Solo travelling is certainly more mentally tormenting than travelling in a group. As a solo traveller, we are more inclined to visit destinations we have already visited before or the ones that, at least, qualify the list of “most solo travel-friendly destinations around the world”.For me, for example, if I am travelling to a new place, and I am travelling alone, a place tends to stifle my solo adventure spirit if I find a few backpacker hostels there. Because hostels not only help me save money on hotels (as paying for a double-bed room without having someone to share the cost with, is a lost deal) but it also assures that I will find few fellow-travellers and double the fun.
Other factors that encourage me to travel solo to a new destination, includes…
• A good bus like the ones by YBM Travels, public transport system, because paying for the entire taxi is painful and drains out my budget as a solo traveller.
• A friendly local community, with local people, speak a little English.
• Plenty to do alone, on a budget.
• A general feeling of safety (and this parameter, I am sure, becomes even more important for solo women travellers).
The Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh remains my favourite solo travel destination in India not because it has something for everyone (from adventure to peaceful hideouts to heavenly Airbnbs) but because of a rich solo travel scene. Book via TicketGoose and go anywhere in Himachal and you will be surrounded by other travellers and backpackers, and the most prominent reason for it is a friendly locale.
Himachali people, by far, are the friendliest version of Indians, and the deeper you explore in Himachal, the more you realise it. The state is totally safe to travel (with one of the lowest crime rates in India) easily accessible in buses and has enough hostels or budget guesthouses everywhere. By all means, Himachal Pradesh can be your first solo travel destination in India.
• Stay: It is possible to find a backpackers hostel and budget hostels in most places in Himachal. Another way to save money on accommodation is by camping in Himachal as you find enough clean flat spaces and perfect camping weather pretty much everywhere there. During my initial days of backpacking, when blogging didn’t generate revenues, I would carry a tent and a sleeping bag with me and save 100% on accommodation, at least when travelling in the mountains.
• Adventure sports: Paragliding, mountaineering, river rafting, skiing, snowboarding, bouldering, rock climbing, zip-lining adventure and biking/motorbiking, among others.
• Getting around: Although having your own car or a motorbike will make your travel so much easier and quicker in Himachal Pradesh, even if not, you will find public transport pretty much in every corner.
If you’re into beaches and coastal life and open green spaces, then visit Kerala. This is by far the best version of south India (and coastal India, with beaches cleaner and quieter than Goa) and people just as friendly as people in the mountains. Speaking of local people, what’s better is that they understand the idea of personal space, unlike the people in the mountains who can be just too very friendly for some tourists to handle.
I had spent almost one-month solo backpacking (right from the North Malabar to all the way to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu) and never did I face any problem. Though unlike in Himachal, backpackers hostels were rare to find and accommodation was comparatively expensive, everything else — from friendly locals to a good public transport system — was just perfect for me as a solo traveller. Kerala is the most organised, with pretty much every local speaking a bit of English, making it easier to manage things on your own. I did long journeys on state buses, took an overnight train, explored small villages on a bicycle, and felt safe in the company of those I met along the way (& so will you, even as a solo woman traveller).
• Stay: Where it is possible to find budget guesthouses in most of the places, some tourist destinations like Alleppey and Munnar can be a little expensive for travelling solo.
• Getting around: The best and most rewarding way to get around in Kerala is by train. And where there’s no train, you will find enough public buses.
Solo Travel Destination as Meghalaya
… exploring tribal communities & culture and the best of nature!
Meghalaya is all about mesmerizing hills, dominating rain-forests, dramatic clouds and a lot of rain, and if you’re one of those people who appreciate the idea of being under the blissful company of nature and nothing else, there cannot be a better place. Meghalaya, by far, is the most naturally beautiful place I’ve ever seen, in or outside of India.
I moreover found Meghalaya as one of the safest places in India for solo travelling. It is majorly populated by three indigenous tribes, who believe in a matrilineal society. Women are highly respected across Meghalaya and you will find them as teachers, politicians, drivers, police, and pretty much everywhere else. English is the official language in Meghalaya, making communication with locals fairly hassle-free.
Speaking of the ease of travel, I would leave Meghalaya for experienced solo travellers only, because travel infrastructure is limited, the regular tourist circuit isn’t geared towards solo travel and it takes some ‘jugaad’ (think about hitchhiking pillion on a motorbike) to get off the beaten path, unless you’re driving.
• Travel Costs: Where it is possible to find some budget guesthouses in Shillong, most small towns have homestays only. And unlike the rest of India, Meghalaya (and the entire northeast region of India) is slightly expensive to travel in terms of transportation & stay. Food in Meghalaya, however, is cheap, particularly if you’re a meat-eater.
• Meghalaya is safe Unlike the rest of northeast India, Meghalaya shares no disputed border and is totally safe to travel.
So, the next time you have a long bus ride or train journey coming up, don’t allow it to take your trip. Instead, wear your best face and gear up for a joy ride. Book your travel tickets at TicketGoose.com for exciting offers. We are committed to taking you places so, download the app here.
Happy holidays folks!