Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

Seattle, Washington has topped a list of the safest solo travel destinations in the world, beating the likes of Tokyo, Oslo, and Dublin, according to new research.

The 2023 Solo Travel Safety Index created by Post Office Travel Insurance, identifies the top global cities in terms of safety for solitary tourists based on several metrics including: crime rate, average hostel rating, availability of medical care and WHO food safety ratings. Cities were chosen based on Time Out’s most popular locations for solo travellers.

North America ranked highly for safety with three destinations in the top 10. With numerous medical facilities, fast internet connectivity, and good-quality food the seaport city of Seattle is an attractive location for solo tourists.

Tokyo, Japan came out second in the index, a city famous for its neon-lit nightlife, towering skyscrapers, and large population. Crime rate and road traffic accidents were amongst the lowest in the index for Japan’s capital though access to medical treatment ranked poorly.

For those looking for an adventure closer to home, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Dublin all ranked within the top 10.

Solo travel has seen search interest soar by 40% in the past year and travel in general is set to return in force thanks to the so-called ‘revenge tourism’ trend, a term coined to describe a boost in post-Covid globetrotting.

Paul Paddock Head of Travel and Protection at Post Office says:

“For many people, travelling abroad on a solo trip can be the trip of a lifetime. Whether it’s someone who has just finished university and is taking a gap year, someone taking a career break or someone wanting to celebrate an important milestone in their life. Whilst some may plan what they will do on their trip when they get to their destination, it is important to have done some research on how safe different places are beforehand”.

“The safety index guide, which ranked destinations based on information about their medical institutions, number of police officers, internet connectivity and more can be used to help plan a dream trip. Travel insurance is a must when traveling solo – our single trip travel insurance or our annual multi-trip travel insurance (if planning more than one solo adventure) provides cover in the case of illness, injury, or other mishaps on an adventure. It is important to check the terms & conditions to be sure of what a policy will cover in case of any emergency.”


Ten safest destinations for solo travellers:

1. Washington, Seattle – USA Pacific Northwest

2. Tokyo – Japan

3. Portland, Oregon – USA Pacific Northwest

4. British Columbia, Vancouver – Canada

5. Copenhagen – Denmark

6. Oslo – Norway

7. Cairo – Egypt

8. Dublin – Ireland

9. Zurich – Switzerland

10. Singapore – Singapore

To help adventurous solo travellers even more, Post Office Travel Insurance partnered with Christianne Risman, or better known as backpacking bananas, one of the most popular travel vloggers in the UK, having amassed almost 200k subscribers, to share her tips, when departing on a solo travel adventure, she says:

1 – Stay in hostels. Hostels are the hub of all solo travellers. Staying in dorm rooms maximises your chances of meeting other like-minded travellers and having great company along your adventures. Not only that but hostels also tend to put on events and activities where you can explore the surrounding area on a budget and give more opportunities to meet new friends. There is something really comforting to know that you will never be alone even when travelling by yourself.

2 – Take good care of your valuables. Keep your most valuable items in a bag which you can securely close, that doesn’t look too obvious for having valuable things inside! Good hostels will have lockers where you can secure your most valuable belongings but most of them don’t come with a padlock so make sure you have brought at least one with you. My favourite kind of padlocks are the thin, flexible ones as often, the hostel lockers will only have a small gap for you to feed your lock through. Also padlocks with number codes are preferable over key locks as there is no risk of you losing the key.

3 – Have travel insurance. No matter where you are going or what you’re going to be doing, it’s essential to have travel insurance and it’s important to pick a policy that will cover you for all the activities you intend on undertaking. The Post Office has options for both Single Trip Travel Insurance if you are just going on one big adventure from home or their Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance for the adventurers who intend to go on several trips throughout the year and want the comfort of knowing that you will be covered for every single trip, saving you time, stress, and money!

3 – Get a local SIM card. Before you leave on your trip, make sure your phone is unlocked from your network so that you can purchase a local SIM card at your destination. Having access to the internet as you travel is not only a lifesaver in emergency situations but is also just going to make your life so much easier as you travel. For example, being able to call an Uber, book your next hostel stay, look up the history and facts of the town you’re in. A local SIM card will also of course allow you to make local phone calls should you need to contact any local businesses or people.

5 – Read the reviews and ratings. The biggest advantage you can give yourself when travelling solo is to look at ratings and read the reviews of establishments before you decide. This is particularly helpful for hostel reviews because normally backpackers are pretty honest about the vibe of a place. They will tell you if it’s easy to make friends, if it’s a party place where you won’t get any sleep, if the showers are any good. Google Maps reviews are also one of the handiest on-the-go features. And you may even be able to get sneak peek images of the food too!

To find out more about Solo Travel visit Post Office Travel Insurance website.

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