Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Island Bliss in Bali
Looking to hit the reset button and immerse yourself in island life? Then set your sights on beautiful Bali. This island paradise in Indonesia boasts pristine beaches, lush rainforests, terraced rice paddies, and a fascinating culture. It's the perfect place to decompress and indulge your senses.
One of the best parts of solo traveling in Bali is the opportunity to create your own schedule. You can spend languid days lounging on the beach, catching up on reading, swimming in the warm ocean waters, and watching the sunset. Or you can opt for action and adventure by trying surfing lessons, hiking to waterfalls and temple sites tucked away in the jungle, or chatting with locals at the traditional morning market.
Where you stay also enhances that solo travel experience. Consider a peaceful villa nestled along the cliffs of Uluwatu, with sweeping ocean views and your own private pool. Or head to trendy Canggu or Seminyak, where you can walk to cute cafes, boutiques, yoga studios, and nightlife. Splurge on a room with a view and your own plunge pool.
Don't miss out on experiencing Balinese culture. Visit ornate Hindu temples like Tanah Lot and Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Marvel at ornate carvings, statues, and traditional architecture. Attend a Legong dance performance featuring elaborately costumed dancers or take a Balinese cooking class to learn how to make satay, gado gado, and sambal.
One of the best parts of solo travel in Bali is meeting other friendly travelers. Strike up conversations at your hotel pool or over breakfast. Join group tours, cooking classes, or surf lessons. Head to beach clubs in Seminyak and Canggu to enjoy sunset cocktails. Before you know it, you'll have new friends from around the globe.
Solo travel can be rejuvenating, but it's still nice to share those special moments with others. Post pics of your adventures to social media so friends and family can go along for the virtual ride. Video chat with loved ones back home from your tropical paradise. Send postcards to let them know you're thinking of them.
Traveling alone allows you to be fully present instead of trying to compromise on activities that appeal to everyone in a group. You can hike as much or as little as you want, eat whenever and wherever you're hungry, turn in early or stay up late. Escape the routine of everyday life and do exactly as you please on your own Bali timeline.
What else is in this post?
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Island Bliss in Bali
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Hit the Open Road Down Under
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Vineyard Retreats in Tuscany
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Volunteer with Wildlife in Costa Rica
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Backpack Through Southeast Asia
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Take a Cooking Class in Provence
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Pamper Yourself in Iceland
- Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Follow the Footsteps of Hemingway in Key West
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Hit the Open Road Down Under
With its vast open roads, stunning natural landscapes, and that famous Aussie spirit of adventure, Australia is practically begging you to grab life by the steering wheel and hit the open road on a solo driving holiday Down Under.
While group tours and public transportation can be great for solo travelers, there's nothing quite like the freedom of having your own set of wheels. As travelers like Tori of Be My Travel Muse found, driving yourself allows you to "stop whenever and wherever I wanted, change plans on a whim, and really [get] off the beaten path."
Renting a camper van is one of the best ways to have flexibility and comfort on an Australian road trip. After flying into a major city like Sydney or Melbourne, you can pick up your camper and be on the road in no time. Sites like Camplify offer everything from basic campervans to more luxurious motorhomes complete with kitchens, bathrooms and comfy beds.
With your home on wheels, you'll have the freedom to create your own route along the Great Ocean Road, cruise up the Eastern coast to the tropical northern beaches, or traverse the massive expanse of the Outback on your own schedule. Anna of World Pursuit said her camper van allowed her to wake up to a new view every day after free camping under the stars in some of Australia's many national parks and forests.
While the open road promises boundless freedom, road tripping Australia solo does come with unique challenges. Remote Outback driving requires careful planning for fuel, food and water resources. A campervan breakdown in the Outback could leave you stranded for hours, so be sure your vehicle is well-maintained. Driving on the left side of the road takes some adjustment if you're from North America. And long drives require focus and endurance.
Despite the challenges, a solo road trip Down Under promises rare glimpses of Australia's diverse landscapes and unique wildlife. You might find yourself sharing campsites with kangaroos, swimming under waterfalls, star gazing in the Outback, or facing down giant waves crashing along the Great Ocean Road. Road tripping allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty, freedom and adventure that Australia is famous for.
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Vineyard Retreats in Tuscany
Looking to trade busy city life for lazy days spent wine tasting, vineyard hopping, and indulging in rustic Italian cuisine? Then you need a vineyard retreat in the heart of Tuscan wine country.
Beyond just offering a chance to sip world-class Italian wines like Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino, an extended stay at a Tuscan vineyard lets you dive deep into the winemaking process and culture. Rather than brief drives through the region, you’ll settle in and savor the slower pace of life, building your days around countryside walks, lounging by the pool with a good book, and leisurely harvest-to-table dining.
Wine lovers looking for next-level immersion recommend starting their Tuscan wine retreats in September or October. These shoulder season months offer pleasant weather, smaller crowds, and the excitement of grape harvests. Watching vineyard workers handpick and sort ripe grapes destined for your next great bottle of Chianti is unforgettable. September also hosts wine festivals like the Chianti Classico Wine Festival where you can taste and celebrate the new vintage releases.
Opting for an extended stay rental unit at a winery vs. just passing through on a day tour lets you build rapport with the winemakers and hospitality staff. Make yourself at home among the vines. Let the winemaker know what wines you’re partial to and they may invite you to help punch down fermenting grapes or taste a special vintage straight from the barrel.
Wine enthusiast Zach Everson recounted one story of stumbling into an impromptu cellar tasting with a winemaker at Tenuta San Vincenti in Montalcino after becoming a recognizable face from his week long stay on the vineyard grounds. The generous pours of rare Brunello vintages delighted his palate, while impromptu moments like these made Zach fall in love with the graciousness of Tuscan wine country hospitality.
For the full immersive experience, look for vineyard accommodations right on wine grounds and ideally with easy access to multiple prominent estates. Relais & Chateaux winery hotels like Castello Del Nero offer regal suites and plush amenities situated within their own vineyards. Historic wine estates like Villa Mangiacane outside Florence or Villa Collechia in Montepulciano bring old world Italian charm, letting you feel like a welcome member of the winemaking family.
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Volunteer with Wildlife in Costa Rica
Looking to make a difference while traveling solo? Consider volunteering with wildlife conservation efforts in Costa Rica. With its incredible biodiversity, Costa Rica offers many impactful opportunities to get up close with native animals while giving back.
Sea turtle conservation is one hands-on way to support endangered species in Costa Rica. Throughout the summer nesting season, organizations like the Sea Turtle Conservancy run volunteer programs where you can walk beaches at dawn and dusk to spot mother turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. After collecting the eggs and moving them to protected hatcheries, volunteers later assist baby turtles on their treacherous scramble from nest to sea.
Volunteer Jamie Hooban said of her experience at Sea Turtle Conservancy's program in Tortuguero National Park, "I will never forget the pride I felt watching those tiny turtles I had protected for weeks finally make their way successfully to the ocean." Beyond just helping endangered turtles, Jamie also appreciated bonding with like-minded solo volunteers from around the world during late night beach patrols.
For animal lovers, volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers in Costa Rica like Kids Saving the Rainforest or Green Acres Rescue provides hands-on care while rescuing injured, orphaned, or endangered indigenous animals. Volunteers help prepare meals, feed animals, maintain enclosures, and provide enrichment through walks and playtime. Caring for mistreated or abandoned sloths, monkeys, birds and other native species is profoundly rewarding.
Solo volunteer Rachel McAdams recounted the joys of supporting the important rescue work at Toucan Rescue Ranch saying, “I loved having the chance to bond one-on-one with animals like feeding milk to an orphaned baby monkey or reading books to soothe anxious parrots.” Beyond just helping individual animals, Rachel valued learning about threats like poaching and deforestation that impact wildlife long-term.
Immerse yourself alongside scientists conducting important field research at research stations like La Suerte Biological Field Station and La Selva Biological Station. After training, volunteers assist real-world research tracking big cats with camera traps, monitoring frog populations, or cataloging plant and animal species. Hands-on scientific work engages your mind while contributing to meaningful conservation outcomes.
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Backpack Through Southeast Asia
Looking to meet friendly locals, discover hidden temples, feast on cheap and delicious food, and make friends with fellow backpackers from around the world? Then it's time to throw a pack on your back and dive into backpacking adventures across Southeast Asia.
While Southeast Asia offers much for travelers to love, solo backpackers can especially appreciate the region's amoebic ability to morph and bend to their interests. Feel like sleeping in? Laze beachside in Thailand before catching the afternoon's final rays. Want to scale a mountain? Tackle Indonesia's volcanic peaks. Feel like dancing until dawn? Join the all-night clubbing scene in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi. Backpacking solo without a set schedule leaves you free to follow your bliss.
Solo backpacker Like a Local recommends Vietnam as the perfect entry point for first-time Southeast Asia backpackers thanks to the country's diversity, affordability, and traveler camaraderie. She recounts bonding with fellow hostel mates while tubing down rivers, practicing tai chi on Hoàn Kiếm Lake, or indulging in Vietnam’s delectable $1 noodle bowls. While traveling solo, you’re rarely alone for long in Vietnam.
Thailand remains backpacker catnip thanks to its natural wonders, cascading waterfalls, karst peaks, and powdery white sand beaches. But also thanks to the country’s anything goes vibe and robust tourism infrastructure. Solo traveler Everything Everywhere appreciates Thailand’s extensive network of long haul buses, trains, and domestic flights that make impromptu side trips a breeze. He recommends combining big city energy in Bangkok and beach escapes to spots like Krabi and Koh Samui.
While in Thailand, don’t miss epic bucket list moments like diving in the crystalline waters of Ko Tao, exploring the sticky waterfalls and emerald pools of Pai, or releasing paper lanterns into the night sky during Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai. Thailand tantalizes all your senses.
For those craving culture and adventure, Indonesia calls. The sprawling archipelago nation contains over 17,000 islands offering tremendous regional diversity. Bali entices with its golden sand beaches, terraced rice fields, and Hindu temples. Solo trekker Ordinary Traveler recommends diving Indonesia's "Emerald of the Equator" island of Sumatra, where you can chill in scenic lakeside towns, visit orangutan rehabilitation centers, and summit simmering volcanoes.
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Take a Cooking Class in Provence
Looking to master classic Provençal cuisine? Then head to the sunny south of France and immerse yourself in a cooking class. From fragrant herbs de Provence to slow simmered ratatouille, Provence's fresh ingredients and rustic cooking styles will awaken your culinary creativity.
Provence evokes endless fields of purple lavender, charming hilltop villages, vibrant outdoor markets, and long lazy Rosé-soaked lunches under olive trees. Learning to cook authentic Provençal food provides a tasty conduit to fully experience the region's vibrant sights, sounds, and flavors.
As Lonely Planet notes, "There's no better way to appreciate the herbs, vegetables, fruit, seafood, olive oil and wine of Provence than to experience them first-hand at one of the region's excellent cookery schools."
Cooking classes like the Provençal Kitchen promise personalized instruction in intimate groups no larger than 16. You'll gain hands-on experience creating dishes like pissaladière (Provençal onion tart), soupe au pistou (vegetable soup with basil), and salmon en papillote baked with white wine and citrus. Classes emphasize fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced directly from nearby farms and markets.
AtFOL Cook’s Atelier, classes are limited to just 6 participants and are hosted by Chef Paule Foll herself in an 18th-century boutique hotel's intimate kitchen. Here you'll craft elegant Michelin-worthy dishes like roasted cod with artichokes, lavender honey, and truffle oil. Paule's personable teaching style makes mastery seem easy.
For a more active experience, Trekking and Cooking in the Luberon combines scenic vineyard hikes through the countryside with farm-to-table cooking workshops emphasizing organic produce. Owner Sarah Hymanson tailors classes to student abilities and preferences. A market tour and picnic lunch under 300-year-old oaks bookend classes.
To dive deeper into the origins of Provençal cuisine, book a class at Mas Tourteron near Nice. Their new Edible Campus experience includes harvesting fruits, vegetables and herbs from their lush gardens followed by preparing and sharing a meal under olive trees. You'll gain a profound appreciation for Provence's abundant bounty.
Jumpstarting your Provençal cooking journey doesn't require extensive classes though. Stop at small shops like La Caravelle d'Or for quick tutorials on selecting ripe produce and translating recipes. Many vineyards and chateaux also offer abbreviated classes that still provide a tasty taste of Provence.
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Pamper Yourself in Iceland
After long days spent chasing waterfalls and marveling at the Northern Lights, treat yourself to a soothing soak in one of Iceland’s legendary hot springs and geothermal pools. Sites like the Blue Lagoon and the Secret Lagoon offer steamy, mineral-rich waters surrounded by lava fields that will wash your worries away.
Solo traveler Megan Indoe of Bobo and Chichi said her visit to the Blue Lagoon was an ethereal experience: “I coated myself in silica mud masks and floated around the huge warm lagoon feeling like I was bathing in a giant bowl of milk under a grey blanket of brooding skies.” The relaxing waters left Megan feeling refreshed in body and mind.
Beyond geothermal baths, Iceland offers unique glacier excursions perfect for the solo bucket list chaser. Straddle the icy blue crevasses of Sólheimajökull glacier on a guided hiking tour, or hike the striking blue ice caves of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Solo trekker Gaby of GabyAbroad said hiking the ice caves was “one of the most magnificent natural wonders I have ever seen” thanks to the dazzling shades of blue that enveloped her.
After full days spent adventuring in the elements, melt into the cozy embrace of Iceland’s world class spas. At the Retreat Spa at the Blue Lagoon, indulge in treatments like massages, algae facials, and holistic healing rituals designed to rejuvenate body and mind. Or check into The Spa at Silica Hotel, where their 7 treatment rooms and thermal pools offer full relaxation immersion.
Solo traveler Lora Pope of Explore with Lora recommends treating yourself to luxury while visiting Iceland’s Golden Circle route. At hotels like ION Adventure Hotel near Thingvallavatn Lake or the Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon, “you’ll have access to hotel spas and geothermal pools in luxurious settings. Treat yourself after a long day of sightseeing for the ultimate relaxation.”
Reward solo treks chasing Iceland’s stunning natural landscapes with delectable local cuisine and craft cocktails back in Reykjavik. At Dill Restaurant, Chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason plates the freshest Icelandic ingredients in innovative Michelin-starred preparations. Or belly up to Reykjavik’s top craft cocktail bars like Spánski, Apótek, and Slippbarinn for delicious drinks made from native Icelandic ingredients like birch cream liqueur, rhubarb aquavit, and wild blueberry gin.
Me, Myself and I: The 10 Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024 - Follow the Footsteps of Hemingway in Key West
Looking to immerse yourself in the tropical island life that enchanted Ernest Hemingway? Then it’s time to follow Papa’s footsteps down to Key West. This slice of paradise off southern Florida served as Hemingway’s home for over a decade, and many landmarks remain that capture his adventurous spirit.
As an solo traveler, you’ll appreciate that Key West moves to the beat of its own drum. The locals embrace eccentricity and living life fully. Like Hemingway himself, it’s a place that celebrates original characters. Solo traveler Megan Starr of Bobo & Chichi said Key West “oozes quirkiness, art, and free-spiritedness.”
To begin your Hemingway pilgrimage, first visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum on the island. Here you can take a guided tour through the lush tropical grounds and spacious rooms of the house where Hemingway lived and wrote for 10 years. Peruse photographs, manuscripts, and personal artifacts from his time on the island. Meander through the grounds and peek inside his secluded writing studio tucked away in a quiet corner of the property.
Next, belly up to the lively Sloppy Joe’s bar on Duval Street which served as one of Hemingway’s favorite watering holes and haunts when looking to wet his whistle. The bar’s raucous atmosphere of live music and strong drinks hasn’t changed much since Papa’s days. Be sure to try Papa’s favored cocktail, a refreshing mix of rum, grapefruit juice and lime maraschino liqueur the bar dubbed the Hemingway Daiquiri.
Hemingway was an avid sportsman who loved chasing marlin, tuna and other trophy fish around the Florida Straits. Keep the adventurous spirit alive by joining one of the sport fishing charters that operate out of Key West harbor. Several preserve Papa’s beloved fishing boat Pilar. Or put those sea legs to use by paddle boarding, kayaking or snorkeling Key West’s vibrant marine environments.
Like any good solo traveler, Hemingway appreciated the cultural immersion of traveling. Key West hosts a raucous annual Hemingway Days festival each July that brings Papa’s captivating spirit back to life. You can channel your inner Hemingway by competing in a Papa look-alike contest or test your storytelling skills at the “Running of the Bulls” event where brave writers crank out 100 word stories in just six minutes.
Being so close to Cuba, Key West shares its cultural flavor. Tap into those Cuban roots and love of Caribbean cuisine by dining at authentically delicious restaurants like Azur and El Siboney. Hemingway would certainly approve of their Cuban-style roasted pork, empanadas and guava-glazed croquetas. Or practice your Spanish during an evening of salsa dancing and mojitos at iconic Cuban restaurant and bar El Meson de Pepe.