Do thoughts of Paris conjure romantic dinners on the Champs-Elysees and sweetheart strolls beneath the Eiffel Tower? Get with the times, people! Paris is actually an excellent place to travel solo—especially for women.
So says the Huffington Post, which has revealed The World’s Best Destinations for Solo Travel.
Besides Paris, places like Bali, Bankok, Dublin, Vancouver, and Tokyo made the list.
More and more people are traveling alone. According to a 2013 travelguard.com poll, 59 percent of travel agents polled said their clients are traveling alone more now than they did 10 years ago. Why? People want to follow their own schedule, pursue a particular interest, and reconnect with themselves.
Furthermore, more women are traveling solo, reports consumeraffairs.com, and it’s largely because women 35 and older are a growing demographic in our country, which means more women in that age group are traveling. Also, women have the means to travel because they are making more money. According to gutsytraveler.com, more Baby Boomers and single mothers are shaping the solo traveler set.
This smiling woman seemed to enjoy her solo trip to France, posting this Instagram photo recently with the hashtags #solobackpacking2011 and #travelingsolo.
For those looking to take on Paris—or anyplace else for that matter—alone, there are websites dedicated to solo travelers. For example, journeywoman.com offers “Traveling Solo in Paris” and solotravel.com offers “A Travel Guide to France.”
Also, there are travel tips aplenty for single travelers on websites like trip (which stands for travel responsibly, informed & protected) and solotravel.com. The tips include leaving an itinerary with a friend, requesting an inside room away from a stairwell, avoiding late-night arrivals, hooking up with a group if visiting somewhere considered dangerous, using a cab recommended by the hotel, avoiding looking like a tourist (get that camera off your neck!), and learning the language.
Still not convinced you can do it? We’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from seasoned solo travelers. Evelyn Hannon, the editor of journeywoman.com, travels alone all the time. Hannon writes the following on her site: “Being alone, I can go when and where I want to. My experiences are never diluted...Yet, for me, traveling solo doesn’t mean being alone. Meeting new people along the way has got to be one of the ultimate joys of the journey.”
And writer Dean Melmothe writes in his piece “You’re Never Really Alone (as a single or solo traveler)” on solotravel.com, “Some people worry that they’ll be lonely travelling alone. But the fact is, you only need to be alone if you want to be.”
Would you consider booking a solo trip? Or perhaps you already have. If so, where did you go and was it a good experience?Kristi Palma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @kristipalma.