Going on holiday on your own can be liberating. Plan your entire trip just the way you like it, without worrying about anyone else's allergies or whether they snore. And you might well make some new friends while you're there.
Solo travel broadens the mind, opens up all sorts of social situations, and just gives us some time to get away from the stresses of home. At Lastminute.com, anyone who wants to travel the world alone can organise city breaks, nature adventures, or singles escapes in their favourite destinations. Here are just a few options for going it alone that are ready to be booked.
A huge number of UK holidaymakers visit Spain every year. It's a holiday destination that really does cater to everyone. You're likely to see plenty of other people travelling solo, and arranging airport transfers from cities like Alicante, Barcelona and Madrid is simple. Places such as the Costa del Sol offer familiar sights, such as chip shops and British food in local supermarkets.
Spain is full of enticing destinations for solo travellers, from the cultural attractions of Barcelona, the sporting appeal of Real Madrid fixtures, and the elegant Moorish architecture of Seville or Granada. And if you want to relax by the beach, the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca offer plenty of beach resorts to discover.
Off the coast of Spain, the Balearics are perfectly suited to singles holidays.
The largest of the Balearic Islands, Majorca's a hotspot for summer holidays and winter sun. An attractive variety of hotels and apartments on the island makes it simpler to book a single room. Taxis are generally easy to find and represent good value in comparison to average UK taxi prices. Whether you book a hotel on Majorca, Menorca, or Ibiza, you'll find a wide range of options near outstanding nightlife, and hotels that are specifically tailored to the needs of adults travelling alone.
There are ruins and historic monuments throughout Greece, and being able to visit and explore them at your own pace is always a pleasure. The flexibility of singles holidays gives you the opportunity to hop around the Ionian and Aegean islands. In mainland Greece, hiring a car for sightseeing is another alternative.
Strike up a conversation at a traditional Greek taverna. You'll typically get a warm and friendly welcome wherever you go, from Athens to Kalamaria and Patras. The views from these little restaurants are often spectacular, especially at night.
Island hopping in Greece is one of the best options for solo female travel, with cheap ferry transport, and excellent accommodation on islands like Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, or Zante. Always guaranteed scorching temperatures, Greek resorts are the perfect spot to find a secluded stretch of beach and soak up some rays.
Standards of dress and conduct are a little different in Turkey. Solo travellers in particular are advised to take note of the country's customs and act accordingly. As long as you're respectful of Turkish culture, holidays for one are exciting and enjoyable.
There are international airports in Dalaman, Antalya, Istanbul and Bodrum.
When shopping in Turkey's bazaars and street markets, haggling is the done thing. Barter to your heart's content without anyone pushing you to go higher.
If you want to mix beach attractions and fascinating history, Dubrovnik is hard to beat. This wonderfully preserved ancient fortress port holds countless tales, and solo visitors can spend whole weeks wandering its walls and streets. But just off the coast, islands like Lokrum and Lopud offer picture-perfect bays and unspoiled nature. It's a great place to unwind and forget about everything else.
With friendly backpacker hostels and small family-run hotels in places such as Santa Teresa, Puerto Viejo and La Fortuna, Costa Rica is perfect for solo travel especially if you're looking to enjoy the country's abundant coastline and diverse landscape. It's easy to get chatting to other solo adventurers and join up for a day's surfing or mountain hiking or you can simply enjoy the peace of sea kayaking or trekking well-marked forest trails on your own. Costa Rica is a particularly good destination for eco-minded solo travellers.
If you want to experience a nature adventure, and also want to meet like-minded people, Costa Rica is hard to beat. This central American destination offers rainforest tours, tourist-friendly resorts like Puerto Viejo, and the chance to explore the caves of Barra Honda.
Resorts like Cancun are ideally suited to singles who want to mix pristine beaches, lively nightlife, fine food, and unique historical attractions - with Mayan ruins a few miles from the coast. Whether you want to chill out on spa breaks or enjoy a few rounds of golf, the Maya Coast is the place to be.
With very hot weather from spring through to mid-autumn, Portugal's Algarve is possibly Europe's premier beach destination. It's a place where solo visitors can find hotels that won't be filled with families, and there are enough beaches to get away from the crowds. Add in excellent surf in Lagos, and delightful towns like Carvoeiro, and you've got a fantastic solo destination.
Hitting the waves with a surfboard is always a good way to break the ice and meet like-minded travellers, one reason why Portugal has become a popular sporting destination for solos. Hang out on the beaches of Nazare or Sagres to practise your surfing skills and enjoy the thrills of annual competitions. Solo holidays can also take in the beautiful scenery of Beiras or the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês while guided tours of the Douro region's vineyards are another great way of seeing Portugal as a solo traveller.
Canada is friendly, cosmopolitan and offers excellent transport links, some of the reasons it has increasingly become a destination for solo travellers. Visit on your own and enjoy not only the culture of its cities such as Toronto or Vancouver but also a vast unspoilt landscape. A landscape that offers everything from awesome mountains and isolated beaches to tundra-style countryside and lush rainforests. Contrast an exploration of Vancouver's history and nightlife by heading north to Dawson in the Yukon Territory for a taste of smalltown culture and winter sports. Solo travellers can also enjoy a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer Train or a visit to the Aboriginal villages of Haida Gwaii.
Thailand is not a new destination for solo travel and has always attracted backpackers on their gap year so wherever you go in the country, you're sure to meet other solo travellers. Lately, though, the country has become a destination for solo holidays where new skills can be learnt. Travelling solo in Thailand gives you the freedom to indulge and develop your passions whether they're for yoga and scuba-diving or Thai cookery and kite-boarding. Solo holidays can be also enjoyed while you take in the waterfalls and rainforests of northern Thailand or by visiting the traditional hippy hubs of Pai. Other reasons for solo travel to Thailand include a wide choice of high-quality yet affordable accommodation and a street food culture that is truly tasty.
Cleanliness, safety and plenty of efficient public transport make Switzerland perfect for taking a break as a solo traveller. Buy a Swiss Travel Pass and see the country by train with a journey that reveals a new landscape around every bend. Your journey will take you past mountain peaks, waterfalls, lush forests and blue lakes. Take breaks from the train to dip into towns with medieval centres such as Zurich and Lucerne or indulge yourself with wine-tasting tours, themed chocolate walks or visits to chocolate factories. In contrast, adventure junkies should head to Interlaken for adrenaline-inducing activities such as paragliding, canyoning, rafting and heli-sightseeing.
Start your Denmark visit as a solo traveller with a few days in Copenhagen. Enjoy walking alongside canals dotted with colourful townhouses before visiting the wooden ships so iconic of the city at Nyhavn. Spend a few hours taking in the flowers, fountains and fish in the Tivoli Gardens before heading to Kronborg Castle, Shakespeare's inspiration for Hamlet's castle of Elsinore. Get a different perspective on Denmark's capital by hopping on a boat at Gammel Strand and meandering along city canals taking in sights such as the Little Mermaid Statue, the Opera House and the Christianborg Palace.
When you travel alone, look for flight bargains to destinations that cater for singles. Low cost airlines offer plenty of services to places like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and even Costa Rica.
To some people, travelling alone is known for its hedonism and social opportunities. And there are definitely many destinations that cater for people who want to chill out during the day, and party all night. But for others, solo travel means enriching experiences, historical attractions, and getting to know the world from a new perspective. No matter what reason you have to get away, travel is sure to offer a chance to recharge your batteries, and leave any worries far behind.