Solo travellers, whether by necessity or by choice, want destinations which are safe but also destinations which provide the perfect backdrop for the type of reflection solo travel encourages. Here is my list of the top destinations for solo travellers:
1 - New Zealand
'100% Pure New Zealand', as the tourism campaign boasts, is a great reflection of this natural and un-tainted country. The awe-inspiring landscape itself provides plenty opportunity for careful contemplation, whether you are hiking one of the many routes, admiring the 'sounds' of the South Island, or sitting in a private hot spring pool overlooking the magnificent Lake Taupo. New Zealand is a great place to meet like-minded solo travellers from around the world with its many hostels and adventure activities. If you need a bit of encouragement, why not join a G Adventures or Contiki tour of this beautiful country.
2 - Iceland
Iceland is relatively new to the mainstream travel scene with tour companies only now putting on tours in response to high demand. According to the Global Peace Index, Iceland has been deemed the Safest Country in the World not once, not twice, but five times in a row! Iceland is safe for many reasons including its lack of an armed force, almost non-existent violent crime and the fact its police officers don't carry guns on them. Iceland is also known for its gender and sexuality equal rights (in part due to its female president of 16 years, Vigdís Finnbogadottir) making this a safe destination for any traveller. Apart from the safety aspect, the almost other-worldly scenery of this beautiful country is something to be inspired by.
3 - Vietnam
Vietnam is one of the safest destinations in South East Asia with the Vietnamese people being both a friendly and welcoming population. This country also provides many beautiful regions for quiet reflection including the still waters of Halong Bay or the hills of Sapa. The only unsafe thing I can think of in Vietnam is learning to dodge the motorcycles when you cross the road.
4 - Canada
Apart from the absolutely spectacular scenery in Canada, it is often ranked in the top ten list of safest countries in the world. You can even feel safe wandering the streets at night in one of the world's friendliest countries. Why do you think there are so many jokes about Canadian's saying 'sorry'? The warmth and genuine positivity of the Canadian peoples is something to be admired. Just your presence in this amazing country will inspire you to go out a commit random acts of kindness. Did I mention the natural scenery in Canada? From the top of Whistler Mountain to the Northern Lights of the Yukon, from the aquamarine of Lake Louise to the large expanses of Stanley Park in Vancouver. There are now over 40 national parks in Canada and you can see why!
5 - Denmark
Denmark, the second safest country in the world, is a fantastic destination for the solo traveller. For an authentic Danish experience, why not register for Meet The Danes, a unique service that pairs travellers with locals to share a home-made meal, exchange culture and ways of life and maybe even make friends for life. Another great thing about Denmark is that most of the museums run by the government have free entry!
6 - Fiji
Fiji is often referred to as 'The Happiest Place on Earth' and by any measures the most relaxed. As a famed destination for families, Fiji is also great for solo travellers as it is safe and also provides many a remote beach for quiet reflection. When I say Fiji you may think big, luxury resorts but in fact, Fiji has quite a few backpacker accommodation options. They even have guesthouse and homestay type accommodation if you really want to get to know the friendly locals.
As a solo traveller, what are your favourite destinations?