Why a solo vacation is the best self-care a woman can give herself


Why I think solo travel is a great form of self-care for women.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock the last couple of years, at some point you’ve heard (or even used) the term self-care.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s one of the better definitions I was able to find on the internet:

“Self-care is a very active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health. And in this case, overall health includes not just the physical, but the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual components of an individual’s well-being.” Source

In theory self-care is simple;  it’s about taking care of yourself and being intentional about ensuring your well-being. However, it’s not nearly as easy to put into practice.

Especially for women.

On my solo trip to Mongolia last year

Us members of the “fairer sex” get the short end of the stick on so many levels.  We work more than men, yet get paid less; we’re constantly judged for our looks, marital status, and reproductive choices; and even when we’re more educated and capable than our male counterparts, we still lose elections (sorry Hillary), face, and are scrutinized unfairly.

We’re expected to be nurturers and provide emotional support, often at the expense of our own mental and emotional health.

And while more of us are becoming breadwinners within our families, many of us are still expected to, well, bake the bread, buy the groceries, and burp the baby once we get home.

But while it’s difficult to practice self-care when you’re consumed by work, cowed by societal expectations, and expected to care for others, I think it’s necessary and something we should implement on a regular basis.

Moreover, while nourishing your well-being can be as simple as treating yourself to a bubble bath or a long, uninterrupted session with your favourite novel,  I want to share why I think a solo vacation is the best self-care a woman can administer.

It’s all about you

One of the reasons I love and advocate female solo travel is that it gives us the ability to be selfish. So often we are expected to be selfless and are defined by our status(es) of sister/wife/mother/daughter– we take care of everyone else except ourselves.

But when you travel solo, there’s nobody to answer to but you. The beauty of a solo vacation lies in the ability to structure your days as you see fit: there are no quibbles about where to go to eat in the evening, or objections about visiting that obscure museum you’ve had your eye on since your arrival. You are free to experience your destination as you like and without having to cater to someone’s wants and desires. You make the decisions, you call the shots. It’s empowering.

Rolling solo dolo in India

You can recharge your batteries without interruption

Whether you’re a 12 hour flight or a 30 minute bus ride from home, separation from your daily routine– and those who “need” you– can give you space to relax and recharge. You’d be surprised how little people actually need you when you consciously make yourself unavailable and put yourself first: problems get solved without your input and disasters that normally require your assistance suddenly aren’t nearly as catastrophic.

This leaves you with the mental, emotional, and physical energy to discover your surroundings at your leisure without extra “noise” or “baggage”.  You can relinquish the job of nurturer and take on the job of explorer, fully engaging in activities (like yoga, hikes, etc.) that give you pleasure and bring you back to center.

You can be who you want to be

I enjoy travelling on my own not only because I can do what I want when I want, but also because I’m not limited or hampered by the opinions or expectations of friends, family, or colleagues who purport to “know me”.

So often us women conform to certain expectations or stereotypes in our social and professional circles for fear of coming off “too strong” (read: bitchy), amongst other things. In short, we have to “play the game” to be accepted, and it’s ridiculous and exhausting.

All by my lonesome in Chile’s Atacama Desert

When I travel solo, I can be who I want to be– whether that’s the wacky extroverted daredevil who dances on tables at the bar, or the introvert who retreats to her hotel room with a good book after a long day of solo sightseeing.

My point is that we can change identities like we change our t-shirts– a solo vacation away from the watchful eyes of friends and acquaintances gives us the chance to explore aspects of ourselves we wouldn’t explore back home for fear of being judged.  As our overall health hinges on our mental and emotional well-being, the ability to figure out who we are and/or reinvent ourselves is important.

Solo travel = great self-care for women

No matter your age, income level, marital status or reproductive status, a solo trip is something that every woman should do at some point.  It’s the ultimate form of self-care: a fantastic way to refocus on our unique needs and desires, a great way to build confidence, independence, and resilience, and necessary to shaping who we are as individuals.

What are your thoughts on the matter?



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  • I love this article, Oneika. Really well said, and a topic that really can’t be discussed enough. Thanks for sharing this piece!

    • I have been traveling solo since I was 23. I just celebrated my 60th BIRTHDAY solo in Bali. While I too celebrate women traveling solo I don’t travel to be free of the opinions of others. IMNSHO self care is for everyday and living authentically is rule number one. What other people think of me is none of my business. : )

      • I truly agree with you, but after having to bad experiences with traveling with others I welcome the idea of traveling alone. My family and a select few friend and I will travel from now on.

  • I recently took a 13-day solo vacation for the first time and it was life changing. I learned so much about myself and can’t wait until the next one!

  • I full agree! I haven’t traveled solo in about three years, but I will do it again whenever I want to go somewhere and don’t find anyone to go with. My boyfriend is not such an avid traveler, so there’s really no need to talk him into it as much as I would like to. 🙂

  • Wooww !
    Your article is really so so important for me. i have read your totally article carefullly and learnt a lot of tips and trics.
    I also love solo travelling, because i also think solo travell is not risky for woman. 🙂
    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome article.

  • I love this article. It’s right on time for me, as I have planned a solo trip to Cambodia as a birthday gift to myself. You are such an inspiration for woman who want to explore the world. Thank you for continuing to share your experiences.

  • I’ve done a good share of soło travel, and it was very refreshing I must admit..just the ability to be in a faraway place unencumbered by my little one or schedules was something special..every woman needs that once in a while!

  • I have solo travelled across different cities in the US. I am however, taking my very first solo travel outside of the states. You can(actually yes you can) not imagine the fear and worries I have. But i will say that binge reading articles on female solo travel is putting me at ease. I’m still very nervous(which is okay) but i am more excited than ever. I will be going to Aruba then Spain. I can’t even control my emotions anymore lol

    • Great that Aruba is your 1st solo trip abroad. It’s one of my faves; I’ve been 3 times in the last 2 years.. one
      time was solo.. the people are very friendly, and to be such a small island, you can do as much or as little as you like. You’ll have a great time. Btw, I’m currently in St Maarten, solo! I love to travel…and just BC no one else can make it…well, you get the picture.

  • Oneika, I’ve never traveled alone but I desire to do so now that my children are grown. I’m a travel agent with a host agency. It’s a home based business that allows me to book travel for myself and others. I receive commissions and deduct my travel off my taxes. I’m also able to travel the world for less.
    I would love to share this with you.

  • I agree with your thoughts in this article. I’m on my first solo trip ever- 2 months in Thailand and Myanmar. I’m just 13 days in but so far its been incredibly freeing and a ton of fun. I had a fair amount of anxiety about travelling solo as a female before I started but its so far its been entirely safe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Going on my first faraway solo trip to Panama next month and while I am looking forward to it, I am still a bit nervous. My Spanish sucks, but I am looking forward to being away alone.

  • Thanks so much for this article !!! , I’ve been contemplating on traveling alone for sometime now , you just inspired me to take that leap of faith 🙂

  • Awesome! I never considered traveling as self care, but this post definitely changed my perspective. Travel, especially solo travel, is literally the most perfect self care. It allows you to disconnect, reconnect, and truly focus on yourself and your needs, just like you said. great post!


  • I hitchhiked around Ireland by myself in 1984. I spend a week in the mountains in a cabin all alone whenever I can. I love my own company. I love the company of others, too, but only if I have my alone time.

    • I’m replying to my own comment because of my name. I AM a woman. Godfrey is a name I chose for myself. Not only do I reserve the right to travel alone, I also reserve the right to name myself.

  • I enjoyed reading this post. It inspired me to take a “Solo Journey “, when I turn #52. It will be me, my camera & my four legged son Peppa who I simply adore.

  • I love this article. And will really adapt this mindset. It’s amazing and uplifting for one to have the courage to travel alone. I do wonder. Who takes all the great photos of you from Your amazing self love trip?

    Should we sacrifice good photo documentation from our trip in the name of peace and individuality ?

  • I really enjoyed reading this article. It caused me to really think about myself and all the trips I used to take prior to being married and having kids. Now the only vacations I take also revolve around the kids or my husband which results in me returning more exhausted. I think it might be time to institute solo trips again!


  • Just got back from a 5 day solo trip to Paris. Best time of my life. My husband of 20 years did not want me to go. He was concerned for my safety. Ha! I felt safer there then I do at home in the U.S. I would never travel to Oklahoma or Texas by myself as a AA female, but Europe, no problem.

  • Your article couldn’t have come at a better time. I just told my husband the other day that I am needing this. I’ve been researching on where to go (retreats? Beach?) for the past 3 days!

  • I would love to travel alone. It suits my nature, for sure. But I worry about safety. Doesn’t anyone else worry about safety? Also, it’s so much more expensive to travel alone, isn’t it!

  • I’m seriously considering solo travel. I’m getting older and taking more risks. Life is short and fleeting! Where will I go?

  • A good friend of mine recently traveled solo on a ten day Mediterranean cruise and I was so impressed with her boldness. I used to travel more often in my twenties but as my friends/family got married and had children, my circle of travel buddies got smaller and smaller. This year, I’m determined to make a trip by myself; whether it’s overseas or to a nearby city I’ve never been.

  • I turn 30 this year and created a 30 things to do before turning thirty list. Solo travel was on the top of my list. It was so much fun! You learn so much about yourself and have total control of what you want to do. There’s also something about solo travel that pushes you comfort zone.
    Thanks for inspiring and encouraging fellow women to get out there.

  • wonderful post!!! i am 53 yrs old.Always drempt of travelling and now i am!! First time away from North America,scared and very nervous,but super excited!!

  • Love the article. I have been doing solo traveling for a while. Started because i was single and wanted to show to myself that i can do it alone and ill be fine. well i was 🙂 and im doing it at least once or twice a year.

  • I’m so happy that I came across your site, these tips were so helpful and It made we want to get up and go! Because i struggle with just doing it and always putting it off.!! Now I’m going to use my pto and book a place to go solo! Thank-you for sharing bc i needed this, i need to take care of self instead of others all the time. Much love xoxo!

  • You are right! Your point “You can recharge your batteries without interruption” is exactly why I love traveling on my own 🙂 It is exciting, new and beautiful! And it tests you 😉

  • This is a great article. I love solo traveling. A solo road trip or flight works for me.

  • Loved this! I’m a long-time solo female traveler, and my most recent adventure was a self-supported bicycle journey across the USA. Those 75 days were the best, healthiest, and most empowered I have EVER felt. Solo bike touring is my new happy place, where I’ll return to when I need an extra strong dose of self-care.

  • Great article. You’re right. Taking care of yourself is important. What a better way of doing it than by traveling. Exploring the world and yourself.

  • Herizon Sailing and Retreat for Women only. Check it out. This would be an amazing journey of self discovery. I am still trying to build up the courage to do this one.

  • Great article and thanks for sharing your journey. You have inspired me to take another solo trip.
    I just returned from Tulum Mexico,walking around town,riding an ATV they the jungle meeting new people,taking a yoga class..I am still in awe.

    I just wished I would had taken solo trips when I was 23 or 24.
    God Willing I will be taking more in the future

  • That’s great to empower women and lift each other to do better, to be better. However, I was shocked to see that as a part of self-care an animal (who knows how many) was exploited for the so called “self-care”. We should unlearn all we knew before, whatever, society, our parents, cultures, religions, teachers taught us to be normal. Animal exploitation is the biggest injustice happening in our lifetime. Non-human sentient beings are the most vulnerable of all. Animals are not here for us to enslave, exploit, torture and massacre them for our pleasure, food, fashion, entertainment, and research. They live on this planet with us. Please let’s end speciesism together. We cannot bring peace if we harm others simply because they are different. Thank you.

  • I really love your text! Solo in a hostel in goa right now and this is the perfect morning reading for me haha. Before I was nervous and scared to even be home alone but after starting solo traveling I can even relax in myself at home. No need to chasing men, no need of negative friendships.. Just myself and I!

  • Solo travels are an amazing way to connect with your inner self. I agree with you that taking care of you is about treating yourself and take the opportunity to explore new experiences. Thanks for sharing.

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