Travelling abroad is one of life’s great joys, offering the chance to not only see some remarkable sights but broaden your horizons too.
Travelling with a group of friends also provides the opportunity for some lifelong experiences, with shared moments indulging in another country or entirely new culture.
But for some, it’s the prospect of travelling solo that presents the most appealing getaway of all – a chance to explore your own nature in a foreign environment and, some might say, “find yourself”.
Travelling solo isn’t always easy though and for women especially it can at times feel daunting and potentially unsafe.
Despite this, new data from Airbnb shows a 55 percent increase in the number of UK women, often widows or divorcees, embracing solo travel abroad from the previous year, and the company has now shared the top solo travel destinations for women travelling alone.
Paris, Dubai and Barcelona top the list, with one of the most sought-after listings for UK female solo travellers being a room right in front of the Eiffel Tower, in the beautiful and very safe French capital.
Paris is one of the most popular destinations on the planet and as well as offering some of the obvious well-known sites – the aforementioned Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, a walk along The Seine – there are also plenty of hidden gems to explore.
The Château de Fontainebleau provides a historic outing (it was built in 1137), La Maison Rose cafe is one of the most beautiful coffee outings you’re likely to experience and Montparnasse Viewing Deck can provide a whole panoramic view of the city.
All of these are aided by a simple, fast metro system, responsive police and a relatively low level of violent crime, amounting to a city that bodes well for solo travellers.
Elsewhere on the list, Australia is an alluring travel destination for many solo female travellers too, with Sydney and Melbourne coming in sixth and ninth on the list, respectively.
Lisbon (fourth), Madrid (seventh) and Athens (eighth) ensure Europe remains one of the most popular continents for solo UK female travellers, whilst Cape Town (fifth) and Toronto (10th) offer two quite different experiences further afield.
Overall solo travel by women in the UK – including domestic and international trips – rose by 27 percent, making up one-fifth of all nights booked by women in the UK.
And when it comes to age, in 2022, 30 to 39-year-olds made up a third of all solo travel by women from the UK, followed by 25 to 29-year-olds (27 percent) and 40 to 49-year-olds (19 percent).
Airbnb has also teamed up with personal safety app WalkSafe+, a female-founded personal safety app, to share expert tips to help women stay safe when travelling alone.
In the last month alone, the number of women downloading the app has increased by 90 percent, showing a growing demand for advice on how women can stay safe – including in those popular destinations abroad.
Full list of the most popular destinations for UK solo female travellers:
5. Cape Town