budget-friendly.

Bali is a great place to go if you’re not super into hostels but want to save money on accommodation as well, as you can stay in some really nice guesthouses with private rooms for less than $20/night.

And of course, if you’re looking for that spiritual healing experience in your solo travels, then Bali is definitely the place to go.

Posts about Bali:


addie standing in front of the rolling hills of the quiraing on the isle of skye

Another great first-time solo female travel destination–and my adopted country–is Scotland! Not only is it a safe country with plenty of amazing things to do, but they also speak English (although you may have trouble understanding some of it), which can definitely help if you’re worried about navigating on your own or just generally communicating. 

Scotland is a really beautiful country, and is the perfect place to go if you love history and castles or really great hiking. Be sure to visit Edinburgh and take a day trip (or longer) to my adopted town of St Andrews, and of course don’t forget to get up to the highlands as well!

Posts about Scotland:


the swiss flag at the end of a boat in lucerne, switzerland, one of the best first time solo female travel destinations

Now, my first solo trip was actually to Switzerland, and while I’ve talked about how it was a bit of a disaster on this podcast before, I do still think it was a great spot for my first solo trip, and a great first time solo female travel destination in general.

Why? Well, Switzerland is an incredibly safe country and it is super easy to travel around. While the hostel social scene isn’t necessarily the most hopping, it’s a really beautiful country and absolutely worth your consideration.

Posts about Switzerland:

Copenhagen, Denmark

colorful houses along Nyhavn in Copenhagen, one of the best first time solo female travel destinations

Finally, if you’re looking for a great city break for your first solo female travel experience, then I definitely recommend Copenhagen. While I haven’t actually been there solo, I’ve been there twice–once with my boyfriend and once with a friend–and both times I was struck by just how clean and safe the city felt. It’s definitely a great option for first-time solo female travelers–and it’s so cute!

Posts about Copenhagen:

Other First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

Now, as far as places that I haven’t been but that are supposed to be great for first-time solo female travelers, I don’t want to get too in-depth, because obviously I haven’t been there for myself. BUT, I’ve continuously heard really great things about Australia and New Zealand as first-time solo female travel destinations, for a lot of the same reasons that Scotland is. They’re safe, people speak English, and they’re absolutely beautiful.

Another popular first time solo female travel destination is Thailand. This is probably because Thailand is generally the first place people go on backpacking trips through southeast Asia, so you’ll find that there’s really great backpacker infrastructure here and a lot of other solo travelers.

Alright, that’s it for this episode about choosing where to go on your first ever solo trip! Choose wisely and have so so much fun!


Booking Flights: The first place I turn when I’m searching for flights is actually just Google Flights - it’s great to figure out what sort of routes are available. Then, I check Skyscanner and Kiwi for deals. I also love Kiwi for its destination: anywhere feature!

Transportation: I love Omio for figuring out the cheapest way to get from one place to another, and Trainline for booking train tickets within Europe.

Accommodations: I absolutely love Booking.com for finding great hotel deals. After you stay a certain number of nights, you get Genius discounts! For hostels, Hostelworld is my go-to, and I use Airbnb occasionally as well (click here for $40 off your first booking!)

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Tours: I always check Urban Adventures for great day tours of cities first–I’m obsessed with them! GetYourGuide and Viator are also great options. For multi-day tours, I highly recommend Intrepid.

Camera Gear: I use a Sony Alpha A6300 camera with an 18-105 mm lens and a 35 mm lens. My tripod is the MeFoto Backpacker Air and I loooooove it! I also use a DJI Mavic Air and a GoPro and which allow me to capture everything my regular camera can’t.

Addie Gray is a recent college grad and a passionate solo female traveler. Having traveled to more than 20 countries, she now shares her knowledge on budget travel, solo female travel, and travel photography.

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