The best solo travel ideas for 2022 that probably haven’t made it to your to-do list yet
If you’re still catching up on lost time in the travel department, you’ve probably thought of every possible type of destination, from beach getaways to wilderness hideaways and maybe even a bustling metropolis or two. But if your future plans don’t yet include a getaway for you and only you, it might be time to reconsider your to-do list. There are so many rewarding aspects to traveling alone, and some of the best solo travel ideas for 2022 provide plenty of reasons to go ahead and book that ticket.
Of course, traveling with loved ones has its merits: someone to share your experience with, help you find your way around if you get lost, validate your impulse souvenir purchases and, let’s be honest, take the perfect vacation photo for your Instagram. to feed. But getting out of your comfort zone and being your own travel buddy could be one of the best memories you’ve ever made. Without another person’s crutch, not only can you enjoy the sense of empowerment and accomplishment, but you truly choose your own adventure without having to compromise.
A digital creator and travel enthusiast, Kira West is no stranger to the concept of exploring new places on her own, so who better to ask for advice on future solo travels? The Chicago-based designer and entrepreneur (West also has her own jewelry collection, MadeByKwest) jet set from the Midwest to the Maldives and everywhere in between — and she’s got the travel guides to prove it. Because she’s been there before, she’s done it, she knows firsthand what it takes to make a destination particularly friendly for solo travel. And she’s happy to share what she’s learned along the way.
Ready to plan your own adventure, without travel companions? West has you covered. Ahead, find 11 of the spots she suggests trying in 2022. Who knows? Yours Eat Pray Love time could be just a plane ride.
Fancy a Mediterranean getaway? West says to skip Santorini tourism for Milos for a more off-the-beaten-track experience. “Greece overall is great for solo travel, but it’s a more low-key option than Santorini, which makes it more affordable and accessible,” says the travel enthusiast. While in Milos, you can stroll through the village streets, decorated with white and blue buildings, swim in the ocean, and even explore caves if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
Puerto Escondido, Mexico
“An hour from Mexico City by plane, Puerto Escondido is a little-known oasis in Oaxaca that’s one of my favorite places to go,” West says. Not only is it accessible, but the lush coastal town offers some great options if you’re looking for a luxurious place to relax and have some quality solo time. “I love Hotel Terrestre and Hotel Escondido, I’ve stayed at both and they’re hidden gems,” she adds. The famous local fare in Oaxaca is another perk of traveling here. Want more advice? Don’t miss the expert’s newsletter on this destination.
For a destination steeped in rich history and culture, this Guatemalan city is hard to beat. “There’s so much to do around Antigua, such a welcoming and affordable community,” says West. While you’re here, explore restored Spanish Baroque architecture, and if you love the outdoors, take an overnight hike to Acatenango where you’ll overlook an active volcano.
Romania’s capital might not immediately come to mind when thinking of places to get away from it all, but West recently added it to his list because of its epic tours, including unforgettable architecture. such as the Parliamentary Palace, the Romanian Athenaeum and the Russian Church in Bucharest. to name just a few options. “I’m planning a trip there later this year and it’s another hidden gem that has so much to offer, especially in the summer,” she told TZR. “Solo travelers should do their research as there is plenty to see outside of the main city of Bucharest as well.”
If your solo goals are to make friends with the locals, Dublin could be a great option, thanks to its pub culture and notoriously friendly locals. “I did Dublin solo and it was fun,” West confirms, but suggests adding a little day trip. “Take a bus to Northern Ireland and get out of town to see all the awesome things Ireland has to offer like the Cliffs of Moher.” A few other stops in the city include Trinity College Library (a must for book lovers), St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Glasnevin Cemetery. And if you’re craving fish and chips, Leo Burdock is a famous place to grab them.
Not all European metropolises seem great for solo travel, but the Swedish capital is known to be welcoming and easy to navigate. Plus, it offers a great balance of historical sites/culture and modern amenities. Caution ? “Stockholm is super expensive solo,” West shares. “It’s a good split, but you can easily do it solo safely.” One way to save a few dollars is to rent a bike to get around town. On two wheels, you can cruise to and from the city’s many museums or visit a neighborhood café for a Swedish breakfast (or fika if you’ve made new friends in town).
According to West, this archipelago off the coast of East Africa isn’t just for honeymooners. Solo travelers can create their own romantic moments on scenic hikes filled with flora and fauna (popular trails include the Copolia Trail, Glacis Trois Frères Trail, and Vallee de Mai Trail), sunbathe on white-sand beaches in more clear waters and explore the local markets.
Looking to travel to the United States? Don’t miss southern hospitality. “Savannah is a big city that we don’t talk about enough,” says West. This historic destination is also known for its fantastic food scene (try Mrs. Wilkes for soul food if you don’t mind queuing or The Gray for a historic setting with contemporary cuisine), artsy vibe (thanks to the well-respected Savannah College of Art and Design), and supernatural reputation. If taking a ghost tour alone doesn’t scare you, there’s plenty to explore by tram.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re staying down south, New Orleans is a great option if you fancy a bit more action. But as West explains, there’s more than nightlife here to explore, from historic tours to shopping (don’t miss Magazine Street for a pedestrianized stretch of cool, quirky shops), and of course some of the best restaurants in the city. countries (Palais du Commandeur, Galatoire’s and Café du Monde, to name but a few). “I went there earlier this year and there were a lot of things off of Bourbon Street that I liked,” she says. “It’s a popular destination, I think people don’t do it solo enough.”
If a meditative time in the desert sounds like your ideal solo vacation, Tucson has so much more to see than majestic saguaro cacti. Yes, the state parks are not to be missed, but there are also some lovely digs, including the new Citizen Hotel, which has a 5,000 square foot wine cellar. Or sample a prickly pear margarita at Reforma for a bit more local flavor. Oh, and don’t skip the raspados, Mexican shaved-ice treats easily found at food trucks around town.
San Luis Obispo, California
Instead of Napa’s more traditional wine hub, consider the more laid-back Central Coast for a solo getaway. “There’s so much to do, such great wine, and so much to enjoy outdoors,” says West. For a quirky stay, book a room at the kitsch Madonna Inn where pink and glitter abound. When it’s time to visit the local vineyards, book one of the many tasting tours so you can tour around safely. For some unforgettable sightseeing (and some pretty epic photo ops), pass the picturesque Hearst Castle while you’re in town.