Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Destinations

(Check it out:  Chicago is #2!  But I could've told you how great Chicago is!)

Posted on June 24, 2010 - by Janice

Women Traveling Alone Part II – Great Destinations

This is the second in a series of posts specifically for women solo travelers. The first post, Women Traveling Alone Part I – 10 tips offered ideas that make travel for a woman easier. They were based on personal experience. You’ll also find tips from others in the comments to the post. This time, the theme is great destinations for women solo travelers – especially first-timers.

I find it relatively easy to answer questions about how women can get the most out of the solo travel experience. I find it a bit more difficult to suggest where they should go. After all, I haven’t been everywhere.

So, in this post I share with you some of my favorite destinations that I also think would be great for solo travel novices. To broaden out the perspective and identify more great destinations for women, I also offer the results of a little crowdsourcing I did using Twitter.

Great destinations for women traveling alone – a few of my favorites:

Most of my recommendations for women traveling alone for the first time are places where English is spoken, or, it would not be surprising to find someone who speaks English. Being able to communicate in your own language is helpful – especially if you are a newbie.

Here’s my list:

The Lake District – if you are at all outdoorsy – or even if you’re not – the Lake District is a fabulous place to visit for it’s natural beauty and local charm. It’s easy to see why this area was the inspiration for much of Wordsworth’s poetry. Walking by day. A pint at the local pub by night. It’s a perfect solo travel destination.

•Chicago - I love New York City but it is almost too obvious for a list like this. I recommend Chicago for it’s fabulous downtown, waterfront, architecture, great use of the river, cycling, arts scene, blue/jazz scene, sports traditions… and they have a wonderful free greeters program to introduce you to the city as well.

•Amsterdam – Amsterdam is a city rich in history, fresh with pop culture and on the leading edge of social change. It is a place where women, pedestrians and cyclists are all respected. Yes there’s the red light district but it’s also very family friendly. Unlike Paris which is a city to look at, Amsterdam is a place to infiltrate – at least that’s how I felt when I was there.

•St. Remy & Arles, France – I absolutely love France and the part of France I love the most is the south near Arles and St. Remy de Provence (they are about 30km apart). Arles is the bigger city with a Roman arena. St. Remy has roman ruins as well though smaller. The area is famous for inspiring Vincent Van Gogh who lived there from 1889 to 1890, a year of intense productivity of master works. It’s beauty lies in the landscape, history and French countryside charm.

•Cross Canada by Train – Traveling coach across Canada is a fabulous experience for a woman traveling alone. On route, you make friends, pick up a card game, have cocktails at 5pm… In first class where people have bedrooms its not quite as social. Traveling coach is very communal. If you’re worried about sleeping upright for three nights well, it can be done. A carry-on is the same height as the seats so a perfect extension if you’re lucky enough to get a double. But, we can make do with what we have. Beside me a lovely couple from Newfoundland sat and slept side by side for four days.

Great destinations for women traveling alone – recommendations from Twitter.

•New Zealand – it’s safe, very friendly… simply spectacular all around. CarolineAttack.

•Japan, Thailand, Vietnam… – I think Buddhist countries in general are good bets for women traveling alone zoezolbrod

•Thailand and Malaysia were great for solo women travelers as well! cbrodzky

•Chile – I was mostly in cities, but it felt incredibly safe & ppl were helpful. That said, I’ve traveled to ~15 countries alone… I should add also that the hostel scene in Santiago is amazing (lots of women staffers at CheLagarto, where I stayed) jilliancyork

•Australia was a great place to start as a woman solo traveler. I went there for 4 months. Then 3 months in New Zealand. MissAlisa75

•Netherlands – Top pick 4 solo women travelers is Netherlands/small, English spoken,women there considered equal 4 a long time- most imp! Journeywoman

•Seoul – is my recommendation for you; this city is probably one of the safest places to stay and look around. Experience thousands of years walking around old palaces. And You should try temple foods. medicomm

•Singapore, Australia and Baguio in Philippines are perfect places for first time solo women travellers prime_sarmiento

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