This is a guest post from Megan, who writes the Hello Megan Marie blog; the perfect treasure trove of travel tips and inspiration. Read inspiring posts on places to visit and step-by-step guides to help you plan your next trip. Hello Megan Marie will equip and inspire travel dream seekers to jet to a new country.
Being a solo traveller is thrilling. You have a map in one hand, your suitcase in the other and a jump in your step as you scoot along to your destination. You choose when you want a coffee and how your day will go. You meet amazing people from different cultures from all over the world, when you drink a beer at the hostel bar. Your friend list on Facebook quickly grows, and you find yourself with new couches to sleep on around the world. I personally believe every young person should travel solo as least once in his or her life. Whether it’s a simple weekend trip in your home country, or 6,000 miles to a new country, every travel experience (good or bad) is worth it.
Do I have you excited? Great! The next step is to plan your destination. These five perfect locations are on my top solo travellers list, because they rank high for local friendliness, personal safety ,and easy transportation to and around the country. These rankings are entirely based on my own experiences of travelling in these countries.
1 // Austria
If you spend time on my blog, you will quickly discover my deep love for Austria. The snow-capped mountains, charming people, crystal clear lakes and culture are ideal for the young traveller. A quiet country, Austria sits between Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Italy. Being small, the cities are fairly quiet and safe. Once you introduce yourself, you will find the Austrians to be extremely helpful and kind. While on a hike in Innsbruck, I stumbled around the hiking trails, looking utterly confused as to where to go. That day, a nice Austrian gentleman not only pointed me in the right direction, but hiked with me, encouraged me to practice my German and told me stories about the local area. It was the perfect experience for a solo traveller. In Austria, you can spend a week exploring Innsbruck, Salzburg, Hallstatt and Vienna.
2 // Switzerland
If you follow travel news, Switzerland hits the charts every year for the safest and friendliest travel destination. From East to West, this country offers small lake towns and multicultural experiences. As a solo traveller, make Zurich your starting point. During my time in Zurich, I walked miles and miles between my hostel and the city centre. I chose to do so, because I caught a glimpse into the daily life of the Swiss. The Swiss would smile and wave as they drove by, and were eager to help when I asked for directions. I have never felt so safe in a city, and the local hostels offered opportunities to meet amazing people from all over the world.
3 // Slovenia
Off the grid, Slovenia is another breath-taking location that I am just itching to return to. Ljubljana is a charming city, with beautiful photography locations. It is also very central, offering day trips to surrounding caves, beautiful lakes and more. I rank this country high because of its easy access. From Vienna, you can take a train, the city is on the Hop-on Hop-off bus system and the FlixBus travels frequently to this location. Still off the radar, visit this beautiful place as a solo traveller before it gets discovered.
4 // Scotland
Rolling bright, green hills and bagpipes, the Scottish highlands are perfect if you just want to get away from it all. The people are kind, and the lifestyle slow. My experience consisted of sipping Scotland whisky, taking pictures of Highland cows and searching for the Lochness monster. Scotland is not short of adventures. The culture of Scotland is easygoing and friendly. This is ideal for the solo traveller, because the locals are easy to approach and converse with. A perfect place for your first solo trip abroad, Scotland will keep you on your toes with countless adventures.
5 // New Zealand
The best is saved for last. New Zealand is a country that stole my heart and still hasn’t given it back. From glaciers, to caves and beaches, New Zealand has it all. The country offers fantastic outdoor experiences, where you can breath in fresh air and see stunning sights. It is a very international country, with visitors from all over the world. Through my experience I met individuals from China, Germany, Sweden, France and more. Everyone had an open and friendly heart, eager to meet others from around the world. New Zealand ranks high in all aspects of safety, friendliness and easy transport. It is ideal for the solo traveller because it is a top destination for solo backpackers, so there are hundreds of young people in the same situation as you, eager to make friends and have fun. When in New Zealand, I met countless other solo travellers, and I came back home with a new best friend.
Being a young solo traveller is exhilarating, but also scary. I was terrified on my first solo trip to New Zealand. I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life. One year later, I still think about the fantastic time that I had abroad.
Take these five perfect travel locations for the young solo traveller to heart. Point your feet in the right direction and go. You will come back with amazing stories to tell.
Have you ever travelled alone? Tell me about your most exciting solo travel experience!