safe countries to travel alone

On Your Own? Check Out These 15 Safe Countries to Travel Alone

Traveling around the world is thrilling and empowering. But it can also be a tad scary.

It’s especially scary if you’re traveling alone.

When you explore with a friend or a group, you can rely on your travel buddies to help you out when there’s trouble. People also might be less likely to mess with you when you’re in a group, because there’s strength in numbers.

But with solo travel, you need to find safe countries to travel alone.

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How to Remain Safe When Traveling

Now, any list of safe countries aside, it’s important to remember that even in the safest places, you should always remain vigilant and aware. There’s no guarantee that any place is free from danger.

But there are things you can do to reduce the risk of incidents.

  • Don’t be too trusting. There are a lot of nice people in the world, but sometimes their kind demeanor is a way to hook you into a scam.
  • Don’t drink too much. Not being in a coherent state of mind will cause seriously bad lapses in judgement.
  • Keep your valuables safe at all times. If you consider an item valuable, a thief probably considers it worth stealing. Make sure everything is secure and under constant guardianship.
  • Act in a culturally appropriate manner. Try to blend in, and don’t do anything that would be considered offensive to locals.
  • Learn the language. Try FluentU free for 15 days to learn the language before and during your trip. Learn by watching real-world videos, like news broadcasts, movie trailers and TV shows. Speaking the local language is a great way to make you appear savvy and confident. That confidence will make people think twice before trying to deceive you.
  • Get insuredBad things happen. It’s always hard, but it will be a lot more difficult if you don’t have any insurance.

All that said, the most important trick to staying safe is picking safe places to travel alone!

How to Find the Best Places to Travel Alone

When making an itinerary, you need to find a balance between “safe and boring” and “thrilling and incredibly dangerous.”

It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Do you like adventure tourism but don’t want to risk getting pick-pocketed while in line to bungee jump? New Zealand sounds like the right place for you.

Or maybe you want to have a working holiday in a low-crime tropical location. Mauritius could be a good fit.

Everyone is unique in how they choose their location. But we can help you by providing important points to consider about these 15 safe countries.

How to Determine a Country’s Safety

The metrics we’ve chosen to determine safety are the Global Peace Index (GPI) and Safe Around (SA).

The Global Peace Index is a measurement of a nation’s relative peacefulness as defined by a variety of factors, such as social security and involvement in internal and external conflict.

Safe Around is a website that ranks a country’s relative safety levels based on a few other factors. It averages scores from the GPI and information obtained from the Australian and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs. It also references informational publications like Lonely Planet.

15 Safe Countries to Travel Alone on Every Continent

Safe Countries to Travel Alone in the Americas

Canada

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GPI #6, SA #8

Why it’s safe

Canada is a country known for its friendly citizens, relaxed atmosphere and relatively liberal government.

It has one of the lowest overall crime rates in the world and is a popular destination for solo travelers.

Why you should go

  • Diversity. One of every five Canadians is born outside of the country. And let’s not forget about Québec, an entire province settled by French Canadians who retain not only the language but also the heritage of their French ancestors. Couple that with all the native people from various ethnic backgrounds and you have a diverse nation that delicately blends different heritages into one modern Canadian society.
  • Nature. Aside from the friendly people, Canada is famous for its number of natural landscapes, from the glacial fjords of Newfoundland to Lake Magog in British Columbia. The opportunities for hiking, camping, skiing, mountain climbing, white water rafting and wildlife spotting are endless.
  • Modernity. Canada is one of the highlights of innovation in the world today. Its citizens are well cared for. Technological and social luxuries make everyone feel comfortable and at ease.

Uruguay

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GPI #37, SA #36

Why it’s safe

Uruguay gained a lot of fame years ago when an austere freedom fighter became the president and implemented a litany of social change.

Now, under a new president, this South American democratic country is largely egalitarian with high overall income levels and low overall poverty levels. Good social services help keep its citizens happy and without desire to commit crime.

Why you should go

  • Cityscapes. Each city in Uruguay is unique and full of history. There’s the culturally diverse and eclectic capital city of Montevideo, the ritzy and glamorous Punta del Este and the colonial-era cobblestone streets of the UNESCO-protected Colonia del Sacramento.
  • Landscapes. Beaches mingle with lakes and rivers as they flow through Uruguay’s rolling hills. The country’s landscapes are ideal for those looking to find an idyllic South American getaway.
  • Culture. Uruguay has a varied cultural heritage that draws influence from its past while aiming to advance change across the world in the future. From its infamous red wine to its leadership in green living, the cultural markers of Uruguay are definitely worth exploring.

Costa Rica

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GPI #40, SA #62

Why it’s safe

Costa Rica is consistently voted among the happiest nations in the world. Famous for popularizing the phrase “¡Pura vida!” (“Pure life!”), Costa Ricans are all about being peaceful and going with the flow.

Every December 1st, locals celebrate the fact that they are one of the only countries in the world without a standing military.

Why you should go

  • Beaches. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, Costa Rica is littered with dreamlike beaches. Visitors have unparalleled opportunities for swimming, surfing and diving all year round.
  • Culture. Costa Ricans maintain an active cultural identity that differs from the rest of Central America. Apart from the worldwide fame of Costa Rica’s coffee and bananas, the indigenous populations are noteworthy for their efforts to retain their land and cultural identity.

Safe Countries to Travel Alone in Asia

Singapore

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GPI #8, SA #5

Why it’s safe

Singapore is a modern and highly developed country. Its relative diversity gives it a tolerant perspective toward others’ views in society.

With one of the lowest crime rates in the world, the government is proactive in making sure Singapore’s streets are free not only of garbage, but also of criminals.

Why you should go

  • History. Singapore is often regarded as the only fully functioning city-state in the world. This comes with a long past of settlements, occupations, trade routes and other cultural abnormalities that make Singapore a unique study in world history.
  • Infrastructure. Because there are no other cities to focus on in the country, Singapore has made itself a hyper-streamlined system that functions fluidly. Its urban development, architecture and famous landmarks are impressive sights to behold.
  • Culture. Three main heritage groups make up the majority of Singapore’s population: Chinese, Malay and Indian. But there are loads of other ethnic minority groups that add flavor to this relatively small island nation.

Japan

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GPI #9, SA #26

Why it’s safe

Japanese culture is known for being respectful, polite and kind. Their particular brand of kindness is often used as a hallmark of Asian hospitality.

Japan is a highly modern and liberal society with low overall crime rates.

Why you should go

  • Nature. Japan is one of the most naturally diverse landscapes in the world. From volcanoes to beaches to hot springs, there’s something for every kind of nature-seeking traveler.
  • Architecture. The buildings in Japan are noteworthy not just for their ingenuity, but also for their diversity. Walk from modern skyscrapers, to Buddhist pagodas, to countryside villages. There’s no shortage of interesting Japanese architecture.
  • Culture. The intimidating Japanese language, world-famous cuisine, style of dress and lifestyle are all one-of-a-kind Japanese things to experience. Not to mention the country’s impressive entertainment sources and modern amenities!

Malaysia

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GPI #25, SA #56

Why it’s safe

Malaysia is a modern society with plenty of development and infrastructure in place to make sure that everyone stays safe and secure.

A large portion of the population speaks English, so interacting with friendly and welcoming locals is easy for most foreigners.

The government is relatively free of corruption compared to other Asian nations. The country’s strong religious ideals give it an air of peace, safety and stability.

Why you should go

  • Landscapes. Malaysia is famous for its jungles, especially on the island of Borneo and the inner peninsula where thousands of acres of jungle remain untouched and unexplored. Aside from the dense tropical rainforests, the coastline is filled with stunning beaches that offer some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world.
  • Wildlife. Malaysia is one of the 12 most bio-diverse places in the world. On Borneo, you’ll find orangutans and pangolins. On the peninsula, you’ll see tigers and elephants. And don’t forget about the freshwater and ocean life! The sheer magnitude of wildlife in and off the coast of Malaysia is nothing short of mind-blowing.
  • Cityscapes. There’s a long history associated with each of Malaysia’s cities. From the highly developed modern capital of Kuala Lumpur to the Dutch colonialism of the UNESCO world-heritage sites in Penang, the cityscapes are almost as diverse as the wildlife.

Safe Countries to Travel Alone in Africa

Mauritius

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GPI #20, SA #32

Why it’s safe

Sitting in the Indian ocean, this African nation is far away from the hustle and bustle of modern problems. That’s what makes its citizens so friendly and relaxed, happily welcoming foreigners who travel there.

It’s a modern country that has been getting a lot of attention from recent expats and digital nomads.

Mauritius is one of the safest countries in Africa, sporting one of the lowest overall crimes rates and the highest GPI.

Why you should go

  • Beaches. Mauritius is famous for its reefs, lagoons and beaches. It comes complete with all the typical beach activities like surfing, diving, snorkeling and parasailing. It’s a tropical oasis for all beach lovers.
  • Landscapes. Aside from the beach, Mauritius is a beautiful tropical paradise. There’s a large mountain in the middle of the island perfect for hiking and trekking. You can have a picnic in the jungle or swim at one of the waterfalls in the forest.
  • Modernity. Mauritius is definitely one of the most modern countries in Africa. With tourism being a major draw and with a growing number of expats moving here, it’s easy to come here for a couple days and end up staying for a couple years!

Botswana

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GPI #29, SA #73

Why it’s safe

Botswana is often noted as being one of the safest places in Africa because street crime among tourists is rare. The locals are friendly and love to help foreign visitors explore their land.

The overall crime rate is low and the people live in relative peace.

Why you should go

  • Wildlife. Botswana is one of the most famous safari spots in the world. Get up close with elephants and experience the majestic wildlife of Africa!
  • Landscapes. Speaking of jungles, Botswana is arguably home to some of the most interesting African wilderness. Explore the rivers, mountains, deserts, salt lakes and deltas as they fill out this geographically diverse country.
  • Culture. Deep in the scenic hills of Botswana lie some of the oldest prehistoric rock paintings known to man. The modern local culture is also rich with nuance, diversity and substance. From food to art to dance, the citizens of Botswana have a lot to offer curious foreigners.

Ghana

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GPI #41, SA #45

Why it’s safe

Compared to other West African countries, Ghana isn’t only safe when it comes to overall crime rates. It’s also relatively stable politically.

While it’s still a developing country, Ghana has a lot of political and trading ties to the West. With English being the official language, Ghanaians are easy to talk to, friendly and generally helpful.

Why you should go

  • Nature. Forests, beaches, lakes and a diverse array of wildlife fill out this relatively small country. You can hang out on a secluded beach or take a walk across the rainforest in a treetop canopy.
  • People. The Ghanaian people are widely regarded as some of the friendliest on the African continent. Most tourists immediately feel welcomed when they enter the country, and since English is a common language, it won’t be hard to make friends.
  • Culture. Ghanaian culture is distinct from other African nations in too many ways to count. The country is home to colonial castles dating back to the slave trade, a unique array of delicious food and a rich history of music and dance.

Safe Countries to Travel Alone in Europe

Iceland

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GPI #1, SA #1

Why it’s safe

Iceland is consistently number one on safety, peacefulness and happiness lists.

Income equality and widespread egalitarianism are leading to a breakdown of class systems. There’s no active military and the police don’t carry guns.

Everyone in Iceland seems well cared for and happy, even if a little cold.

Why you should go

  • Landscapes. Glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, lakes, you name it! Iceland has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Check out the glacier and lava tubes at Snæfellsjökull National Park or go see the Northern Lights at Westfjords.
  • Outdoor Activities. The natural beauty of Iceland is perfect for those who can brave the cold. Although, if you can’t stand snow, summer in this country can actually get pretty warm. Iceland is filled with great hiking, camping, cave exploring, glacier climbing and so much more for outdoor adventure seekers.
  • Culture. How did the remnants of a volcano turn into one of the most progressive societies on Earth? Icelandic culture is rich with history, from its important literary heritage to its basket weaving and wood carving art forms.

Slovenia

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GPI #11, SA #12

Why it’s safe

Slovenia is a developed, peaceful country with hospitable citizens and one of the lowest crime rates in the world. The political climate is stable and the country is flourishing economically.

Why you should go

  • Underrated. Slovenia is one of the most underrated travel destinations in Europe. Not only is it cheaper than most European travel hot spots, it’s also a lot more laid-back and low-key. In many cases, Slovenia has more interesting history, culture and natural highlights than other European countries.
  • Nature. Slovenia has a wide diversity of landscapes. More than half the country is forest, so hiking, trekking and camping are common activities. But there’s also world-class rafting, cave exploration and Alpine skiing.
  • Culture. The capital city of Ljubljana has all the charm of a quaint European city. Except it has fewer people, less grime and less traffic. Outside of the capital lie even more charming cities, towns and villages that display the full majesty of Slovenian culture.

Estonia

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GPI #33, SA #24

Why it’s safe

The political stability in Estonia has allowed the government to focus on maintaining the safety of its country.

Since the country relies so heavily on tourism, there’s a lot of infrastructure set up to make sure that everything remains peaceful and everyone stays safe.

Why you should go

  • Architecture. Estonia has hill forts dating back thousands of years, Gothic castles lining the UNESCO-protected old town in Tallinn and experimental 19th century buildings showcasing a distinct cultural heritage.
  • Culture. While Estonia fell to the Soviet Union during World War II, the culture has remained distinct and separate from their Russian comrades. The artistic heritage, sleepy villages and thriving food scene make Estonian culture one of the distinct darlings of European travel.
  • Islands. Off the coast of mainland Estonia are over 2,000 islands, many of them offering their own slant on Estonian culture. Just a short ferry ride away from the western coast of the mainland, you can cycle through juniper groves while gawking at lighthouses, old churches and crumbling fortresses.

Safe Countries to Travel Alone in Oceania

New Zealand 

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GPI #2, SA #3

Why it’s safe

New Zealand is a progressive and easy-going country with a stable, democratic government. This socially liberal society is largely egalitarian.

It’s due to this classless influence that crime in New Zealand is perceived to be relatively rare.

Why you should go

  • Landscapes. New Zealand is home to rolling plains, volcanoes, glaciers, fjords and beaches. From Fjordland National Park to the Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand is rich with geographic diversity. It was one of the last major islands in the Pacific to be settled and is still very sparse in population. As such, much of its picturesque beauty remains pristine and untouched.
  • Culture. Aside from being the home of Peter Jackson and the “Lord of the Rings” saga, New Zealand is particularly proud of its indigenous population, the Maoris. New Zealanders incorporate Maori heritage into their daily lives.

Australia

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GPI #13, SA #13

Why it’s safe

Like New Zealand, Australia is progressive and easy going.

While a much bigger country with a larger population, Australians still manage to maintain a low overall crime rate.

Why you should go

  • Nature. The country is a massive block of mostly red sand. But among that sand you’ll find mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. And let’s not forget about the wildlife! Kangaroos, koala bears and dingoes help characterize the biodiverse Australian world.
  • Cityscapes. Each city in Australia, most of which line gorgeous coasts, is extremely different in architecture and culture. From the architectural marvel of the Sydney Opera House to the largest Southern Hemisphere inner city park in Perth, Australian cities are ripe for exploration.
  • Indigenous Culture. While Australian culture may feel familiar to Westerners, the Aboriginals of Australia are known around the world for being the first ones to settle the continent. They’re also famous for popularizing things like the boomerang and didgeridoo, both unique tools representing their heritage.

Vanuatu

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Unrated

Why it’s safe

Vanuatu is a country made up of a group of islands in Melanesia.

While no official metric exists to measure its overall safety, Vanuatu is an up-and-coming country for tourists. A quick Google search will reveal countless anecdotal reports claiming the people are incredibly friendly. Visitors also claim there’s a low level of theft and petty crime on the islands.

Possibly the largest threat to an individual’s safety are the frequent cyclones. But if you stay vigilant and follow the advice given to you by the experienced locals, you won’t be in danger.

Note: This is a largely untouched, developing country without many modern customs, systems or values. While generally safe, a lot of crimes may go unreported.

Why you should go

  • Beaches. Vanuatu is a tropical paradise with idyllic beaches. It offers access to world-class diving sites with underwater caverns, coral reefs and even World War II ship wreckage. It’s a perfectly peaceful place to spend time relaxing on a tropical island.
  • Landscapes. While the nearby waters are great for seeing things, the land also has some amazing sights. Wander around the ten hectares of tropical gardens at the Summit Gardens or climb up the country’s tallest mountain, Mount Tabwemasana. As you hop along the islands, you’ll never be at a loss for a beautiful sight.
  • Culture. This is a mostly rural, developing country. There are interesting villages, markets and cultural artifacts all over the place. The people of these islands have lived there for centuries and have only just begun to welcome in tourists. The integrity of their heritage is untouched and waiting to be discovered!

 

Again, while these are 15 generally safe countries to travel alone, there’s no guarantee bad things won’t happen.

Always follow basic safety precautions and never do anything provocative. Behave in a culturally appropriate manner and don’t call attention to yourself. Always have a contingency plan in place.

Traveling alone doesn’t have to be scary. If you know where to go and you know how to stay safe, you can confidently navigate the stormy waves of solo travel with ease and confidence.

So now that you know a few interesting and safe countries to travel alone, the only thing left to do is to go out and see the world!

 


Eric Michelson is a nomadic, philosophizing, peace-minded pluralist. He hopes to help bridge the divide between the diverse factions of the world by exploring various perspectives brought on by personal experience. You can follow Perspective Earth to learn more about him and his work.

 

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