Liberating the wanderlust within and setting off on a solo trip can be a transformative experience, regardless of age. For women over 50, traveling alone can be an empowering journey of self-discovery and personal growth. While safety is a top priority for any traveler (read here how to avoid travel scams), it becomes even more crucial for those of us seeking to explore the world solo. Fortunately, some countries have earned reputations as safe and welcoming destinations for solo female travelers.
It’s worth noting that individual experiences may vary, and it’s always advisable to research and stay informed about the specific safety considerations and cultural norms of any destination before traveling.
Checking the travel advisories and recommendations from your home country’s government can provide valuable information about the current safety situation in different countries. Check the US Department of State Travel Advisories here.
The Best Destinations for Solo Women Over 50
When it comes to travel safety for women over 50, it’s important to consider several factors, such as political stability, crime rates, healthcare, cultural attitudes towards women, and availability of support services.
While no country can be considered completely safe for all individuals, here are some of the best places to travel for solo females. Read on past my picks to see all my solo travel tips for women over 50.
Solo Travel Destination — Iceland
Known for its gender equality and low crime rates, Iceland consistently ranks high in terms of safety for women. It’s a land of extraordinary beauty, that captivates visitors with its otherworldly landscapes and untamed allure.
This Nordic island nation, perched on the edge of the Arctic Circle, boasts fiery volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, vast glaciers, and mystical geothermal pools. Its dramatic terrain serves as a playground for adventure seekers, offering thrilling activities such as glacier hikes, ice cave explorations, and epic road trips along the stunning Ring Road.
Beyond its natural wonders, Iceland embraces a rich cultural heritage, with the city of Reykjavik showcasing modern art, a burgeoning music scene, and a warm hospitality that reflects the resilience of its people.
Traveling Solo For Women Over 50 —Visit Norway
Another Scandinavian country to make our list is Norway. It is known for its safety, healthcare, and overall quality of life. It’s a land of majestic fjords and rugged mountains, immersing tourists in a world of awe-inspiring natural beauty.
This fascinating Nordic country never ceases to amaze with its stunning landscapes, from the iconic Geirangerfjord to the breathtaking Northern Lights dancing across Arctic skies. Norway’s pristine wilderness offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, including hiking, skiing, and exploring ancient glaciers.
Delving into its rich Viking heritage, you can discover captivating historical sites and also immerse yourself in the trendy city of Oslo. Known for its commitment to sustainability and quality of life, Norway’s warm and welcoming culture, along with its stunning vistas, creates an unforgettable and safe experience for solo women travelers over 50.
New Zealand is a Must on Your Solo Travel Wish List
With spectacular natural landscapes and welcoming culture, New Zealand has a reputation for being safe and friendly to travelers. This island nation offers snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, lush rainforests, and untouched coastlines. From the geothermal wonders of Rotorua to the soaring peaks of Fiordland National Park, New Zealand is a literal playground for outdoor enthusiasts.
Maori culture is interwoven throughout the country, enriching the experience with ancient traditions and welcoming hospitality. With its unique beauty and unique spirit, New Zealand is a dream destination for the adventurous at heart.
Republic of Singapore — More Than Meets the Eye
Singapore is a bustling cosmopolitan city-state in Southeast Asia that boasts cleanliness, efficient public transportation, and low crime rates. This vibrant destination offers a safe environment for women over 50 to travel and explore.
Singapore is known for its strict laws and its well-maintained infrastructure. From the iconic Marina Bay Sands to the beautiful Gardens by the Bay, Singapore offers a range of attractions that cater to diverse interests.
Its world-class dining and array of cultural experiences create an enjoyable travel experience for mature women seeking to discover a place that has a unique blend of traditions and innovation.
Switzerland — The Perfect Duo of Charm and Nature for Solo Travel
Switzerland offers a safe and welcoming environment for solo women travelers with excellent infrastructure, reliable public transportation, and high standards of healthcare.
Majestic peaks like the Matterhorn and the Jungfrau beckon hikers and nature enthusiasts, while serene lakeside towns like Lucerne and Interlaken provide a peaceful escape.
Its well-preserved cities, cultural festivals, and world-class museums provide enriching experiences, making Switzerland an ideal destination for solo women over 50 seeking beauty and serenity.
Visit Finland When Traveling Solo
Finland consistently ranks high in terms of safety and gender equality, making it a suitable choice for women travelers. It is a land of captivating contrasts and lures visitors with its natural beauty and unique cultural experiences.
Located in the northern reaches of Europe, Finland showcases an astonishing landscape that includes thousands of lakes, dense forests, and the mesmerizing phenomenon of the midnight sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter.
For women over 50, Finland offers a safe and inclusive environment where we can immerse ourselves in nature, enjoy rejuvenating saunas, and engage in outdoor activities like hiking, berry picking, or cross-country skiing.
The vibrant capital city, Helsinki, combines modern design with historical charm, while the indigenous Sami culture in Lapland offers a glimpse into traditional reindeer herding and Sami customs.
With its emphasis on equality, well-being, and natural wonders, Finland provides an inviting and enriching travel experience for solo women over 50 seeking adventure, tranquility, and cultural exploration.
Canada is One of the Best Places to Travel Solo as a Female
Canada, a vast and diverse country, captivates travelers with its incredible natural landscapes, welcoming culture, and modern cities. From the majestic Rocky Mountains in the west to the picturesque coastline of the Atlantic provinces, Canada offers a wealth of experiences for women over 50.
With a reputation for safety and inclusivity, Canada provides a welcoming environment for solo travelers. Whether exploring the multicultural cityscapes of Vancouver and Montreal, embarking on wildlife encounters in national parks, or educating yourself about the indigenous and First Nations cultures, Canada offers a variety of exploration and learning opportunities.
The country’s well-developed infrastructure, excellent healthcare system, and friendly locals contribute to a memorable and secure travel experience for women seeking adventure and natural beauty.
Austria is one of the Best Destinations for Solo Women Over 50
Austria is known for its high safety standards, well-maintained cities, and rich cultural heritage. Nestled in the heart of Europe, it exudes elegance, history, and breathtaking landscapes, making it an alluring and safe destination for solo women travelers over 50.
This enchanting country is renowned for its alpine beauty, Austria has charming villages and magnificent cities like Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck.
Austria offers a well-organized transportation system and a high standard of living. You can explore the genuine cultural heritage of the country by visiting iconic landmarks such as Schönbrunn Palace or immersing yourself in the classical music scene that gave birth to composers like Mozart and Strauss.
With its scenic landscapes, world-class museums, and renowned hospitality, Austria is a great country to embark on a journey of cultural exploration and scenic hikes. And don’t forget the indulgence of Viennese coffee houses!
Australia is a Beautiful Place to Travel Solo
Australia, a vast and eclectic continent, attracts tourists with its stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and dynamic cities. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to the majestic Great Barrier Reef, Australia offers a plethora of natural wonders to explore. Its expansive Outback, ancient rainforests, and beautiful beaches provide opportunities for adventure and relaxation alike.
Australia is known for its friendly and welcoming culture, making it an ideal destination for solo women travelers. With a well-developed tourism infrastructure, reliable transportation, and a high standard of healthcare, you can feel secure and confident while exploring this beautiful country.
Whether indulging in urban delights, exploring national parks, or engaging with Aboriginal cultures, Australia promises a remarkable journey of discovery and natural beauty.
Japan: A Must-Have Travel Destination for Solo Female Travelers
Known for its very low crime rates and emphasis on respect and politeness, Japan is one of the safest and culturally fascinating destinations for travelers. The land of cherry blossom trees, captivating traditions, and modern marvels offers a truly unique experience for solo women over 50.
This safe and hospitable country blends ancient heritage with cutting-edge technology, creating a dynamic and intriguing destination. From the busy streets of Tokyo to the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan presents a rich tapestry of cultural treasures to explore.
You can pamper yourself in the tranquil beauty of traditional gardens, indulge in world-renowned cuisine, and witness the harmony of ancient rituals and modern cityscapes. Japan’s efficient transportation system, renowned cleanliness, and genuine hospitality make Japan a welcoming place for women over 50.
Costa Rica: A Friendly and Inviting Place to Travel Solo
Costa Rica captivates visitors with its warm tropical weather and super-friendly hospitality. This country offers a myriad of experiences, from dense rainforests and gorgeous beaches to unique wildlife and exciting adventures.
The country has gained a reputation as a safe country, welcoming travelers with open arms. Costa Rica has a stable political environment, relatively low crime rates in tourist areas, and holds a strong and pioneering emphasis on environmental conservation.
The country’s well-developed tourism infrastructure, reliable transportation, and friendly locals create a secure and comfortable environment for women over 50 to explore and enjoy Costa Rica’s natural wonders and cultural treasures.
Scotland: A Breathtaking Spot to Add to Your List
Scotland is known for its warm hospitality, safe environment, and a strong sense of community — Scotland an excellent choice for solo women travelers over 50.
The country continues to fascinate travelers with its interesting history and rugged charm. Scotland is a hybrid of ancient castles, misty lochs, and breathtaking landscapes. From the simple beauty of the Scottish Highlands to the vibrant streets of Edinburgh, you can find a mixed range of things to do and explore.
Its well-preserved cities, impressive countryside, and extensive network of walking trails allow you to explore safely at your own pace. Scotland is sure to capture your heart with its captivating history, folklore, and natural wonders.
How to be Safe Traveling Solo as a Woman
Traveling alone as a woman can be an empowering and enriching experience. While it’s important to prioritize safety regardless of gender, women may face specific challenges and concerns. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while traveling solo.
Research Your Destination
Before you travel, research your destination thoroughly. Learn about local customs, traditions, laws, and cultural norms. Understanding the local environment will help you make informed decisions and avoid potential risks and misunderstandings.
Share Your Itinerary
Share your travel plans, including your itinerary and accommodation details, with a trusted friend or family member. Regularly update them on your whereabouts and any changes to your plans.
Carry a fully charged mobile phone and have access to local emergency numbers. Consider purchasing a local SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi device for internet connectivity. It’s also a good idea to download relevant travel apps for maps, translation, and safety information.
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid walking alone in unfamiliar or poorly lit areas, especially at night. Trust your instincts and be cautious if something doesn’t feel right.
Use Reliable Transportation
Opt for reputable transportation options, such as licensed taxis, ride-hailing services, or public transportation. If possible, arrange transportation in advance or through trusted sources.
Avoid Sharing Personal Information
One of the great things about traveling solo is that we get to meet a lot of new people. This being said, without being overly paranoid, use discretion when interacting with new people at first and avoid sharing too much personal information until you get to know them better.
Connect with Fellow Travelers
Consider connecting with other travelers, especially women, through online communities or social media platforms. Sharing experiences and tips with like-minded individuals can provide a support network and valuable insights.
Trust Your Instincts
Your intuition is a powerful tool. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, remove yourself from it. Trust your gut feelings and prioritize your personal safety above all else.
Remember, while it’s essential to be cautious, don’t let fear hold you back from exploring the world. Solo travel can be incredibly rewarding, and by taking precautions and staying vigilant, you can have safe and memorable experiences.
How to Plan a Solo Trip
Planning a solo trip can certainly be exciting and sometimes challenging. Here are some steps to help you plan your solo adventure.
Choose Your Destination
Consider your interests, budget, and travel preferences when selecting a destination. Research different countries and cities that align with your interests and offer a safe and welcoming environment for solo travelers.
Research and Plan Your Itinerary
Look for attractions, landmarks, and experiences you want to include in your itinerary. Create a list of must-visit places and prioritize them based on your interests and available time. Research transportation options, local customs, and any safety considerations specific to your destination.
Prepare Your Travel Documents
Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned travel dates. Check visa requirements for your destination and apply well in advance if necessary. Make copies of your passport, travel insurance, and other important documents, and store them in a separate place or upload them to a secure online location.
Learn Basic Local Phrases
Don’t let language barriers deter you from traveling to new countries. Familiarize yourself with a few basic phrases in the local language of your destination. Simple greetings, thank you, and asking for directions can go a long way in establishing connections and navigating your surroundings.
Travel Groups for Solo Women over 50
There are various travel groups and organizations that cater to solo women travelers over 50. These groups provide opportunities for like-minded individuals to connect, share experiences, and embark on group trips.
The Women’s Travel Group is a tour operator specializing in group trips for women of all ages, including solo travelers. They offer a range of itineraries to destinations worldwide, with a focus on cultural exploration and creating a supportive community.
Women Traveling Together is a company that organizes group trips exclusively for women. They offer a wide range of domestic and international tours, providing a safe and comfortable environment for solo women travelers.
Adventures in Good Company is a women-only adventure travel company that offers outdoor trips and active adventures for women of all ages. They organize hiking, kayaking, cycling, and other exciting trips designed for solo women travelers.
Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) is an educational travel organization that offers a variety of group trips and learning experiences for adults. They provide opportunities to explore destinations worldwide while engaging in educational programs and cultural immersion.
WanderWoman is a travel company that specializes in small-group tours for women. They offer a range of itineraries focused on cultural immersion, adventure, and connecting with local communities.
Gutsy Women Travel organizes group tours exclusively for women, including solo travelers over 50. They offer a diverse selection of trips, from cultural explorations to active adventures, providing a supportive environment for women seeking new experiences.
Women’s Own Adventure offers small-group trips for women of all ages. Their itineraries focus on adventure activities, wellness retreats, and cultural immersion, catering to different interests and fitness levels.
These are just a few examples of travel groups specifically catering to women travelers. It’s recommended to visit their websites, explore their trip offerings, and review feedback from previous participants to find a group that aligns with your travel preferences and interests.
Embracing Solo Travel
Solo travel offers you the freedom to make your own decisions and explore at your own pace. It’s also a great opportunity for reflection and self-discovery.
While it’s important to plan ahead, leave room for spontaneity and unforeseen opportunities that may arise during your journey. Be open to new experiences, engage with locals and fellow travelers, and be flexible with your plans.
Stay open-minded, trust your instincts, and enjoy the adventure of exploring the world on your terms.
About the author:
After dedicating over two decades to designing collections for fashion brands like La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, Sandra made a bold decision to upend her life and pursue her passions for writing and traveling. She fearlessly sold all her possessions and embarked on a life-changing journey of rediscovery. Sandra’s deeply personal essay, titled “Someone Like Me,” caught the attention of bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert and earned its place in the celebrated New York Times bestseller, “Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It.”
Today, Sandra lives in Mexico as a freelance writer, rescuing and caring for animals along her path. Her pen effortlessly led itself to write about travel and lifestyles catered to women over 50 because her transformative journey can serve as a reminder for other women over 50 that they can welcome change, confront fears, and pursue their dreams at any age.
Visit her website: www.sandraroussy.com
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