If current trends continue, this might be the decade of the female traveler. Although women’s needs and preferences were mostly ignored by the travel industry for years due to the belief that a woman would not travel unless accompanied by a man—a man who would make all the travel decisions, mind you—there has been a radical change in the world of trip-taking and getaways. These days, women are traveling in record numbers, they make 70 percent of all travel decisions, and they take a bigger percentage of the travel market every year.
Gone are the days when taking a solo trip as a woman meant something must be terribly wrong in your life, such as: you just got dumped, you live with seventeen cats, you smell bad. Additionally, women vacationing together is no longer limited to drunken, debauched, what-happens-in-Vegas-stays-in-Vegas weekends before you all do the plane ride of shame home to your partners/coworkers/cats, all of whom will totally never find out what happened. Particularly for single women, traveling alone or with friends has become a smart, chic, and enjoyable way to travel, and lady-centered trips celebrate being single, having fun, and loving life.
For the first time in history, unmarried people make up the majority of the American adult population, way up from just 22 percent in 1950. This fact, combined with the modern woman’s propensity for travel, means that there has never been a better time to plan a single lady vacation. In a world where women travelers are still, repeatedly and unfortunately, confronted with slack-jawed stares and the question, “Is that safe?” traveling alone or with other women can boost your confidence, make you feel powerful, and help you learn to trust yourself. There is no better time to travel than when you’re single because traveling as a single lady means you’ll be less tied to your life at home, you’ll be more open and receptive to the locals around you, and you’ll be more willing to try new things and have new experiences.
Whether you’ve taken many single lady trips or this is your first time traveling with your needs in mind, this list of the best travel destinations for single ladies will help you find the safest, sexiest, most enjoyable places for all the single ladies.
The Five Best Travel Destinations for Single Ladies
We kick off this list with a travel destination that is unarguably perfect for single ladies: Ibiza, Spain. Ibiza, a small island nestled halfway between Spain’s eastern coastline and the larger island of Majorca, is sometimes called a “single woman’s paradise,” and there are few places that are as exhilarating as its largest city, Ibiza Town. The city’s nightlife is legendary, riotous, and endlessly fun. Especially during the summer months, top music producers, famous DJs, and underground clubs rock the island with pounding electronic beats. Napping in the early evening to get your strength back before night falls is not only common, it might be a necessity before jumping back into the nocturnal party scene and dancing the night away.
For those ladies looking to get into a little mischief without actually getting arrested, the island has been notably tolerant toward young adult tourists and their shenanigans. However, Ibiza is well aware of its decadent reputation, and the government is making an effort to bring a touch of class to the island by promoting more cultural activities and banning the construction of all new hotels unless they’re five-star. If you’re less interested in the wild nightlife—or if you’re feeling a little rough one morning—Ibiza has roughly 50 beaches and 100 miles of coastline, which means you can always hop in your Ibiza rental car and find a tranquil place to hide away when you’re in the mood to rest and recover. You can also paddleboard and kayak, hike around the island to take in its natural beauty at such places as Es Vedra or the Castle of Ibiza, or go for a horseback ride at Ibiza Horse Valley.
If you want to feel welcomed and get to know the locals when you travel, there is no better travel destination for single ladies than Dublin, Ireland. The Irish are known the world over for being fun and friendly, and whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, it’ll be incredibly easy to meet people in Dublin when you’re lost and need directions or would just like someone to chat with over a frothy brew. Beer-loving ladies will rejoice in Dublin, where pub life is a way of life. The pubs are generally safe, they welcome people of all ages, and it’s not uncommon for members of both sexes to go and enjoy a beer alone. Dublin certainly isn’t known for being the most beautiful city in Europe—and the brutally honest Dubliners will agree that this is true—but its inhabitants are so charming and charismatic that you might find yourself passing hours laughing with the locals and completely forgetting about all the sightseeing you had planned.
If and when you do stand up from your bar stool, Dublin is a great choice for literary-minded ladies. Dublin is only one of four UNESCO World Cities of Literature, and the city has produced a great number of masters of the English language, including Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. The National Print Museum of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and more of the country’s biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin. History buffs should to check out the Castle of Dublin, take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, or drive your Dublin rental car to the ruins and architecturally significant buildings that can be found all over the country. Anytime you feel like relaxing, head to one of Dublin’s verdant parks for a picnic and, surely, another chance to strike up a conversation with the locals.
Ischia, Italy, the largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples, isn’t as well-known as the island of Capri, so head to Ischia to find better beaches and fewer tourists. Ischia is a dream travel destination for single ladies that are in need of relaxation and rejuvenation. Volcanoes pushed Ischia out of the sea, and geothermal activity is responsible for the island’s many hot springs and natural thermal spas. Your choice of springs, spas, and treatments is nearly endless, but as you sit in a natural spring with hot water bubbling around you, taking in the beauty of the always verdant island, you might start to believe that Ischia is paradise on earth.
If it’s possible to get tired of relaxing in a spa and receiving beauty treatments, head to Ischia Porto to sip coffee with chic Europeans, dine on delectable Mediterranean food, or shop in the city’s many quaint establishments. The best taverns and bars are in Ischia Porto, and from the harbor, you can take a boat trip around the island to other beaches or even to the nearby island of Procida. Before you leave, make sure you swing by Fumarole Beach, where the bronzed locals go to cook dinner and hang out. You might get one of them to explain why Ischia, now a beautiful, tranquil wonderland, signifies “total destruction” in Italian vernacular!
There are few cities as beautiful, colorful, and lively as Marrakesh, Morocco. Filled with palm, fig, orange, and pomegranate trees, the climate is neither completely arid nor totally Mediterranean, and the Atlas Mountains loom romantic and lonely in the distance. The Moroccan government relies heavily on tourism and has done a great deal to make the country safe, which is good news for female tourists; in Marrakesh, petty thievery and catcalls will be the most common nuisances you encounter. Although you will stand out as an American woman, the inhabitants of Marrakesh are now quite used to tourists, and you can do your part by dressing modestly. If you are ever bothered by a man, simply yell and make noise; the locals are so helpful and eager to make their guests feel comfortable that a large group will undoubtedly rush to your aid and scorn the man for harassing you.
The historical significance and architectural importance of Marrakesh are known the world over, but the city makes a great travel destination for single ladies not only because there is so much to see, but also because of the warm local flavor. Moroccans are incredibly welcoming, and it’s not unusual for a family to invite you into their home to try homemade desserts or a refreshing green tea with mint. Use caution, of course, but don’t automatically turn down an invitation into a Marrakesh home; it could be the experience of a lifetime. As a way to feel more connected to the woman of Marrakesh, you have to stop by a local hamman, or bathhouse. All hammans either have separate sections or different hours for men and women, so leave your modesty at the door, and get ready to get steamed, scrubbed, and rinsed. Choosing a hamman frequented by local women over the more expensive tourist-oriented bathhouses will bring you that much closer to the animated, generous Marrakesh culture.
While many lists of the best travel destinations for single ladies, lacking inspiration, tell women to head to the Caribbean, we’re going to send you north: all the way, in fact, to the world’s northernmost capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland. Reykjavik makes a great vacation spot for single women, particularly those who are traveling alone or have little travel experience outside the US, because it’s incredibly safe, many signs are in English, and you’ll likely find the locals speak English as well as you do. In addition, Reykjavik is Iceland’s largest city, but it retains a small town feel and is very easy to navigate by rental car.
Don’t let all this talk of safety mislead you into thinking that your time in Reykjavik will be boring. The nightlife in this city is legendary; they say that if you haven’t partied in Reykjavik, you haven’t partied at all, and the blond-haired, blue-eyed beauties that fill the clubs will surely entice you to stay out past your bedtime. During the week, when the locals return to their responsible Nordic ways, you can relax in a café and explore the city’s bourgeoning coffee culture. If you’re looking to meet new people, book a day trip to find others that share your interests; Iceland’s breathtaking landscape offers endless opportunities for unforgettable excursions.
Travel Tips for Single Ladies
Be careful with your drinks. This advice is really for women that go out anywhere, at home or abroad, but it’s worth repeating. Especially if you’re alone or if new people have come to hang out with your group of friends, keep an eye on your beverage to make sure you’re drinking only what you’d like to be drinking.
Check in periodically with people back home. If friends and family are expecting to hear from you frequently, or even just once a week, they’ll know much sooner if you’ve had to change your travel plans or if something has gone wrong.
Don’t go home with strangers. We admit this tip takes us back to the “stranger danger” days of elementary school, but it’s a good one to consider nonetheless. If you’re a single lady traveling abroad, you might make friends quickly, and these friends might ask you to come over. While we’re not going to advocate an unrealistically chaste vision of single ladies on vacation, we do believe in being smart. Wait until you know a city well enough to go somewhere with someone you recently met; your knowledge of the city will alert you if you’re going in a different direction than what you’ve been led to believe. Better yet, invite friends back to your place if and when you can to get to know new people on your turf and on your terms.
Be aware of how local men might treat you, and respond to them the way local women do. Men and women the world over don’t always interact the way American men and women do. Italian men, for example, might consider themselves smooth Romeos while you find their over-the-top compliments at best disingenuous and at worst annoying. But different gender dynamics in other countries mean that your best move is to react to local men the same way local women do. Being catcalled by a man in Marrakesh is not the time to launch into a post-modern feminist diatribe on gender equality, and it’s not even a great time to pay him any attention; as much as it may seem strange, the best way to react is to ignore him and walk on. All the locales we’ve recommended on our list are safe for women travelers, and in the few instances when they are not, you should find other locals ready and willing to help you out.
Use your women’s intuition. Are you getting really good vibes from the Nordic beauty that wants to meet for coffee tomorrow? Are you feeling uncomfortable around a fellow American that struck up a conversation with you in an Ibiza bar even though you’re from the same state? Listen to your gut. The more psychologists study it, the more they find that women’s intuition is a very real and possibly adaptive trait; women, studies have shown, are more likely to pick up on the subtle emotional clues that others send. This means that you’ve got a gift, lady, and you should use it! If you sense red flags, get out of a situation even if your logical mind can find no reason for it, but conversely, remain open to experiencing new situations and meeting new people when you feel safe. Your innate women’s intuition might be your most powerful tool as you journey to all the best travel destinations for single ladies.
All the Single Ladies!
If you’re a single lady in today’s world, congratulations! There has never been a better time to travel, explore fabulous travel destinations, and get in touch with yourself. Here at Auto Europe, we want to support you on your journey, so give us a call at 1-888-223-5555 to reserve your rental car today so you can have the freedom to travel on your terms. Our award-winning customer service agents are here to help you 24/7 from the time you book your rental car to the time you bring it back!