Solo travel is a brilliant way to build your confidence and meet new people; but it’s not without its drawbacks. A new study by Lonely Planet finds that safety concerns and the so-called ‘singles tax’ are two major barriers to people booking a trip alone. While it is ridiculous that travellers should have to pay a supplement for being alone, at Flash Pack, we offer a way around this fee by sharing twin rooms in high-end hotels (something our group often enjoy, despite feeling unsure about it to begin with).
We also offer a means by which you can warm up to travelling alone. Those who join our adventures are very independent-minded, and tend to share a solo travel mentality. Travelling with us means you can dip your toe into the waters of going solo, without fully committing to it. At the same time, you can grab inspiration from your fellow Flashpackers along the way. Many travellers also use our trips to bookend their own solo adventures, either beginning or ending their own journeys with a Flash Pack foray.
With that in mind, we take a look at three leading solo travel destinations to hit up in 2018, as selected by Lonely Planet in their newly-released guide, The Solo Travel Handbook. Each place handily chimes with a Flash Pack trip. Take a look, below, and get scheming on your next getaway:
Best for adventure: South America
South America is bursting with opportunities for adrenaline junkies. Despite its size, says the Lonely Planet, the well-worn “Gringo Trail” means there are plenty of opportunities for meeting fellow travellers on the road. “This, paired with the general warmth of local people and the continent’s premium hostel network, makes travel relatively simple,” it says.
At Flash Pack, we offer a wealth of rich experiences that take you right to the heart of this mesmerising region. Explore glacier-fed lakes and fiery active volcanoes of the Chilean lake district (pictured above), or climb Rainbow Mountain in Peru. In Colombia, adventure beckons with river-tubing and jungle trekking, while Bolivia tempts with its buzzing capital and iconic Salt Flats. Oh, and let’s not forget Brazil, party capital of South America with some truly incredible beaches. Where to begin… ?
Best for food: Vietnam
From steaming bowls of beef phố to takeaway bánh mì trứng (egg sandwiches laced with chilli sauce), Vietnam is brimming with foodie delights. “Subtle in its flavours and outstanding in its diversity, Vietnamese cooking is a huge draw for travellers, who’re lured into lingering at cramped tables swapping travel tales over a fifth plate of bánh cuốn,” says Lonely Planet. “All over the country, you can mingle with villagers, sample local dishes and sip rice wine in Vietnam’s many regional markets.”
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On our Vietnam adventure, you can sample local delicacies up and down the country – from home-cooked lunch with a hill tribe in the remote mountain region of Sapa, to the street food stalls of frenetic Ho Chi Minh. We’ll also pop by a cooking class in the charming town of Hoi An, where you’ll learn to cook Vietnamese dishes, before savouring the fruits of your labour in a five-course meal. Foodies, get in line.
Best for self-reflection: Ubud, Bali
One of the great perks of solo travel is the way in which it carves out vital space for reflection and growth. And the best place to do this, says Lonely Planet, is in the jungle highlands of Ubud, Bali’s cultural hub. This hillside town is where Elizabeth Gilbert found solace in her seminal novel, Eat, Pray, Love; and to this day, it’s a draw for free-spirited travellers.
“Solo travel is extremely common here, meaning no more probing glances upon arrival at a morning yoga class or when dining at one of the town’s salubrious vegetarian cafes,” says Lonely Planet. “To really harness the healing power of Ubud (and for some serious solitude), check yourself into one of the many health retreats that dot the verdant hills surrounding the village.”
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Flash Pack’s sojourn to Ubud takes in a unique, community-run monkey sanctuary and a Balinese cooking class in a local village kitchen. We’ll also trek through steep valley ravines and thick tropical foliage that frames the nearby countryside, and make a trip to the Tirta Empul Water Temple, with its legendary healing waters. Wind down, and revel in the solitude of the mist-clad valleys all around.
For more great solo travel destinations, visit lonelyplanet.com.
Images: Shutterstock and Flash Pack