10 Cheap Solo Vacations Around the World

Solo travel affords one the unique opportunity to explore at their own pace while stepping out of their comfort zone, making it one of the most rewarding and thrilling experiences. With that in mind, it’s no wonder why solo travel has become increasingly popular. But don’t just take it from us. “Kayak’s data is showing that solo travel in the U.S. continues to be a trend with a steady increase in hotel searches for one person vs. last year and vs. pre-pandemic levels (2019),” said Cara Johnson, Kayak’s consumer travel trends expert.

To determine the best affordable destinations for solo travelers, we tapped the pros over at Kayak to compile a list. From there, we narrowed down our top picks based on expert insight and research. As you peruse the list below, you’ll come across a few Caribbean destinations, as well as several cities throughout North, South, and Central America. Europe isn’t entirely out of reach either, though you’ll have to keep scrolling to see which city made the cut.

No matter where you plan on traveling solo to, Fora co-founder, T+L A-List advisor, and frequent solo traveler Henley Vazquez recommends planning “a few activities in advance so you don’t feel overwhelmed with an abundance of unscheduled free time.” On the flip side, she says, “Don’t over-plan! You want to leave room for spontaneity.” She also advises saving a few locations on your phone ahead of time. That way, she says, “If you ever lose Wi-Fi or service, you know how to navigate.”

Denver, Colorado

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Average cost: $523 for flight + hotel

From scenic hiking opportunities to craft brews galore, it’s safe to say the Mile High City offers something fun for everyone. Additionally, according to Vazquez, “Denver has a great airport which makes it easy to access from almost anywhere else in the country.” Solo travelers can take their pick of outdoor activities, including hiking and biking. “While normally it’s not recommended to hike off into a national park solo, Denver has loads of fantastic trails and an active hiking population, so you’ll never be alone on the trail (in a good way),” she tells T+L. Art enthusiasts, meanwhile, need not miss Meow Wolf, a walk-through interactive art exhibit, which, per Vazquez, offers “a totally immersive, mind-bending experience.” Pro tip: Stretch your dollar even further by purchasing the Denver CityPass, which saves you up to 43 percent on admission to top attractions like the Downtown Aquarium and Denver Museum of Nature & Science, among others.

Calgary, Canada

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Average cost: $655 for flight + hotel

Known as the gateway to the Canadian Rockies, Calgary is Alberta’s largest city — and it truly offers something for everyone. Experience a taste of Calgary’s signature cowboy culture by planning your trip around the Calgary Stampede, a world-class rodeo show, music and arts festival, and carnival that takes place each summer. However, that’s not to say the urban oasis isn’t worth visiting at other times of year. The bustling downtown area is home to plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, such as Monogram Coffee Co. and Rosso Coffee Roasters, arts and entertainment (such as The Palace Theater for live music and theatrical performances at One Yellow Rabbit), and local shops, including the Alberta Boot Company, where travelers can snag a pair of handcrafted Western boots. Lastly, it’s worth noting that Calgary boasts North America’s largest urban pathway and bikeway network, making it easy for travelers to explore the various neighborhoods, parks, public art installations, and more via bike (read: no rental car required!).

Mexico City, Mexico

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Average cost: $660 for flight + hotel

“Part of the joy of visiting Mexico City is wandering around beautiful neighborhoods like Polanco and Roma and experiencing the local architecture and culture,” says Vazquez before adding, “You can set your own pace and wander blissfully on your own.” Mexico’s vibrant capital city is also world-renowned for its food scene and is home to several highly esteemed restaurants like Contramar and Meroma. Plus, “Finding a seat at the bar is easy if you’re dining for one — you could even create your own personal food crawl!” The travel pro also recommends joining a Context Travel tour to visit the Frida Khalo house, telling T+L that “their small group tours are affordable and their guides are great.” Free attractions, including the Bosque de Chapultepec and the Palacio Nacional, also abound.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Average cost: $678 for flight + hotel

San Juan, Puerto Rico has already been named among the most affordable spots for a beach vacation, with affordable flights and hotel options to suit every type of traveler. Best of all: You don’t need a passport to visit. Solo travelers can spend their days by the beach or exploring San Juan’s majestic Old Town, where the cobblestone streets are dotted with colorful buildings, shops, restaurants, and bars, (don’t miss La Factoria for craft cocktails!). Snap photos along the Instagram-famous  “Umbrella Street” (official name: Calle de la Fortaleza) before heading to the historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro fortress, complete with sweeping ocean views. While Old San Juan makes a great home base for exploring, Condado is another excellent option for beach lovers thanks to its oceanfront locale.

Panama City, Panama

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Average cost: $730 for flight + hotel

Panama City offers a similar experience to visiting Mexico City, only it’s a good bit smaller and less intimidating as a solo traveler,” says Vazquez. Plus, “It’s relatively easy (and cheap!) to get to, and once you’re there, it’s easy to navigate the different neighborhoods.” She’s also quick to call out the “incredible” food and “amazing” history — and recommends all solo travelers pay a visit to the Panama Canal. While mornings are best spent sightseeing — can’t-miss attractions include the Biomuseo, the Panama Canal Museum, and the 573-acre, flora- and fauna-filled Metropolitan Natural Park  — afternoons and evenings are for bar-hopping around Casco Viejo, the city’s oldest and smallest quarter that just so happens to be teeming with nightlife. Last but not least, “The city also offers easy access to nature, so you can add on a few days for a fun outdoor adventure.”

Willemstad, Curaçao

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Average cost: $985 for flight + hotel

Pristine beaches, colorful architecture, a fascinating history, incredible diving, and a thriving arts and culture scene: Find all this and more on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. The capital city of Willemstad boasts some seriously stunning architecture done up in pastel hues, and it also serves as the gateway to beautiful beaches, including Blue Bay, which just so happens to be a beloved diving site. The isle is also home to the 1732 Mikvé-Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Americas. Visitors can embark on a self-guided street art tour of the city, which is teeming with colorful murals. A meal and a cocktail at Cast Away Beach Bar Restaurant at Playa Kalki is also a must. Plus, Curaçao is considered one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly Caribbean vacation destinations.

Nassau, The Bahamas

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Average cost: $998 for flight + hotel

Like San Juan, the Bahamian capital city of Nassau was also named among the best-value warm-weather vacation destinations thanks to its abundance of affordable flight options. Plus, it’s just a quick one- to three-hour flight from most East Coast cities, making for an ideal long weekend getaway. While nearby Paradise Island is home to some pricey hotels and attractions, it is possible to explore Nassau on a budget. For one, travelers can take their pick of pristine (and free!) stretches of sand, including the 2.5-mile-long Cable Beach and the mile-long Junkanoo Beach, which is within walking distance of the city’s famous Straw Market. Additionally, on a recent trip, I partook in a slew of low-cost activities, including a visit to the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and a tour of John Watling’s Distillery. The Queen’s Staircase is located within the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex, which dates back to the late 18th century. After trekking the 60-plus steps, head to the Fish Fry (Arawak Cay), which is lined with colorful local eateries offering local delicacies like conch fritters and sky juice cocktails (coconut water, gin, and condensed milk served over ice) for a fraction of the price you’d find in local resorts.

Santiago, Chile

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Average cost: $1,049 for flight + hotel

With the value of the Chilean peso currently so low, there’s never been a better time for budget-conscious solo travelers to consider a trip to Chile’s capital city. “Santiago is beautiful and has access to all the incredible nature Chile has to offer, including Patagonia and wine country,” says Vazquez. However, that’s not to say you need to leave the city to enjoy some of the country’s best vinos — simply snag a seat at wine bars like Bocanáriz and Barrica 94 between sightseeing tours. And, speaking of the latter, don’t miss sites like La Chascona, the former home of famed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre. Also, Vazquez explains, “What’s great about traveling to Chile is most of the lodges include group activities and tours, so even if you’re solo, you’re still connecting with other travelers each day.” She especially recommends Tierra Atacama, which just announced a $12 million refresh, and the Explora Lodge, which offers “a rich history of sustainability, originally owned by North Face founder Douglas Tompkins.”

Reykjavik, Iceland

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Average cost: $1,053 for flight + hotel

The Icelandic capital is known for being one of the safest cities thanks to its friendly locals and low crime rates, making it a solid choice for adventure-seeking and nature-loving solo travelers. Fly there via Icelandair or PLAY, both of which offer low-cost flight options from many U.S. cities. Upon landing, hit the ground running and get exploring: Start at The National Gallery of Iceland, the famous Hallgrímskirkja church, or the National Museum of Iceland before refueling with a meal at OTO (which serves up Italian and Asian fusion) or a cup of coffee at Kaffitar or Reykjavik Röst. Also, consider renting a car or partaking in a tour to explore nearby sites like Mount Esja or the Fagradalsfjall volcano — both of which are within an hour’s drive of the city — as well as Gullfoss Falls, which is a bit further away (about an hour and 45 minutes by car) and well worth the trek. Meanwhile, Sky Lagoon is an easy 15-minute drive from the city and attracts wellness-seekers from all over with its geothermal baths.

George Town, Cayman Islands

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Average cost: $1,204 for flight + hotel

Sometimes, all you need is a solo beach vacation, and this is the perfect place,” Vazquez says of George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands. “You can be on the beach reading a book within 30 minutes of landing!” Located on Grand Cayman — known for its beautiful beaches and top-notch diving — this bustling port city offers an abundance of activities that run the gamut from distillery tours to pickleball. Alternatively, sun-seekers can head straight to the stunning Seven Mile Beach, while history buffs and art enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Cayman Islands National Museum and The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, respectively. Consider visiting in the summer or early fall, which coincides with the island’s low season. The result? Cheaper flights, lower rates on lodging, and fewer crowds.

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