Taking your first solo trip is a rite of passage for a traveler. It gives you a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, deepen your sense of empowerment and independence, and spend your time exactly how you want.
But once you’ve summoned up the bravery to take a solo adventure, you’re faced with a big question: What’s the best place to travel alone?
Look no further than Japan. It was named the top solo travel destination for 2024 in a recent report from Flash Pack, a travel company that curates small group adventures for solo travelers age 30 to 50.
Interestingly, Flash Pack says Japan faces steep competition from another destination in Asia that’s gaining popularity with solo travelers in the coming year.
“Korea bookings will climb and replace Japan as one of our top bookings by the end of next year,” said Lee Thompson, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Flash Park, in the report. “Overall, we have seen a pre-pandemic boom to our Asia trips, and they are currently dominating our 2024 bookings. Japan saw massive tourism numbers this year that will continue into 2024, but we predict some will runoff into our Korean bookings.”
Japan’s far from the only place worth visiting on your own, though. Here’s a look at the 10 most popular solo travel destinations for 2024 among people in their 30s and 40s, according to Flash Pack.
Tourism to Japan boomed in 2023. The country saw record-breaking numbers of travelers from the U.S. and recently announced a “U.S.-Japan Tourism Year 2024” initiative—a first-of-its-kind partnership to promote tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries—according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. So it should come as no surprise that Japan’s popularity is only expected to continue growing in the coming year.
According to Flash Pack’s report, some of the most popular experiences for solo travelers in Japan include having lunch with a sumo wrestler and meditating with monks in Kyoto.
Next up is Argentina, which is the second-most popular destination for solo travelers in 2024, based on Flash Pack bookings. It offers something for every type of traveler—fine dining and European-style architecture in Buenos Aires, dramatic icefalls and epic hiking in Los Glaciares National Park, horseback riding and vineyards in Mendoza, and history and culture in Córdoba.
Egypt took third on Flash Pack’s list of the trendiest solo travelers for the second year in a row—a surprising finding for the company, which noted that the country has traditionally been deemed as a riskier place for visitors to go on their own. For 2024, solo travelers to Egypt can look forward to visiting the brand new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which will be the world’s largest archaeological museum complex. It’s expected to open in late spring 2024.
4. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, the fourth-most popular destination for solo travelers in 2024, gives visitors a chance to experience a major travel trend: slow travel by train. Thompson, of Flash Pack, said: “After a tumultuous few years, Sri Lanka has made a big comeback, and its iconic upcountry train routes are a major part of its appeal. With more U.S. travelers adding to an uptick in interest from U.K. customers this year, 2024 will be the moment when it all comes together and Sri Lanka once again rules the travel charts for slow, immersive adventure.”
Colombia makes its debut on the ranking of the best destinations for solo travelers in 2024, seizing the number 5 spot. Solo travelers to Colombia love taking graffiti tours in Bogotá, indulging in Medellín’s dining and nightlife scene, learning about the pirate heritage of Cartagena, and seeing the crimson- and magenta-colored lake in Caño Cristales.
6. Ecuador & the Galapagos
Solo travelers have big plans to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos in 2024. The destinations have received the sixth-highest number of Flash Pack bookings for the coming year—and that number is only expected to continue growing as post-pandemic travelers prioritize the biggest adventures on their bucket list. “Now that the world of travel is fully opened up again, many solo travelers are pooling their annual leave for once-in-a-lifetime trips abroad. Pretty much the antithesis of two weeks on a beach, this trend points to an appetite for supersized adventures packed with local, unique experiences,” said Thompson.
Jordan maintained its stronghold at number 7 on the list of the trendiest solo travel destinations from 2023 to 2024. From glamping in the famous Wadi Rum desert and floating in the Dead Sea to wandering the ancient city of Petra and marveling at the Roman ruins of Jerash, Jordan is jam-packed with things to do for solo travelers.
Thailand, a long-time favorite destination for solo travelers, is seeing a slight dip in popularity from last year—it fell two spots to number 8 on the round-up for 2024. That could change as soon as next month, though. January is the busiest month for Flash Pack bookings, so travelers might be holding off until the new year to finalize their plans to eat street food in Bangkok, soak up the beaches of Phuket, and spot the revered wild elephants in Khao Yai National Park.
The Philippines is hot on Thailand’s tail, ranking as the ninth most popular solo travel destination for 2024. It’s a dream destination for island-hoppers: The Philippines counts more than 7,000 islands in its archipelago, offering everything from beaches and lagoons to rainforests and volcanoes.
10. Bali and the Gili Islands
After a pandemic slowdown, Bali’s beginning to reclaim its rightful place as a top destination for solo travelers. The Indonesian island—along with the nearby Gilis—took the final spot on Flash Pack’s list. Thompson explained: “Once one of our most sought-after trips, bookings to Bali are still building to pre-pandemic levels. But 2024 will be a breakthrough year for travel to the Island of the Gods, due to its adventurous repertoire including surfing, volcano trekking, private island boating on the Gili isles and more.”