Traveling with family or friends can be fun, but there’s something thrilling about embarking on an adventure alone. Whether you’re looking for a quiet beach vacation, a ski trip, or a city expedition, the options are seemingly endless. But when going solo, it’s important to make sure you’re headed somewhere that’s accommodating to individuals without a group, that adheres to COVID-19 restrictions, and is safe for people planning to explore on their own. Though you might meet friends along the way, you want to make sure that the destination you choose is suited for your particular needs—and certainly some spots are not geared for solo traveling. Read on to see the six worst places to travel alone.
If you’re looking for a taste of paradise and a heaping of pristine beaches, Bora Bora is the place to be—but it is definitely a more honeymoon-focused destination. Mar Pages, the co-founder of Solo Female Travelers Tour, went to Bora Bora solo and experienced the constant reminder that she was, in fact, alone. Pages said the staff at the luxury resort where she was staying “insisted on filling two glasses with water, bringing two bread pieces, and giving me two menu cards every time I sat down for a meal, despite the many times I repeated I was by myself.” While it was empowering and exciting to travel solo, having someone with you on this island vacation might benefit you in the end. “You can absolutely visit Bora Bora solo,” says Pages. “But it pays to have someone to share the cost of an overwater villa with who will drink the water and eat the bread slices.”
Tanzania offers beautiful savannas and safaris full of wildlife which makes it an ideal place to have on your travel bucket list. However, it isn’t necessarily the best destination to venture alone due to the exorbitant cost. You will likely spend the entire day in a vehicle going on game drives, so Pages recommends Tanzania for group trips. “A quality safari will be on 4×4 open-top vehicles which can accommodate up to seven guests but are optimal for four to five,” she says. “If you are by yourself, it becomes very expensive to pay for the petrol and a guide all to yourself.”
Like Tanzania, Sudan is optimal for group trips. Why? It can not only be pricey to visit but challenging to get around. “Traveling independently is complicated, and some parts of the country are just not accessible unless you hitchhike,” says Pages. “Even then, you actually need a local agency to get the right road permits and access tickets to some of the archaeological sites.” According to Pages, beyond Khartoum, you will need your own driver and guide.
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If you’re in search of the gateway to the Silk Road, Turkmenistan may be appealing to you—but traveling there can be tricky. “In order to visit the country, you need a visa that must be obtained by a local operator,” says Page. “And you need a guide to visit anywhere beyond the capital of Ashgabat.” While that means you’ll have a driver to yourself, this can be costly. Joining a tour, however, can decrease the price if you have your heart set on exploring the capital. Just be prepared for some potential hurdles to get over even before your journey begins.
Djibouti is known for its beautiful, unique landscapes with extinct volcanoes and salt lakes. For those who enjoy nature’s many wonders, this country can be alluring. But like some of the previous places on this list, Djibouti can be inaccessible, which can make it even more challenging for solo travelers. “Djibouti’s main sites are away from the capital, and there is no real public transportation to speak of, so you need to hire a driver,” explains Page. That, of course, can be expensive if you have no one to split the costs with.
The cost is something that might give you pause if you’re thinking of traveling to Iraq, but safety is a factor, too. “I have many friends who have visited in the last six months [but] going on your own makes it more costly to hire private transport or security,” explains Page. Although, she says, you want to avoid booking with a big group for security reasons. It’s important to note that the country is currently advising Americans to not travel here “due to terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, and civil unrest.”