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The Best Budget-Friendly Destinations for Solo Travelers

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Going Solo

While traveling alone may seem daunting or downright scary, it can be one of life's most rewarding and enriching experiences. Traveling solo can give you complete control over your own itinerary and schedule, broaden your horizons, help instill confidence, and lead to new inspirations. Whether you're tired of figuring out travel plans with friends or looking to challenge yourself with new experiences, here are some of the best solo travel destinations around the world that are budget-friendly, exciting, and safe. Go ahead and have your "Eat, Pray, Love" moment. We're here for it.


Related: Off-the-Radar Mountain Towns Across America

Making check list for travel
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Solo Traveler Tips and Safety Advice

While a solo trip can be one of the most incredible experiences of your life, it's also important to take precautions to ensure your safety and well-being. Here are some tips and advice to consider while traveling alone: 

  • Research your destination before you go: Familiarize yourself with local customs, laws, and any potential safety risks. This will help you make informed decisions about where to go and what to do.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family: Let someone know your itinerary and check in with them regularly. Consider using a safety app that allows you to share your location with trusted contacts.
  • Trust your instincts: If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Don't be afraid to leave a situation or change your plans if necessary.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid walking alone at night and try to stay in well-lit areas.
  • Stay in safe accommodations: Choose a reputable hotel or hostel and lock your door when you're inside. Consider investing in a doorstop or portable door lock for extra security.

Aerial view of Lao Lading island in Krabi, Thailand.
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Thailand

Renowned for its beautiful beaches, delectable cuisine, and rich history, Thailand tops our list for being the most budget-friendly destination for solo travelers; it's also known as one of the most popular countries for backpacking. Most cities in Thailand are very safe, with low levels of crime and a well-developed infrastructure for tourism. Housing is affordable in most of the country, and hotels featuring pools and amenities typically cost around $15 to $20 per night.


Related: 20 Retro Luxury Travel Experiences

Rice fields on terraced of Mu Cang Chai, YenBai, Rice fields prepare the harvest at Northwest Vietnam.Vietnam landscapes.
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Vietnam

Another great destination in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is known for its stunning landscapes, delicious street food, and friendly locals. It is also a relatively safe and affordable destination for solo travelers, with hostels charging as low as $3 per night. Be sure to pay a visit to the country's ancient temples, imperial palaces, and other historical sites. 


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Bali Water Temple - Pura Ulun Danu
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Bali, Indonesia

Bali is another popular destination for solo travelers thanks to its beautiful beaches, growing surfer community, affordable prices, and vibrant culture; an average hostel in Bali will cost $8 a night. With a plenty of temples, palaces, and historical sites to visit, the tropical island is also home to a thriving art and music scene, with many traditional performances, galleries, and exhibitions to enjoy. 

Arenal at dusk
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Costa Rica

Home to a wide range of landscapes — from pristine beaches and waterfalls to lush rainforests and volcanoes — Costa Rica is one of the most diverse and stunning places to visit when you're on a budget. Costa Rica also has a rich cultural heritage and is home to a variety of indigenous groups, each with their own distinct traditions and customs. Make sure to sign up for a few excursions while you're there: ATV rides, surf lessons, zip lining, and white water rafting, to name a few. There's no shortage of things to do here. 

Lush balcony planters along the street looking towards town square in the old town of Cartagena Columbia
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Colombia

Famous for its lively music and dance scene, Colombia is home to a variety of musical influences including salsa, cumbia, and vallenato. The Latin American country is also known for its delicious and affordable cuisine that combine indigenous, African, and European influences to create staples such as arepas, tostones, and empanadas. Be sure to visit a coffee factory while you're there, as Colombia is one of the world's top producers of coffee

Camara de Lobos - Madeira
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Portugal

Often overlooked for its more popular neighbors to the south such as France, Italy, and Spain, Portugal has tons to offer at much cheaper prices. Featuring beautiful beaches, a rolling wine country, stunning seaside cliffs, friendly locals, and historical sites and castles, Portugal has no shortage of things to do and see. Be sure to give Portuguese staples such as pastel de nata, bacalhau, and caldo verde soup a try while you're there.

Wellington Cable Car, the landmark of New Zealand.
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New Zealand

New Zealand is another popular destination for solo travelers thanks to its stunning landscapes, welcoming locals, and wide range of activities and attractions. The country, which is cheaper than its Australian neighbor, is known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests, which offer many outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and mountain biking. And for those who are movie buffs, another incentive to visit New Zealand is to visit the Shire — all "Lord of the Rings" films were filmed there

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Scotland

Featuring a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets — from hostels and guesthouses to bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels — Scotland is one of the most underrated and affordable countries in Europe. Visit historic castles, go hiking in the luscious Scottish countryside, or explore the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow while you're there. 

White sand beach in Nassau, Bahamas
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The Bahamas

Known for its low cost of living, expenses such as food, transportation, and lodging are more affordable in the Bahamas compared to other Caribbean destinations. An ideal vacation spot for those looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure, the Bahamas offers many budget activities such as swimming with pigs, snorkeling, and exploring national parks.