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Cathy Winston
Award-winning travel writer
Cathy Winston


Recommended by The Times, Which and Daily Mail

    Bucket list for single travellers

    By Cathy Winston, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays

    For many single travellers, the motivation for booking that first solo trip is often to see the one special destination you’ve dreamed of for years. And as well as discovering how fantastic travelling alone is, it’s usually the start of a lifelong adventure seeing the world solo.

    So if you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip, I’ve rounded up some of the best holiday ideas for singles to put on your solo bucket list.

    The Taj MahalMachu PicchuAngkor Wat at sunrise

    World wonders

    There can be few travellers who don’t have one of the world’s great wonders on their bucket list – whether it’s the incomparable sights of China, the eternally beautiful Taj Mahal, the ancient buildings at Petra or the view down to Machu Picchu in Peru.

    With some great small group trips from travel specialists, they’re a great start if you’re new to solo travel as well – guaranteed company and you get to see something truly unforgettable. Singles specialists including Solos Holidays also have a range of bucket list escapes from Europe to the USA, Asia and Australia if you prefer a group where everyone’s travelling alone.

    Or watch the sun go down at Uluru, dine under the stars at a cattle station and hike around the Kings Canyon on this 10-night Outback Adventure, one of these escorted tours in Australia which are especially popular with singles.

    Temple of AthenaSchwedagon Pagoda - Burma

    Great cities

    You’re spoiled for choice within Europe alone – tick off Moscow and St Petersburg on a solos-only Majestic Russia tour from Cox & Kings, while if you’re over 50, Saga Holidays Magic of Andalucia tour explores cities from Granada to Seville, with its Moorish history and stunning architecture.

    Or uncover the culture, architecture and great art to be found in Europe’s capitals on a specialist tour which takes you beyond the well-known landmarks – Martin Randall Travel has a range of trips accompanied by expert guides.

    Similarly, Peter Sommer Travels focusses on architecture and ancient sites around the Mediterranean. Kirker Holidays visits some of Europe’s music festivals and events as well as art-inspired tours.

    The same goes for America’s cities. Beyond New York, how about heading to the West Coast to see both San Francisco and Los Angeles in a single holiday, such as the Western Discovery trip from American Sky.

    Off the beaten track

    Once the travel bug has bitten, it’s tempting to travel further and further off the beaten track – who can resist having a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to boast about or being among the first to visit a fascinating destination.

    Burma has only been open to tourists for a few years, and this fascinating country remains very undiscovered – this 13-day Beautiful Burma trip from InsideAsia Tours is a great starting point.

    Meanwhile, Cuba can’t remain in its unique bubble of frozen time forever: change is coming to the island, so sooner is better to see Havana, the colonial towns and experience that unmatchable atmosphere. Check out this singles-only beach holiday with Friendship Travel.

    The small group tours from YellowWood Adventures take travellers on adventures through some of the world’s least-visited countries – discover the history of Ethiopia or the unique way of life in Kyrgyzstan, for example.

    You can head off the beaten track without heading half-way around the world too. On the borders of Europe and Asia, Georgia and Armenia are still little explored – just one of the solos-only trips from Solo Travellers.

    Tropical paradise

    There’s no reason a bucket list has to be even remotely active. The thought of lying on a tropical beach, clear waves washing against the shore is just as tempting – white sand, palm trees and turquoise sea might be a cliché, but it’s one we can’t get enough of.

    The trick is deciding which beach takes your fancy. The BodyHoliday in St Lucia is particularly good for solos as well, with all-inclusive pampering and activities to go with the beach. Or the wide range of facilities and low single supplement make the Breathless Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic very tempting.

    And the paradise islands of the Maldives aren’t just for couples either, with solo packages for those seeking barefoot luxury.

    If you’d prefer to mix your tropical paradise with a bit of exploring, Thailand has some stunning beaches to combine with temples, city and culture. The same goes for nearby Vietnam with its gorgeous coastline as well as fascinating Hanoi and beautiful Halong Bay.

    Or Sri Lanka mixes stunning beaches, ancient cities and temples too: explore either as part of a tour, or from a beachfront hotel. Mercury Holidays has a string of hotels with no single supplement in Sri Lanka as well as winter sun breaks in Bali and Mauritius.


    Whether you’re looking for the big five, the small five, or the sheer enjoyment of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, a safari is an unforgettable holiday. Often thought of as a trip that’s not for singles, there’s no reason solo travellers should miss out.

    Tucan Travel has a string of holidays in Africa including Kenya’s Masai Mara and the Serengeti, or enjoy the astonishing sight of gorillas in Uganda, venturing into the rainforest as part of a small group to search for these great apes. Madagascar has its own unique wildlife to discover too.

    And Explore has some superb singles-friendly trips including the dramatic scenery of the Kwa Zulu Natal on a 4WD Wildlife Safari of South Africa and Swaziland, as well as this Highlights of Costa Rica.

    For animal lovers, the classic safari certainly isn’t the only way to complete your bucket list. You can go whale and dolphin watching in the Azores – just a short flight away and one of the best places in the world to see these magnificent creatures.

    Or stick to dry land and fulfil any cowboy dreams on a ranch holiday – whether you want to get fully involved on a working ranch in the USA and Canada, or get a taste on a more luxurious resort ranch.

    Emperor Penguin

    Natural wonders

    It’s not only the wildlife which features among the world’s natural wonders. From the lowest points to the highest, the globe’s marvels are unmissable.

    There are mountains galore to climb: go walking in the Alps with mountain holidays for solos from Inghams. And Costa Rica has both rainforest and cloudforest plus a volcano, among other natural temptations.

    Which only leaves the wonders of space: watching them from below, at least. The Northern Lights may not be guaranteed but if you’re lucky enough to spot those magical green swirls, it’s enthralling. Regent Holidays has a five-day Land of the Northern Lights group tour to Iceland, with the chance to bathe in geothermal pools and explore volcanic landscapes.

    You can also tour the natural wonders of Iceland in summer on this Grand Tour or try a trekking holiday among volcanoes, geysers and glaciers.

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    Last updated: 29 October 2018

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