5 March, 2019

Looking for summer vacation ideas? From best solo travel destinations to luxury holidays for solo travellers, here’s everything you need to bring the season alive

It’s easy to let summer pass you by in a blur of barbecues, pub lunches and Sharon from the account dept’s wedding. But this year, the moment has come to **reclaim your sunshine season**.

This is a time to make new friends, learn fresh skills and venture out to horizons new. It’s all about TRAVEL, baby.

When you share an adventure with a small group of single travellers, all in their 30s and 40s, you make every minute count.

You tap that infinite summer magic where the future lies wide open, and anything seems possible. As DJ Jazzy Jeff so wisely says, it’s just a bit of a break from the norm.

Here’s seven smashing solo travel holidays that do exactly that.

For a micro adventure: Vespa through medieval Spain

Vespas in Spain

Want to break free like a Queen lyric?

2019 is the year of the micro escape: minimum time, maximum experience. And nothing fits the bill better than this bite-sized foray to the medieval countryside near Madrid.

Over the course of four action-packed days, you and your fellow single travellers will learn how to ride a retro Vespa through ancient cobbled streets and remote Spanish villages.

Read more: A Spanish road trip by Vespa

Zip between some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery – from vast sunflower fields to hazy mountain ranges – as you master your 125cc motor. Feast on hearty tapas lunches (think grilled octopus, tasty ham or cod croquettes), and let loose as you party the night away in 16th Century taverns. 

Be warned: you’ll be itching to buy a Vespa on the flight back home.

Toot toot, let’s go

For a foodie escape: soak in the flavours of Malaysia

If you love your food more than life itself, put Malaysia in your cross-hairs. The country’s mish-mash of cultural influences take centre stage in this deliciously moreish trip.

Your flavour safari begins in Kuala Lumpur, with a foodie pilgrimage to the capital’s best-loved hot spots. Get to know your curry puffs from your kaya toast and, of course, cenol (a popular kidney bean and coconut milk treat).

Read more: The best countries to visit for vegetarian food

A quick hop-step takes us to the colourful city of Malacca, where you’ll whip up chicken rendang and learn family recipes in a cooking class led by local chefs. Strawberry picking and high tea in the Highlands follows, along with a waterfall picnic in the depths of Belum rainforest.

Then, summer nights hit their zenith with a ramble through Penang’s famous food markets. Load up on hawker, from deep-fried pork to teeny Malay pastries, and let your taste buds sing.

Girdle your appetites

For a wildlife hit: safari the plains of Tanzania

David Attenborough got you all fired up about the natural world? Catch the real deal on the golden plains of Tanzania.

The start of the dry season in late June is a great time to visit this neck of the woods, with dried-out terrain creating prime conditions for wildlife spotting.

Read more: Your adventure calendar – where to travel, when in 2019

Jump on-board for bucket list game drives across the Serengeti, with a chance to see grazing elephants, giraffes, lions and more. The adventure turns up a notch with a dawn walking safari, allowing you to admire Africa’s greatest creatures in the early morning haze.

Luxury tents, star-gazine, and sundowners around the campfire are all part of the experience, too.

If you’re really lucky, you may even catch the Serengeti wildebeest migration in July, where thousands of zebras and gazelles cross the Mara River.

Planet Earth, ahoy

For head space galore: cycle the Inca hills of Peru

Mountain bike the Sacred Valley

Head space comes at a premium in today’s hyper-alert world. But Peru’s Sacred Valley is one place where you can throw your worries to the wind; quite literally.

May time brings blue skies and crisp sunshine to the Inca hills around Cusco, and the landscape is flushed green from recent rainfall. A perfect setting, in other words, to take on one of the world’s most epic bike rides.

See more: Flashpacker Agnes talks about her escape to Peru

Let your mind run loose as you peddle along a jaw-dropping backdrop of salt terraces and snow-capped peaks, drinking in the rich sense of Inca history that whispers from every new horizon.

Like Maria singing in wildflower hills, you’ll feel free and truly alive.

Hi there, Sacred Valley

For good-time vibes: explore golden Croatia

The best holiday destinations for solo travellers offer a blend of culture and nightlife. Croatia has both, in spades.

This beautiful Mediterranean country was the muse for HBO hit Game of Thrones, and you may well feel a bit like a smouldering warrior as you wander its narrow, sun-dabbled streets.

Read more: Meet Luka Tomas, Flash Pack’s Croatia guide

Our small group tour here veers away from crowds, with a kayaking adventure down the wild and remote Mrežnica river. We also catch a catamaran over to the chic island of Hvar, dubbed “the new Saint Tropez”. Cue: golden beaches, bustling pavement bars and chilled sunshine aplenty.

There’s party buzz here, but also enough history and intrigue to hold you rapt. Solo travellers over 30: fill yer boots.

Load up on culture and sunshine

For a fitness challenge: hike the Rockies in Canada

With miles upon miles of forest, glacial lakes and rugged peaks, the Canadian Rockies are a playground for escapism.

As far as holidays for solo travellers over 40 are concerned, this one hits the sweet spot. If you’re a professional grappling with a big, demanding job, it’s all you need to shake loose. Plus, there’s enough space that selfie-wielding tourists are few and far between.

Read more: Unwind and recharge with a green therapy hit

With long, sunny days, high summer is the best time to go rambling through Banff and the surrounding area of natural beauty. Mirror-still lakes are at their most brilliant blue, and often warm enough to swim in.

Leave your everyday life far behind, as you push your limits in the wild outdoors. Canyon through steep mountain gorges, canoe down rivers and hike the Athabasca Glacier. This is solo adventure travel at its finest.

Look lively, folks

For unlimited sunshine: head to southern Thailand

Singles holidays don’t get much better than Southern Thailand, especially with a small group of like-minded travellers in the mix.

The beach life here is sublime, with remote powdery beaches, swaying palm trees and emerald lagoons. The mercury regularly soars above the 30°C mark in summer, but quick blasts of afternoon rain are a welcome cool-off.

Read more: 5 of the best beach holidays for solo travellers

The region’s allure extends beyond hammocks and papaya smoothies, though (delightful as they are). This is an area of jaw-dropping natural splendour and mystique, from towering limestone karsts to grottoes filled with stalagmites.

Tap your inner Indiana with a romp through the tropical mangrove of Khao Sok and Bor Thor nature reserves, and feast on delicious local street food. Then, wind the whole experience up with sunrise boat trip around the peninsula coastline, wreathed by misty rainforest and looming peaks.

Bring on the tropical beauty

Images: Flash Pack, Shutterstock

Read more

Friendship on the road: 10 of our favourite films

Read more
Ed Stafford in the Amazon

Ed Stafford: Don't avoid danger – it'll help you become your best self

Read more
80s coca cola bottle holiday

8 things that were great about a holiday in the ‘80s

Read more