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There is a multitude of romantic destinations around the world for couples who are looking to travel around Valentine’s Day, but what about anti-Valentine’s Day spots for singles? Just because you aren’t part of a couple doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fun solo vacation around the world, though you might want to avoid places like Venice or Paris and consider these perfect ideas for solo travelers instead.
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If Machu Picchu, The Lost City of the Incas, is on your travel bucket list, why not plan a trip around Valentine’s Day? Being surrounded by the magnificent peaks of the Andes and exploring the ruins is sure to make you forget all about the holiday. If you want to hike the Inca Trail, you’ll need to go with an authorized agent, but taking an escorted tour is perfect for solo travelers. By being in a group, you’ll meet new people who also enjoy traveling, though you’ll still have time to explore the area on your own.
The Big Apple is a great place to go whether you want to meet someone or just hang out and enjoy some time exploring the city on your own. New York has one of the world’s most lively dating scenes – a place where you can easily strike up a conservation with a stranger in a bar or nightclub without feeling strange about it. If you want to wander the streets, you’ll find plenty of things to do. Take advantage of the Met’s late opening hours – the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art is packed with people most of the time, but at night you can enjoy strolling the galleries practically all to yourself. The Soho neighborhood is renowned for its great shopping, featuring everything from trendy upscale boutiques and independent book stores to international chain store outlets.
One of the most popular travel destinations in the U.S., Boston is home to The Bell in Hand Tavern, the oldest tavern in America. You’ll find a long list of things to see and do on a solo adventure. And, on Valentine’s Day, it hosts the Flirt Fest, the largest anti-Valentine’s Day party in the city. You can enter fun contests, like the one for the best and worst pickup line, or perhaps you’ll be crowned the biggest male or female flirt! There’s always lots of music and dancing if you want to get up on your feet.
Australia is a great destination for solo travel any time of the year. Plus, in February, as the country is in the southern hemisphere, you’ll get to enjoy the peak of summer. If you’ve always wanted to surf, take a surfing lesson or two and meet some local surfers to hang out with, or enjoy some of the snorkeling on earth at the Great Barrier Reef – after all, what could be better than getting up close to the aptly named “Sweetlips” fish on Valentine’s Day.
If you’re looking for a tropical escape, Turks and Caicos is a stunning archipelago of 40 coral islands in the Atlantic, southeast of the Bahamas. You’ll find some of the best snorkeling and diving anywhere, with the calm turquoise waters filled with colorful fish, turtles and rays. If relaxation is what you’re in need of, there are plenty of world-class spas for indulging in wildly luxurious treatments like a mother-of-pearl exfoliation session or a scented-oil moonlit massage. Of course, you probably don’t want to stay at a resort that caters mostly to couples seeking romance, which means you may want to head to Club Med Turkoise, a renowned, all-inclusive, adults-only singles resort that sits on a pristine 12-mile stretch of powdery sands. It offers a host of activities too, including everything from sailing and diving to the flying trapeze. Or, you can always lie back in a hammock, letting the breeze and the sounds of the waves lull you to sleep.
Las Vegas is pretty much as anti-Valentine’s Day as you can get. Few people consider Sin City a romantic destination, and you’ll have so much fun taking in the shows, gambling, dancing, or one of nearly an endless number of other activities, you won’t even think about being single. Take your pick of rooftop or poolside parties that take place across Vegas. There’s usually at least a few anti-Valentine’s Day events going on along The Strip too. Skip the gondola rides at the Venetian and the Eiffel tower at Paris, and catch a risqué show like Thunder From Down Under for the ladies, or X Burlesque if you’re single.
South Beach is the perfect place to go when you really don’t want to meet Mr. or Ms. Right. It’s where you go when you want to have a good time right now. You’re sure to find plenty of other singles looking to live it up on Valentine’s Day, and the beach is almost always filled with an endless array of beautiful people. If you want to rub elbows with a celebrity, stay at the Delano Hotel, or at least stop in for a drink at its bar or attend a pool party.
Iceland often tops the list of best solo travel destinations. A visit here, and you’ll truly feel as if you’re getting away from it all while enjoying spectacular otherworldly-like landscapes and encounters with some of the friendliest people on the planet. Heading to one of the many hot springs or geothermal spas in the country is sure to be a highlight – especially in mid-February when you can watch the snowfall around you as you enjoy the warmth of the soothing waters. The Blue Lagoon is the most famous of Iceland’s spas, with its milky turquoise waters and fine white silt that’s considered a cure for skin conditions and even wrinkles, though there are a number of others, like the nature baths at Myvatn, a perfect spot in the winter if you’re hoping to see the northern lights while being surrounded by boiling mud pits, volcanic cones and steaming lava from a 1988 eruption.
Ireland is one of the best countries in the world for solo travel, with the friendly Irish almost always ready and willing to help should you run into any problems. If you want to experience authentic Ireland, head to the smallest of the Aran Islands: Inisheer. This two-square-mile island offers a peaceful, quiet getaway, though you’re unlikely ever to feel lonely. By staying at one of the cozy B&Bs, particularly South Aran House, your hospitable hosts will treat you like an old friend, making you feel right at home. During the day, stroll Mediterranean-like beaches, visit the lighthouse and the famous Plassey shipwreck, explore ancient historic sites, take a tour of the island in the horse-drawn cart and stop into one of the pubs to chat with the locals while sipping a perfectly-poured pint.
Amsterdam is famed for its picturesque canals lined with 16th-century houses, world-class museums, coffee shops, and rich culture is ideal for the solo traveler. Rent a bike (the standard mode of transportation here) and visit amazing attractions like the Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s home on your own, or meet new people at one of the friendly bars or coffee houses. If people-watching is more your thing, take a stroll through Vondelpark. Helpful locals and safe streets make Amsterdam a single traveler’s dream.
St. Lucia stands out from the rest of the Caribbean islands with its diverse culture and cuisine, a beautiful and varied landscape with everything from the rainforest and the Piton Mountains to the Sulphur Springs of Soufriere and the brilliant coral reef. The BodyHoliday makes an ideal place to stay for singles as it’s the only Caribbean resort with dedicated singles rooms and no single supplement. If pampering is what you’re in need of, you’ll find one of the world’s best spas onsite as well as the opportunity to take a meditation class and sips tropical drinks in the swanky seaside bar.
Croatia is becoming increasingly popular with travelers, with its magnificent coastline and striking azure sea, fabulous cuisine, interesting archaeological sites and gorgeous architecture. Singles have another reason to visit the country’s northwestern capital of Zagreb – it’s home to the Museum of Broken Relationships. If you’re newly single, you may even want to take the opportunity to get rid of your ex’s stuff while you’re there. The unusual museum offers the chance to “overcome your failed relationship” by donating personal belongings to its exhibits. Other highlights include the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church and the café lined pedestrian Tkalčićeva Street.
New Zealand is a destination that’s perfect for just about every traveler, home to some of the most awe-inspiring scenery on earth, the opportunity for all sorts of adventures and incredibly friendly New Zealanders. If you’re an adventure lover, head to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the country, where you can do everything from bungee jumping, caving and sky diving to horseback riding, hiking, jet boating, zip lining and probably just about anything else you can think of that gets your heart pounding. Join an organized tour to meet up with others with similar interests, or rent a car and travel around on your own. Doing it independently means you can try to do it all, or take it at a slower pace.