Traveling alone has it’s own set of requirements. Whether you are traveling to an isolated location to quiet your soul or plan to join in outdoor activities with others, the key to a successful solo vacation is knowing what you want to experience and finding the spot that comfortably meets those needs. Do you want to get away from snowflakes and freezing temperatures or get the most out of winter? Do you long for a beach and margarita poolside while the rest of your friends are bundled up? Find your ultimate alone-time escape with these 10 spots.
By Robin Enright
Find lush green scenery, adventure, and unique wildlife on Kauai. The South Shore has lodging minutes from the airport like the Kauai Marriott Resort, while the wetter North Shore offers more isolation. Regardless of where you stay, a rental car is necessary to explore the island’s microclimates. Plan to explore Waimea Canyon and Hanalei’s beautiful beaches, and don't miss the extraordinary views along the Na Pali Coast. Aquatic adventures abound on Kauai, so try stand-up paddleboarding on the Hanalei River in Hanalei, book a whale watching excursion, or try a sea kayaking tour by Outfitters Kauai. After an exciting island day get your fill of fresh seafood in Hanalei at The Dolphin, or sip a cold one in Poipu at Keoki’s Paradise “Aloha hour.”
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Kauai Guide
If your idea of a winter escape is to soak up some rays and relax for hours, then Tulum is the spot for you. With miles of serene oceanfront to stroll, this Caribbean ocean vacation might be the ultimate solo R&R destination. Turn your technology off, and set your inner clock to match the rise and fall of some extraordinary sunrises and sunsets. The cabanas at Maya Tulum will lull you into a zen state of mind the moment you arrive. Take a yoga class with ocean views, meditate while walking the labyrinth, or treat yourself to a salt scrub massage before heading out to dinner at Hartwood Tulum.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Tulum Guide
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Powder-lovers will be dazzled by the winter wonderland of New Hampshire's White Mountains. An impressive 100 km Nordic ski trail network and 464 acres of alpine skiing will keep the adventurous occupied for days. Then earn bragging rights by doing a 3-day guided winter hike up the 6,288 feet Mt. Washington with REI Adventures. If that's not enough intensity, challenge yoursel to some of New England’s best ice climbing at nearby Frankenstein Cliff. More low-key explorers should visit Franconia Notch to snowshoe a variety of trails and hikes. Stay at the historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel and relax with a drink at the end of the day with other adventurous souls inside the renovated Cave, a former speakeasy.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's White Mountains Guide
A historic gold-mining town founded in 1859, Breckenridge is the perfect spot to experience the quintessential Colorado ski town. With 187 trails, 33 lifts, and a summit elevation of 12,998 feet, there is enough terrain diversity for any skiing level. Beginners should check out Breckenridge’s First Time Discovery Series, which includes lessons, lift tickets and rentals for three days. When you aren't gliding the slopes shop 'til you drop at the 200 shops on Main Street, or sit down at Angel’s Hollow to order one of their famous margaritas. Ullr Fest, an event celebrating the mythological Norse God of snow, is held the second week in January and festivities include a frying pan toss, ski boot relay, and parade. Singles looking for fun should consider applying to be a bachelor or bachelorette at Breckenridge’s version of the Dating Game on January 8.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Breckenridge Guide
Escape winter with a trip to Costa Rica where you'll experience volcanoes, rain forests, waterfalls, rivers, and the ocean. Sign up for a beach tour on horseback or get your adrenaline racing by exploring Manuel Antonio National Park via zip line or go on a canopy tour through the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula. Water sports enthusiasts will enjoy countless spots to surf and stand-up paddleboard depending on your level. For land-based outings enjoy a round of golf at Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort in Playa Tamarindo. With days so full of adventure, find relaxation at the secluded and tranquil Hotel Capitan Suizo in Tamarindo and enjoy mingling during their weekly Friday night beach barbeque with live marimba music.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Costa Rica Guide
Taos, New Mexico
Outdoorsy travelers looking for a cultural experience should visit Taos. Here writers and artists like Georgia O’Keefe, D.H. Lawrence, and Thomas Wolfe were inspired. Get your fill of snow at the Enchanted Forest Cross-country Ski Area in the Carson National Forest with over 33 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing and 15 km of snowshoe trails. Alpine skiers have a number of resorts to choose from with those seeking a challenge best served by Taos Ski Valley. Enjoy fantastic mountain views and privacy at Adobe & Pines Inn, a 170 year-old adobe hacienda with country charm.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Taos Guide
Best known for its luscious white sand beaches, Providenciales offers a great blend of natural wonders and modernity as the most developed island in Turks and Caicos. The island will soothe tired souls, and offers plenty of aquatic activity options once you're reenergized like fishing expeditions, kayaking tours, shipwreck exploration at Chalk Sound, or snorkeling with Provo Turtle Divers. For a calmer adventure, stroll on the sand at the 12-mile Grace Bay Beach and look for the rare West Indian Whistling-Duck and countless other species of birds on the island's south side tidal flats. Grace Bay Beach's Seven Stars resort has awesome beach access with complimentary kayaks, surfboards, and snorkeling equipment. Wander down from your room to their deck bar by the beach, which becomes the hot spot on Thursday and Saturday nights with live music.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Providenciales Guide
Head to Belize to escape winter and reconnect with nature. Stay in a thatched roof cottage or treetop suite on a 365-acre nature reserve at Chaa Creek. Located on the banks of the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, you'll wake to the sounds of the rainforest. Enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world with over 500 species of fish. Or stay in the simple tent-walled cabanas at Glovers Reef basecamp located on Glover's Reef Atoll and wake to the sound of waves right outside your door.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Belize Guide
Valle d’Aosta, Italy
Bordered by France and Switzerland, Valle d'Aosta is also known as the heart of the Alps. Indulge in a European ski adventure in this magical location that has a charming village to suit every ski personality. Pila is perfect for those looking for a quiet atmosphere. The car-free resort is known for its extraordinary snow and weekend atmosphere, and is a 20 minute gondola ride to Aosta below. Or experience the livelier ski town of Courmayeur with shops and fun après-ski culture. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will want to check out the powder and scenery of Cogne. When your legs are thoroughly worn out, get your culture on by exploring the rich history in Valle d’Aosta’s Roman ruins, castles, historical churches, and museums.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Valle d'Aosta Guide
Active solo travelers heading to New Zealand will find an outdoor adventure heaven with cycling, caving, bungee, and rafting adventures. Best of all, the ideal time to visit is during their summer, which is our winter. Plan to spend at least three weeks exploring the extraordinary sights. Cyclists will enjoy the New Zealand Cycle Trail, which stretches across the North and South Islands and includes breathtaking views of beaches, lakes, mountains, lush rain forests, and wetlands. Walk or cruise through North Island’s magical Waitomo Caves, featuring a “starry” glowworm-illuminated ceiling. Maximize a visit to South Island’s Abel Tasman National Park, known for its golden beaches and cliffs, with a multi-day stay at Wilsons Abel Tasman beachfront lodge with guides ready to help you explore.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's New Zealand Guide