As a veteran travel writer, I take most of my reporting trips solo. Occasionally, I’ve felt conspicuous (as at a couple’s resort in Jamaica), but mostly I savor my freedom to indulge in successive museums in London or have gelato for dinner in Italy.
Traveling comfortably as a solo traveler starts with safety. I also consider ease of transportation. Being able to speak the local language or going to places where English is a common second language (which I’ve experienced from Singapore to Vienna) factors in.
Mindful of these criteria, here are five solo travel destinations to consider for 2023.
For city lovers: New York City
You never feel alone in New York City. The metropolis boasts a strong singleton culture, and it’s common to find solo people walking around Central Park, riding the subway and dining out. With the extensive subway system, travelers can get around efficiently, and Google Maps’ public transportation directions allow visitors to navigate like locals. Solo travelers may have a better shot at a spare discount ticket to a Broadway show from the last-minute seller TKTS (I saw Hadestown from the fourth row at a fraction of what neighboring seatmates paid).
Where to stay: In Times Square, indulge in the luxurious suites at The Chatwal. Or save by booking in the Flatiron District at the arty Freehand New York.
For Europe lovers: Switzerland
Switzerland has everything attractive in Europe — history, culture, natural beauty and culinary appeal — as well as easily navigable transportation; a preponderance of English speakers (the country of four official languages prides itself on multilingualism); and a variety of attractions, from cosmopolitan Zurich to the lakeside Lavaux wine district, scenic train rides and Alpine thrills. To see it all, purchase a Swiss Travel Pass, which grants access to nearly all forms of transportation, from trains to ferries, and more than 500 museums.