Female solo travel is an incredibly empowering travel experience that many women travellers worldwide have called life-changing. You might be wondering, “How on earth can I venture alone into a different country while balancing the everyday responsibilities of work, family, and life?”
We asked our community of inspiring solo travellers why they took the plunge into the unknown with a solo trip. Tykesha says, “For me, travel is life squared.” By placing yourself in an entirely different world than you are used to and experiencing it all alone, a new perspective on life emerges. 🌍
Whether you are about to take your first solo trip or your 20th, these top reasons from the inspiring women below will help you discover ways to overcome the fear of the unknown, find yourself, and meet new strangers-turned-friends along the way. No matter which travel destinations are on your bucket list – Thailand or Costa Rica, South Africa or Iceland, Morocco or New Zealand – we are here to share five amazing stories from travel experts that will inspire a departure from your comfort zone and an arrival to your next solo adventure. ✈️
Photo: Natalie in Honolulu (photo taken in Prague). Carol captures memories on a solo adventure to Prague with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.
1. Ability to go where your curiosity leads you
Melany’s Solo Travel Story
“My husband died 5 years ago. I’m 57 and all my friends have partners. I was tired of waiting for someone to be free or interested in traveling with me. I decided to go alone! I went to Amsterdam to see tulips and windmills. 🌷 I had the best holiday of my life. I couldn’t stop smiling! To paraphrase Alain de Botton: ‘Being closely observed by a companion can inhibit our observations of other people. We have to make ourselves seem more normal to fit in and it stifles our curiosity.’
Every single day I went where my curiosity led me. I saw centuries-old churches, famous paintings, and, yes, tulips and windmills! I was filled with joy, and Silvia at Flytographer captured it perfectly. When I’m an old woman in a nursing home, I will look at these photos and remember my bliss.” – @melanylowen
Photo: Flytographer in Amsterdam. Melany captures memories on her solo adventure to Amsterdam with a photoshoot.
2. To get your travel mojo back after having kids
Tykesha’s Solo Travel Story
“Before marriage and children, my life was dedicated to travel and work. I worked for the sole purpose of financing my wanderlust. However, my love for travel is rooted in my fervent desire to learn. With the fragments of new languages and cultures realized, I became a better and deeper version of myself. For me, travel is life squared.
My first solo international adventure was from Washington D.C. to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on British Airways. 🛩 My flight included two 24-hour layovers in London. My life before children was flexible and unencumbered.
After my first child, I believed that it was time to put my passport away and ‘settle down,’ sacrificing everything in the name of motherhood. During a two-year hiatus, I mourned the loss of the woman I was and the life I’d built before anyone ever called me momma.
I realized I couldn’t tell my children to pursue their dreams if I wasn’t willing to do the same. So, I decided to visit Antarctica, my seventh continent. The pristine air, deafening silence, and otherworldly landscape felt more like an intergalactic destination than a trip to the bottom of the world. I returned home altered, determined to experience more of this world …” 🌍 – @thewanderlustmomma, Written for British Airways, High Life Magazine
3. To be open to new experiences
Louisa’s Solo Travel Story
“For the first time, I was travelling to Europe alone. I had some time off and wanted to take full advantage. My favorite memory from the trip was the amazing people I met while eating dinner with a local family and taking a Portuguese cooking class. 🍽 I had so much fun discussing so many different topics and bonding with people around the world. Though I was travelling solo, I hardly felt alone.
If you go to Portugal, be sure not to miss Sintra or Cascais. Definitely try the Pastel de Nata. Don’t miss Zero Zero Pizza or Cafe Brasilera, and definitely get drinks on the rooftop of the Memmo Alfama Hotel.” – @louisa.wells
Travel Tip: If doing the research for your trip alone feels like a daunting task, head to our travel tips page! Explore by city to find hidden gems and traveller-approved tips from thousands of Flytographer customers around the world. ✍️
Photo: Claudia in Lisbon for Flytographer. Louisa captures memories on a solo trip to Lisbon with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.
4. Fear of sitting at home and waiting forever
Jana’s Solo Travel Story
“Traveling solo wasn’t a conscious plan. I had travelled with friends and I had travelled with my fiancé. But when that relationship ended, right when my friends were also starting to have kids and suddenly had little humans at home who rightly needed their time and their love, I had to come up with a different plan! I could either sit at home and wait or I could book a solo trip. Desire to explore won. Today, solo travel is second nature to me.
There’s a lot to love about solo travel.
- First, you are the master of your own schedule. I can sleep in if I want to or I can get up really early to catch the sunrise, and it’s all entirely up to me. ☀️ I love contemporary art and photography, and by travelling on my own, I can pack my itinerary with all the coolest galleries and shows without worrying that my travel partner may not enjoy them as much as I do!
- Second, spending some time on your own gives you an opportunity for reflection. 💕 You can embrace living in the moment and really soak up the atmosphere and the culture around you. I will never forget how happy I felt sitting on a step on a side street somewhere in Mykonos, feeling the warm sun on my nose, listening to the sound of the crashing waves, watching the locals go about their morning. I didn’t have to be anywhere, didn’t have a care in the world, and the moment was pure bliss.
- Third, you might meet some great people along the way. When I visit a new place I often book a small group tour early on to get my bearings. I did that on my trip to Cape Town and vacation karma was good to me. Not only did I get an amazing one-on-one street art tour of the Mother City, but my tour guide happened to be the founder of the local annual street art festival! If you stay open, good things will happen. ✨
Travelling solo can feel scary. But, if you push that initial worry aside, a fantastic window of opportunity opens. So walk through it and start checking things off your bucket list.” – @jzednickova
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Jana captures memories on a solo vacation to Santorini with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.
5. To shake up the routine and live obligation-free
Michelle’s Solo Travel Story
“Have you ever felt the need to pick up your life and shake it out a bit? To lift up the rock and see what’s underneath? I decided this was the year I was ready to strip off my day-to-day routine and go skinny-dipping in the unknown.
I’m a single mom with two busy teenage boys who works full-time outside the home. With close family, friends, and a great job, I have a generally fulfilling life, albeit one that feels like a crazy juggling act at times (hello 21st-century living); however, is it all too easy to fall into a staid pattern week after week, and I felt I’d fallen hard. I was more than ready to stop hitting the snooze button and inject a little more life into my life, so I threw my laptop and camera in a carry-on, left my cozy home in Victoria, Canada, and went off to live in South America for 30 days. 🎉
One of the best parts of being outside my normal life was the lack of obligation. I didn’t have to be home at a certain time to cook dinner, run the kids to soccer practice, ⚽️ or even get dressed to go to work. For 30 days, I was able to make decisions just for me, to say ‘yes’ if I wanted to do something or ‘no’ if I didn’t, and not have to plan my social time around the family schedule. A revelation! This was such a freeing experience, and the first time I had this opportunity in almost two decades of motherhood.
We all have obligations in life — to family and friends and coworkers — but for me, the joy in the temporary suspension of such cannot be overstated. As parents, we love our kids to bits and would do anything for them … but we all need a little break just for ourselves now and again.” – @michelleardiel
Story and photos by Michelle Ardiel, Head of Brand at Flytographer.
Michelle, Head of Brand at Flytographer, captures memories on her solo trip to Colombia and meets local photographer, Juan Felipe
Female solo travel tips
Inspired to throw your computer in a carry-on and become a digital nomad in Southeast Asia for a while? 💻 Or backpack for a couple of months around the northern coast of Spain? Or perhaps try out solo travel with a weekend away in a nearby city? 🧳 As Melany says, the best destinations will always come from wherever your curiosity leads you. This is why solo travel is one of the most liberating travel experiences of all!
Book a local Flytographer to capture your once-in-a-lifetime memories on your next solo getaway. Our photographers can’t wait to meet you … happy adventuring! 📸
“I’ve been telling everyone about Elisenda and Flytographer hours after the session ended! By far the best experience I’ve had for a fun photo shoot. She was warm, personable, Uber creative and made me feel like I was on my own private tour guide of Washington D.C. It truly helps when you have top talent and a city buff present with you in a new place. Not to mention everyone who has seen my photos has been RAVING! They keep telling me I look like I was featured in a magazine. Can’t thank Elisenda enough. It was the best time.”
“Wow! Once again, our Flytographer experience somehow overdelivered! We were so excited when travel finally opened back up and booked a trip to London. While there, our daughter took her graduation photos with Jimmy. This was our second time taking pictures with Jimmy and he continues to be the best! Even though it was a cold morning, we had a great photo shoot. The entire experience was a blast and the photos turned out absolutely wonderful. Thanks Jimmy, and Flytographer, for continuing to make these experiences possible! Could not recommend Jimmy or Flytographer more!!”
“Working with Hayley was amazing! She saw my vision and helped me tell my story through her photographic eye. She helped me to feel comfortable through the session as I am normally very shy and needs lots of guidance. my poses. She is kind and patient and easy to communicate with and I absolutely love my photos!”