11 of the Safest Countries for Solo Travellers

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You may have heard about the exciting and gradual opening of borders to several countries this year due to some welcome changes in COVID-19 restrictions.

One travel trend that is growing post-COVID is solo travel. Statista reports that over the past few years, more people have decided to take the plunge and enjoy the experience of travelling alone. Statista says this trend is driven by "the quest for self-understanding and new experiences," as well as the increased appetite for travel following many weeks of lockdown measures and isolation.

Statista points to surveys from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia that show primary motivations were the willingness to see the world and not to wait for others. Other leading motivations of solo travellers were the feeling of freedom and independence and the opportunity of meeting new people.

For female solo travellers, flexibility is the main factor for travelling alone, according to Statista. Getting away from routine and responsibilities was the second leading motive.

However, the survey also found that 65 per cent of female travellers avoided travelling alone, saying their main obstacle was being worried about their safety. Higher costs and the fear of getting lost came second and third, respectively.

Tours are a great, organised, and safe way for female travellers to start, as you will have the support of a guide and the opportunity to meet others if you wish to. These tours typically offer abundant cultural experiences to immerse yourself in, perfect for.

If you're thinking of embarking on a solo voyage, you're in the right place. In this article, we're looking at the safest countries for solo travellers, particularly for women. 

Iceland

Iceland is the most peaceful nation, a position it has held since the inception of The Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2008. Experience this spectacular natural wonderland of ice and fire, fjords, and immerse yourself in the geothermal bathing culture and glacier adventures. Experience the beauty of the Northern lights on the Aurora Belt in the world's northernmost capital of Reykjavík.

Japan

According to a study by Bounce, together with Poland, Japan ranked 10th on the list of best female travel safety destinations. The study found that Japan, together with Norway, has the lowest rate of female homicide. As well as ranking tenth on the GPI, one of Japan's major cities, Osaka was named the 10th most liveable city in 2022. Experience it all in this country with some of the best snowfields, temples aplenty, traditional Japanese onsens, the electric energy of Shibuya (whose crossing is rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world), and the beaches of Okinawa.

New Zealand

New Zealand ranks as the second most peaceful country on the GPI. Well known for being the setting of the Lord of the Rings movie series, New Zealand has friendly locals, breathtaking nature and experiences that will amaze you. You can visit the filming locations of Middle Earth or experience the spectacular fjord of Milford Sound and learn about the endlessly fascinating Maori culture.

Switzerland

Bounce ranked Switzerland number five in its study of the best female travel safety destinations. The study also considered it to be the safest country for all genders. Switzerland is known for its alps (perfect for skiing!), delectable chocolate, friendly locals, and awe-inspiring scenery. Switzerland boasts very high standards of living and education, low crime rates, and strict gun control rules. It also comes in at the 11th spot on the GPI for safety and peacefulness. Two Swiss cities feature in the top 10 most liveable cities for 2022, with the capital city Zurich in third and Geneva in 6th spot.

Austria

Austria is number two on Bounce's safest destinations for females, with the highest percentage of women who feel safe walking alone at night (79%). It’s most well known for its exquisite architecture, including the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, crystal clear lakes, and alpine mountains. Its capital Vienna has been ranked the most liveable city in the world for 2022.

Norway

According to Bounce's study, Norway was the country where 83% of women feel safe walking alone at night. Apart from being the safest country to walk at night, it was also in the top spot with Japan for the lowest homicide rates. The study found this country to have low crime rates overall as well.

Asides from being safe, of course, go and discover the country's flair for design and its arctic-inspired architecture, see polar bears and walruses on the beautiful island of Svalbard, amaze yourself with their grand glaciers and fjords and learn about Viking history.

Canada

This huge country's capital city Vancouver is often in close competition with Melbourne, Australia for the crown of "Most liveable city in the world." It's no wonder, given the friendliness of Canada's people, its vast wilderness and towering mountains, and the charming city of Quebec. Out of the 30 countries analysed in Bounce's study, it had the lowest rate of domestic violence. 

Singapore

Singapore ranks ninth on the 2022 GPI and is one of the easiest-to-navigate cities you'll visit. Experience the glitz of this cosmopolitan city and the charms of old-town Singapore. Expect city gardens, Sentosa island, the iconic Marina Sands infinity pool, and delicious hawker markets. Best-selling author Marcia DeSanctis, a solo traveller who writes about solo female travel, names Singapore as one of the top spots for female travellers.

Portugal

Portugal was one of several countries that scored well in the Bounce study for their legal frameworks that offer women protection against domestic violence. According to Lonely Planet, you can expect to experience medieval castles, palaces, cobblestone villages, and golden beaches. It's also famous for its wine. Head to Lisbon, where you can experience historic and modern attractions, and taste the original recipe for their famous creamy custard dessert, the pastel de nata. Moreover, Portgual was also considered the friendliest towards tourists and expats, according to an InterNations survey.

Slovenia

Slovenia is safe and small, and so easy to get around. It is 7th on the GPI and 4th on Bounce's top safe spots for female solo travellers. According to Trafalgar Travel, the country is also known for its health retreats, mainly found along its coastline. Slovenia is blessed with vast expanses of forest. Lonely Planet describes it as one of the greenest countries on earth, with over half of its surface covered in forest. You can explore their beautiful alps, caves, and stunning lakes. It can snow even in summer.

Ireland

Ireland is ranked third on the GPI and first on Bounce's study of safest countries for female travellers. It was amongst the top-scoring nations for almost all of the eight factors analysed in the study, scoring particularly highly for the laws that protect women from violence and its local attitudes toward violence against women.

People know Ireland for its friendly people. Visit this country for its amazing landscapes, rich and vibrant history, beautiful coastlines, and prehistoric sites. For beer lovers, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse is a must.

Methodology

The Global Peace Index is an annual report that ranks the world's safest and most peaceful countries.

We also looked at Bounce's study, which also considers the country's attitudes toward equality and independence.

The countries above appeared among these two data sources.

Tracey Cheung
Written by
Tracey Cheung

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