Written by Margot Mora, Guest Writer
The solo female travel industry has grown exponentially over the past few years. The number of travel companies dedicated to women has grown by 230%, while online search traffic for “female solo travel” has seen a 62% increase since 2019.
All things considered, now is shaping up to be a great time for women to embark on solo international adventures. But traveling as a woman (especially if you’re alone) doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges, which is why sharing information about safe, exciting, and affordable backpacking destinations is so important.
These nine countries have been listed for characteristics that might be attractive to the everyday female traveler. They all have high safety ratings, accessible lodging, and social potential. So, if you’re raring to grab your backpack and jump on a plane but aren’t sure how to pick the right destination, you’ve come to the right place, sister!
The cold but beautiful country of Finland ranks higher than any other country on the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report. This is a top travel destination for solo travelers in general—female or otherwise.
Home to the famed Northern lights and midnight sun, Finland offers both otherworldly beauty and safety all in one. There are lots of wild, untouched natural areas perfect for camping, and an array of backpacker’s lodges that are bound to be packed with an assortment of other interesting travelers.
Spain’s socially active city of Barcelona is an excellent destination for solo female travelers. The most visited location in Spain, Barcelona is bustling with color, movement, aromas, and surreal architecture. Although some tourist-heavy areas are known to see a number of robberies and petty thefts, the city is generally safe, and one that many solo female travelers highly recommend.
Part of what makes Barcelona such an attractive destination is the variety of atmospheres it offers. The options vary from elegant boulevards to seaside nightlife and beyond. Plus, there’s a very active hostel and backpacker scene, which is known to be more affordable than its neighboring European options.
Japan is rated as one of the safest places in the world for women to travel alone. This is a country divided between millennia-old traditions and cutting edge technological progress, which makes for a stimulating and memorable travel experience.
You’ve got the mega-metropolis scene of Tokyo and Osaka alongside the pristine, ancient nature of Hokkaido and the Moto Yama rice fields. The culture of respect and cooperation is just one of the reasons why Japan is rated as the sixth most peaceful country in the world by the Global Peace Index.
Denmark’s quirky atmosphere easily caters for parties of one. Listed as one of the world’s safest and most comfortable travel destinations for women, unpleasantries such as catcalling, harassment, and assault are nearly non-existent in this peace-loving city.
Because of this, Denmark is a very popular travel destination, for both solo travelers and families. It has even been rated as one of the best places to live in the world. Bearing that in mind, many travelers still report a distinctly homey and local feel in the busy city, despite its high tourist magnetism.
Chile has been one of the number one backpacking destinations in the world for several years. The mystical desert landscape is ripe for adventure and full of other solo travelers, so you won’t feel alone unless you want to.
With plenty of hiking paths (and non-paths) to explore, visiting the beautiful arid land of Chile is a great idea for nature-loving pioneers with an appetite for immersive travel. There are also lively beaches, historic cities, and camping spots to pick from. Although crime has been decreasing in Chile, experienced travelers do recommend keeping your wits about you.
Within the greater American region, Canada is considered the safest destination for solo female travelers. This friendly country is known for expansive natural landscapes and a lively city, jam-packed with social and cultural events that you won’t experience anywhere else.
Toronto and Ontario are major art hotspots for those interested in gallery hopping. But the wilderness is practically in the backyard if you start craving something a little more rugged. The backpacker scene in Canada is broad and multicultural, so you won’t have any issues identifying some stop-worthy spots.
Australia welcomes a huge number of female backpackers annually as the country has so much to see and is incredibly safe. However, it’s still advisable that you check you have the right insurance in place for car rentals, travel emergencies, and any valuables you carry on you. Brimming with opportunities to explore everywhere from beaches to The Outback, Australia is known for its warm social scene and wide variety of natural environments.
The backpacker scene in Australia is extremely diverse and flexible, with many places offering exchange programs for travelers who don’t have a huge amount of money. You can use your skills to pay for accommodation at some hostels, which is part of what makes this such an attractive tourist destination.
If you’re a solo female traveler looking for a safe yet fulfilling adventure, Iceland should definitely be on your list. Ranked number one in the world by the Global Peace Index, as a woman, you won’t find a less dangerous place to visit. Iceland is brimming with opportunities for nature exploration, nightlife, food and art, and the hostel scene is massive due to the peak location.
You can go mountain climbing and observe magnificent ice caps, explore the 20 active volcanoes (yes, you read that right), and enjoy the rare but brilliant freedom of walking alone at night.
They say Austrians enjoy the best quality of life in Europe. Ranked fourth by the Women’s Travel Center’s list of best places for solo female travel, Austria is a confident, laid-back country that offers a wide variety of both natural and social opportunities.
In this charming little country, you’ll find lush green forests, crystalline lakes, and snow-capped mountaintops to fill your cup. You’ll also find an active backpacker scene with plenty of options for location, cost, and atmosphere.
Backpacking is an incredible way to see the world on a budget and it’s great to see that there are so many suitable destinations for female travelers. Whether you’re exploring solo or in a group, safety is always a concern, and in these nine destinations, you can feel at ease as you enjoy your adventure!
About the Author
Margot is a content champion for a variety of online publications. She often covers topics that cater to business owners and entrepreneurs with a strong focus on legal finances, business management, and a few other topics.