mountain landscape
December 31, 2018

The Best Vacations for Solo Travelers

Traveling is good for the soul, and solo travel can be particularly beneficial when you’re suffering from burn-out. Think about it. No arguing over where to go or what to do when you get there. The choice is entirely yours—whether you want to pavement-pound or party, sightsee or sunbathe.

Going it alone means being able to do what you want, when you want—without dragging a friend or partner along on a trip they’re really not that bothered about. They’ll probably just moan the entire time, anyway.

From wellness escapes to outdoor adventures, independent Zipsters have a wealth of options to choose from. Here are some of our favorite vacations for solo travelers in the US and Canada.

Traveling alone means you can go exactly where you want, when you want.

Stretch yourself

Pilates, yoga and general wellness retreats are ideal for those times when you just need to re-center, especially when you don’t necessarily have much time. A weekend yoga break at the coast or in the mountains, for example, could be just as restorative as a fortnight at a luxury resort. Just having a routine to follow, and instructors to tell you when you should eat, exercise and relax, can be a breath of fresh air. There are retreats across the US and Canada, including The Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island in Washington, and Anuttara Ashram in British Columbia. Book Retreats is a useful resource for finding your perfect solo travel vacation.

Center yourself with a yoga or wellness retreat.

Learn something new

Whether you want to brush up your landscape painting skills or become a master at rolling sushi, trips that revolve around lessons and learning are ideal for solo travelers. You can learn something new in a fun environment and hang out with people who love watercolors (or wasabi) as much as you do. There are classes and retreats all over the place, so pick your destination, grab a Zipcar—and go for it.

Stop waiting for someone to join you on that Italian cookery class, and just go it alone.

Ranch out

It’s not everyone’s dream to be a cowboy or cowgirl. But it is many people’s dream. That’s why ranch stays, whether at a working cattle farm or a dude ranch, are so popular. And you don’t need to take your whole herd with you. Just take yourself, jump in the saddle and have fun. American Round-Up has various ranch vacations in North America. Or, for a real adventure, look at organized horseback riding treks. Far and Ride rounds up the best in Canada and beyond.

Ranch stays combine adventure with lots of fun—and there’s no need to bring your squad with you!

On your bike

Or your feet, if you’re more of a walker than a cyclist. Taking a solo vacation is an excuse to be in the great outdoors, explore and do more of what you love, whether it’s trail-running or biking down dirt paths. If you don’t have a friend who shares your passion, joining a group trip focused on active adventure is a great way to meet like-minded people, clear your head and, hopefully, go back home feeling fit and healthy. Or just take yourself—and your two wheels, if that’s your thing—out to one of the national parks. Some, including Joshua Tree and Bryce Canyon, are relatively mild year-round. Others, like Yosemite, Mount Rainier and Rocky Mountain, become pristine winter wonderlands so you can try cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing; instead.

Use your vacation time or weekends to indulge your biggest passions and get outdoors.

Sleep under canvas

If you want to get away from everything (and everyone, perhaps?), booking into a remote campsite could be a real tonic. From fresh-air hikes to just lying back and gazing at the stars, being surrounded by nothing but nature is a great way to rebalance and gain perspective. Select your Zipcar, pack your tent and pick your spot, from national parks with campsites to choice spots listed on Or look for luxury options like yurts and vintage Airstreams on Airbnb or Glamping Hub, which has listings all over North America.

Not sure where to go? Pack a tent, grab a Zipcar, and head to your nearest campsite or national park. Inner peace, achieved.