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35 Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas and New Years
You may be excited by the prospect, or you may approach it with dread. However you think about being alone for the holidays, I have some solo travel destinations to offer.
I recently received an email asking for recommendations for Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas. I also noticed a sharp uptick in the searches for solo travel for Christmas and New Years this past weekend.
So I got on the case.
I put the query out to the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. And I used a service that allows reporters to ask a massive list of publicists for some specific information. The result: 35 solo travel destination recommendations for the holidays. Some are recommendations from readers. Some, which I tried to vet, are from publicists. Please keep in mind that these are not endorsements from us so, while I hope that they help you find your perfect holiday destination, please do your research carefully.
Let’s start with the readers’ recommendations.
Reader Recommended Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas
Galapagos is recommended by Jasmine – “I’m going to the Galapagos this New Year. Will be solo, but with like minded adventurers on a boat :)”
New York City is recommended by Kathleen – “I live near New York, and I would think that it or any diverse city would be fun–there are always a lot of people who either don’t celebrate or are completely over the Christmas thing, so you would be free to focus your attention on other things.”
Red Mountain Resort, Utah is recommended by Martha – “Have only been in the fall and it’s not for anyone looking to save money but it’s fabulous. They even have a communal dining table if you’ve a mind to socialize.”
Antarctica is recommended by Karina – “I’ve done Antarctica for Xmas as a solo.”
Vienna is recommended by Grace – “I would definitely recommend Vienna as a Christmas destination. Aside from being solo friendly with a phenomenally efficient and navigable transport system, the whole city has a wonderful traditional Christmas feel to it, especially after dark when the light displays come into their own! Throw in the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, and you’ve got yourself a magical Christmas experience smile emoticon.”
Some readers then weighed in on the refugee crisis in Europe.
Pesel – “I’m thinking Europe will be disrupted due to the Syrian immigration crisis recently….especially in Vienna. No?”
Grace – “There’s been a large influx in the last few weeks, although they’re mainly transiting through to reach Germany. Having said that, there are now border controls being put in place across several countries (Austria included) so I imagine over the next few months there’ll be fewer people coming into the major cities, as the registration process will be done at the borders.”
Elizabeth – “This is an interesting forum addressing the issue of travel in EU. Also, could check for travel alerts from your government’s embassies and foreign/international affairs websites.”
Peru is recommended by Jennifer – “Condor Travel in Peru is excellent at putting together custom tours. Also, I’d go just about anywhere in Vietnam solo, but specifically Hoi An & Hue are lovely.”
New Zealand is recommended by the bloggers at Indie Travel Podcast – “I’d have to recommend New Zealand for Christmas, it’s summer now and lovely! If you’re travelling solo, you could hop on the Stray Backpacker bus for an instant group of friends but with the flexibility to hop on and hop off when you like.”
Jordan is recommended by Catherine. “It’s my favourite country and I had a fantastic tour there over Christmas a couple of years ago. So much to see and do, amazing food, such friendly people and Petra is absolutely fantastic. Sadly, due to the situation in the Middle East tourist numbers have dropped drastically but I understand it’s still perfectly safe. You may even get Petra almost to yourself.”
Nuremberg, Germany is recommended by Shannon – “The traditional Christmas market is an amazing experience.”
Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona is recommended by Micheline – “I definitely recommend the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. The botanical garden and the zoo are decorated in festive lights. The winter sky is a beautiful color. The temperature is just right, usually 70s Fahrenheit. Many restaurants have outdoor patios and it’s so pretty to watch the sunset.”
London, England is recommended by Bella – I spent Christmas in London last year and LOVED it! If you go, take a night tour of London and see it all lit up, especially the lovely tree at Buckingham Palace. Check out our posts on London: Affordable London! 32 free and low-cost tips and Marylebone, London & Christmas Magic on Oxford Street
Boston is recommended by Mira – Book a hotel downtown, close to malls & restaurants and with a pool and hot tub – fabulous!
Ubud, Bali is recommended by Jennifer – I would very highly recommend the Escape The World Retreat in Ubud.”
Marrakech, Morocco is recommended by Riad – “You’ll get to enjoy the wonders of the city, the monuments, the souks, the food, a camel ride, ski in the Atlas mountains, day trip to the surrounding villages… All in one city AND it’s sunny even in December.”
Christmas Markets in Germany are recommended by Karla – “I go every year to the Christmas Markets . I absolutely love them! And I’m never lonely.”
DisneyWorld! is recommended by Tania – “For a magical experience – hands down”
Cape Town is recommended by Lize – “For the winelands, beaches, forest, mountains.”
Alice Springs to Darwin by train is recommended by Joanne – “I did the Ghan train trip on Christmas from Alice Springs to Darwin…but it does go from Adelaide then to Alice Springs and up to Darwin!”
Miraval Resort & Spa in the Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson, AZ is recommended by René – “You can be as active or as chill as you want at this resort. The location is beautiful, and the food is fantastic!”
Will You Feel Lonely Being Alone for the Holidays?
And then the question arose…
Magdalene – “I hope it’s not a silly question… but do you feel lonely travelling alone on festive season such as Christmas?”
And the answers came
Paanch – “Once you realise how peaceful and interesting it is to spend time with yourself, you are ready to go, no matter what the season. Festive or not. I feel totally blessed.”
Catherine – “I never feel lonely travelling over Christmas but then I started doing it to escape my family! Maybe you’d feel less that way by doing a group tour? I’ve met some amazing people who have become firm friends doing that?”
Sherryl – “As a single childless adult with family in far flung places in the world, it became quite normal to go off by myself on a diving vacation almost every year. I quite enjoy it and often pick out something spectacular to do on the 25th.”
Jill – “Yes. Traveling means being alone and not being judged and compared by others.”
More Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas and New Years
Below are suggestions for destinations from our advertisers on the Solo Travel Deals page and submissions from publicists responding to a query. Sometimes they wrote from personal experience but usually it was as promotional information.
Our apologies in advance – some of these have small single supplements. Here they are…
Choose from over 100 adventures departing in December and save $100 if you book between now and 30Sep 2015. Get away for/from the holidays with a small group of like minded travelers. Choices include.
Costa Rica, Thailand or Iceland with Explore – Explore! is a regular supporter of Solo Traveler and they have over 100 adventures departing in December. Save $100 if you book between now and 30Sep 2015. Choices include. Islands in the Sun, Thailand, Northern Lights, Iceland and Highlights of Costa Rica.
River cruises in Europe, Exclusive Offer for Readers of Solo Traveler – Take a luxurious 7-15-day AmaWaterways European River cruise for this holiday season and pay NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT! Cruise 7 nights on the Rhine or the Danube with other solo travelers, or sail on an incredible 15-day journey to enjoy both Christmas and New Year’s. Limited space is still available. Your premium solo friendly AmaWaterways river cruise includes large, state-of-the-art river view stateroom, all gourmet meals, guided sightseeing in each port, and unlimited wines and beers with meals. Normal price from $4699, Solo Traveler Blog prices for window staterooms from $2799.
Glamping in Napa – This holiday season, TerraVelo will be setting up camp in Napa. Beginning mid-November and continuing through January, TerraVelo Tours will set up nine beautiful five-star luxury safari tents on the lush grounds of Pope Valley Winery. The Holiday Glamping Celebration takes place over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s ($2250 pp).
Anamaya Resort on the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica – “This is the absolute best solo trip I have ever been on. The Anamaya Resort offers yoga retreats, surfing, healing and FUN! I went alone TWICE and wouldn’t do it any other way. I went the week right after the holidays but I wish I would have gone for Christmas. The reason why it’s so great is because most of the people who go are there alone so you form a really great connection with the other guests. Anamaya makes you feel like you are at your own home so it’s comforting, warm, and inclusive.”
Motorcycle Tours in Ecuador – Freedom Bike Rental offers all of their motorcycle tours with single occupancy as standard. Solo travelers make up a majority of their customers who come to explore this beautiful country by motorcycle. They provide guided tours and also complete self-guided tour packages.
Nagaland, India – Run by an eco-travel company, the ‘Nagaland tour of tribes‘ is an 11-day experience to Nagaland, India, where travelers find authentic experiences with colorful tribes who have fascinating customs and cultures.
Santa Fe, New Mexico – The city’s event calendar for the holidays is packed. There are downtown tours, restaurant tours, historical tours, outdoor adventure tours-tours galore. Also for the outdoor type, Santa Fe Ski Basin is open, just a few minutes from town. You can take cooking classes at the renowned Santa Fe School of Cooking, painting classes at Santa Fe Art Classes and all sorts of other creative class opportunities. Many restaurants have community tables, such as the famous Café Pasqual’s, and there are many notable resorts and hotels with beautiful fireplaces areas where anyone would be comfortable and at home.
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast in Shinnston, West Virginia – “At Gillum House, we invite guests who are in-house on Holidays to celebrate with us – as our guests (no extra charge). We have a single man who always joins us so it is not just couples. There is quite a bit to see and do in the area in December, much of it is free. And our room rates do not go up on holidays.”
La Escuela Del Sol, Montezuma, Costa Rica – La Escuela Del Sol provides a warm weather travel adventure for active adults who want to learn Spanish, fire dancing, surfing, obtain scuba certification or practice yoga in a tropical paradise. They offer Fire Dancing workshops every year with world renowned instructors (including from Cirque du Soleil) and you can take a combination of almost any of their courses from 1 to 4 weeks. They even offer college credit for our Spanish curriculum!
Prana Del Mar, Baja, Mexico – Take a Christmas Holiday Yoga Vacation. They are a yoga retreat and wellness center at the southern tip of Baja, Mexico – on the outskirts of Los Cabos. Their primary focus is yoga and meditation retreats, yoga holidays, and spa vacations. They often have travelers coming solo, seeking rest relaxation and rejuvenation. A retreat environment is a great place to find like-minded travelers and to make deep connections while on a solo journey.
Tybee Island, Georgia – Where’s that? Near Savannah. The PR says: Tybee Island, Georgia is an ideal destination for solo travelers. Island attractions all offer single ticket admissions and tours with no additional fees or restrictions. Travelers can stay in a coastal B&B, a cottage or seaside hotel and vacation at their leisure.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia – With their Solo Traveler Package, you can explore all that the island and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel has to offer, with breakfast each morning, one ticket to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Historic District Tour and the Hotel Tour, a picnic lunch, a reservation for Victorian Tea and bicycle rentals. With their planned itinerary, you will hit all the most memorable attractions and get to discover all of the beauty that Jekyll Island has to offer!
Smartours – Online they’re tour prices are based on double occupancy but they do have a roommate matching forum and they have given us prices based on single occupancy for 5 tours leaving in the last week of December. Also, the prices include airfare. Since we have an international readership, I would check for any restrictions on this point.
- 14 days to Thailand with airfare: departing 12/24 for $2378 based on single occupancy
- 10 days to Beijing & Shanghai with airfare: departing 12/24 for $1548 based on single occupancy
- 10 days to Beijing, Xian & Shanghai with aifare departing 12/25 for $2098 based on single occupancy
- 14 days to South Africa with airfare departing 12/24 for $3798 based on single occupancy
- 15 days to Vietnam & Angkor Wat with airfare departing 12/28 for $3228 based on single occupancy
That’s it for now. Please add your suggestions to the comments section.