As countries are gradually opening their borders to tourists, it’s time to start planning a much-needed getaway. If you need a break from everything (and everyone), consider a solo trip.
Solo travel is becoming increasingly popular with women. If you’re like many of us, you feel the need to keep everyone happy. But in your determination to please everyone in your family, you neglect yourself.
You love museums but your kids whine so much that it spoils your fun. You want to lie on the beach all day with a good book but your companion wants to go parasailing. You are ready for dinner but no one else is hungry. What usually happens in these situations? You compromise. No, you don’t even compromise. You give up what you want in favor of keeping someone else happy.
This is the beauty of solo travel. You get to do whatever YOU want.
Let me tell you my story. When I fly I like to sit on the aisle. I don’t like feeling trapped. But my boyfriend always likes to sit by the window. To stay together, I always sit in the center so he will be happy.
One day I said, you know what? I want to sit on the aisle dammit! He can have the middle seat! He was honestly fine with it. He didn’t complain. He didn’t grumble or sigh or give any indication he wasn’t happy. But I knew he would have been happier by the window. And because of this, I felt guilty and didn’t enjoy my aisle seat at all.
Messed up. I know. I also know it’s my problem, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
This is why I love traveling solo. Not just because I get the aisle seat. I get to sleep late if I want. I can go to bed early and watch a rom-com. I don’t have anyone to make happy but myself. It’s a liberating feeling!
But traveling solo as a woman also has its drawbacks, the primary one being safety. You absolutely need to take precautions to stay safe, which I talk about here. But the first thing you need to do is choose your location. Find a place where you can relax, not look over your shoulder every few minutes, and just truly enjoy being alone.
Luckily for you, the Caribbean boasts many options for solo women. Read on to see my favorites.
All these islands are rated by the US Department of State as Level 1 countries. This is the safest rating which means to exercise normal precautions (as you should always do!). Also, on Numbeo.com, visitors have rated each island below as “very high” for walking alone during the day and “very high” or “high” for walking alone at night.
Read on and see where your next solo adventure will take you.
Known as the “Happiest Island,” Aruba is a great destination for solo women. Aruba consists of approximately 75 square miles and 42 miles of coastline. Of course, Aruba has white sandy beaches with calm water for you to enjoy. You will also find a rugged coast with wild waves crashing onto cliffs.
Traveling solo doesn’t mean you want to be alone the whole time. Aruba is a great place to mingle with the locals as well as other tourists. Visit during the two-month-long Carnival and you’re pretty much guaranteed to make some new friends.
Aruba is home to many glittering casinos plus a very lively bar and club scene. Be sure to try Aruba’s famous cocktail, the Aruba Ariba. This drink contains a local liquor called Coecoei, which can only be found on the island.
Mingle with some fish by joining a tour to dive or snorkel the Antilla, the largest shipwreck in the southern Caribbean and home to a wealth of sea life.
A safe, friendly island, it’s no wonder solo women travelers recommend Aruba.
Aruba’s official tourism website, www.VisitAruba.com, has a ton of information about the island, as well as the schedule for Carnival.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s also a great place to be pampered. If you enjoy shopping, Georgetown is the place for you. You’ll find a variety of duty-free shops selling name brands. You can also find locally made crafts if you’re looking for something a bit more unique.
You can’t go to Grand Cayman and not go to the beach. Seven Mile Beach is Grand Cayman’s most famous beach, and with good reason. You’ll find nearly any activity you want. Try horseback riding, snorkeling, or parasailing. You can even get a massage in the shade of a palm tree. Or just go for a swim in the clear, warm water. You can’t go wrong here.
If you’d rather mingle with locals, visit East End Beach, also known as Colliers Beach. Here you’ll find popular weekend activities where you might make some lifelong friends.
Grand Cayman is not just about the beaches. Explore the magnificent caves on the north side of the island. You’ll also find plenty of adventure sports to keep your adrenaline flowing.
Basseterre, Saint Kitts
In St. Kitts you can find a towering volcano, coral reefs, a rainforest, mongoose, and vervet monkeys. The beaches are spectacular and the water is inviting.
You’ll also find friendly people and learn what it means to be “limin.” Limin is what the locals call relaxing on a beach, hanging out on a sailboat, or sipping on a Ting with a Sting at a beach bar. My kind of lifestyle!
St. Kitts is an excellent choice for solo travelers. The vibe is laid back and welcoming. You’ll never feel lonely here.
If all that limin has you ready for a bit of excitement, you can find that, too. Go ziplining, flyboarding, or kite surfing. You can explore ancient shipwrecks, play golf, and hike the Valley of the Giants. There are plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.
When you get tired, go back for some more limin. Maybe visit one of the island’s spas for some relaxation. You’ll need to get rejuvenated so you can get back out there and see more of what this wonderful island has to offer!
Check out www.stkittstourism.kn for the low-down on all things St. Kitts.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands and offers a warm, friendly environment. Whether you want to relax on one of the picturesque beaches, take a hike, or explore the island’s fascinating history, you will find your happy place here.
There are many fabulous spas to pamper you for a day. If you want a bit of adventure, take a helicopter tour and see how beautiful this part of the world is from the sky. Or perhaps make some new friends on a snorkel trip or party cruise.
Tortola has many educational opportunities as well. Visit Her Majesty’s Prison Museum, the oldest building on the island. Or check out the Jenesis Studios to experience the British Virgin Islands’ culture and learn about the early life of the people.
If you want to experience more of the Virgin Islands, both British and U.S., it’s easy to get around by inter-island ferry or water taxi. There is so much to see. You will never get bored in this part of the Caribbean!
Take a peek at the British Virgin Islands’ website at www.bvitourism.com for more information on what awaits you.
Grenada is in the southern Caribbean about 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It had long been called the “Spice Isle” due to the many nutmeg plantations. Try the nutmeg syrup. You can thank me later.
Grenada may be a small island (21 miles long and 12 miles wide), but it has an abundance of things to do. For a unique experience, visit the underwater sculpture park which has more than 65 sculptures. You can experience the park by diving or snorkeling.
You will also find hot springs, waterfalls, and plantations to explore. Take a tour to see the beauty of the island and explore some of the remote sites. Try some sportfishing if that’s your thing. Or hop on a catamaran to admire the island from the turquoise water and meet some fellow travelers.
Or you might consider joining a group on a river rafting tour down the Balthazar River to see the exotic wildlife that calls Grenada home. The choices are nearly endless!
One thing is certain, you will find friendly locals who will be happy to talk to you about their Caribbean home.
Visit Grenada’s official website at www.puregrenada.com for more information.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you have some excellent options, pack your bags and head for a vacation that’s relaxing, adventurous, or whatever you want to make it. Because solo travel is all about you.