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General Travel

Where should I go for a solo 14 day pre-grad school trip?

Hi All!

I am a 27 y/o female. I recently got accepted to an MBA program, and I would love to do a bit of traveling before I sell my soul - I mean, start school in August. I have already been to London, Dubai/Abu Dhabi, and Nigeria, so those aren't options for my next trip.

My target travel dates are July 18-July 31 and my budget is flexible, although I would prefer not spend more than $3000. My must haves in a destination are: Amazing food, lots of cultural attractions, proximity to public transportation, and ease of connecting to other countries. I love to walk, and I enjoy  hiking. I can't swim, but I love to be near water.

I am traveling solo this time around, and I'm semi terrified to go by myself, so a location that is solo friendly is also a priority.

I have been dreaming of visiting Paris since I was little, and I was thinking of doing a Paris-Brussels-Rome trip, especially with the Euro conversion rate being so favorable right now. Or I was thinking maybe I should go to SE Asia and do Thailand.

My main concern is that the dates I have selected are in the peak of summer, and I don't want to go somewhere where I will be dying of heat stroke. I speak a bit of French, but I don't know any Spanish. Perhaps traveling somewhere in South America is also an option, since it will be their Winter? Or maybe Canada? I hear Toronto and Montreal are nice, but I think that I probably don't need 14 days to see both cities.

All suggestions are welcomed!

22 Answers

top answer by
Apurva from Andover, Massachusetts

You'd have a great time going to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It might be a different kind of trip than what you are thinking of as a pre-MBA trip, but it really is a great place to ponder the next chapter in your life. Before I got my MBA I went to Machu Picchu and thought it was great - but after I was done with it I went to Kilimanjaro and it was a life-changing experience. Since it's on the equator it really doesn't make much of a difference when you go - just as long as you go :) If you go there you can reward yourself with a relaxing trip to Zanzibar afterwards. Check out for more info or reach out to me directly if you have any questions.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro (attraction)
  2. Tanzania (attraction)
  3. Machu Picchu (attraction)
  4. Zanzibar (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Jack from Davis (California)

Croatia and Slovenia are excellent choices for a two-week female solo trip. Or a Prague-Krakow-Berlin-Poznan-Vilnius-Riga-Tallinn trip would be good for cooler weather and less crowds. Romeand Paris are madhouses in the summer!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Croatia (country)
  2. Slovenia (country)
  3. Prague (city)
  4. Krakow (city)
  5. Berlin (city)
  6. Poznan (city)
  7. Vilnius (city)
  8. Riga (city)
  9. Tallinn (city)
  10. Rome (city)
  11. Paris (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Mark from Adelaide

I think you have answered your own question. If you've dreamed of going to Paris then do it. Sure the timing isn't ideal but you'll enjoy yourself anyway. As well as the obvious cultural sites in Paris I would suggest getting out into the countryside. The cathedral in Chartres is quite beautiful. You could also head out to Normandy. That could easily consume your 2 weeks but if you are also planning on heading to Brussels and Rome then get yourself a Euro Rail pass and investigate how to do that by rail. If you're going to Brussels then head out to Bruges but you might find it more convenient to take a TGV to the south of France and approach Italy from that direction and spend some time in Florence and Milan.

Canada could be quite pleasant. If you do that then I suggest that you also include Quebec City and Prince Edward Island. For something different you could add in St Pierre and Miquelon and experience the remains of New France. It's probably more French than France and stands in contrast to Quebec.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Chartres (city)
  3. Normandy (region)
  4. Brussels (city)
  5. Rome (city)
  6. Bruges (city)
  7. Florence (city)
  8. Milan (city)
  9. Quebec City (city)
  10. Prince Edward Island (attraction)
  11. St Pierre and Miquelon (attraction)
4 thanks

answered first by
Joy from Berlin

Personally, I'd suggest Europe if you're a solo female traveler. I've traveled to places like Mexico solo and got swindled out of my digital camera at a tourist attraction, but when I did a big solo backpacking trip I visited Berlin, London, Stockholm, and Paris and felt totally safe and comfortable. Those last three cities are a bit expensive, but definitely worth a visit. They all have amazing restaurants and street food, culture, and well-connected public transportation. And Paris can be done for cheap, especially now that the euro/dollar conversion rate is so close. Barcelonais great and affordable too as a solo traveler. My personal opinion is the more international and culturally progressive a city is, the more you'll blend in and be able to explore alone easily. 

If you're at all worried about traveling alone safely, here are some solo female travel safety tips. If you stay in a hostel, couchsurf, or simply participate in couchsurfing events in your destination city, you're very likely to meet other solo travelers who would happily join you for meals, excursions, museum visits etc.  Good luck and enjoy! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Berlin (city)
  2. London (city)
  3. Stockholm (attraction)
  4. Paris (city)
  5. Barcelona (city)
4 thankscomments (2)

answered by


You will travel in high season (july- august) is most expensive time to travel in Europe but with some good preparation you will still reach your budget calculation.  

Take your base in Barcelona - a lot to see (cultural) - good food - and the city has a beach. In Spain there are some nice other cities which are easy to reach by train or with airlines "Vueling" which has as well a good network to other European cities. 

You mentioned Paris ... Nice for a visit but not for a long stay. Beware for pick-pocket when you travel alone - easy victim for those guys. If you want to go to France, go from Barcelona to Cannes or Nice (Mediteranian coast) or alternatively go direction of the Atlantic ocean to Biarritz and end up in Bordeaux area. 

From Bordeaux or Nice (Cannes) you fly to Paris. 

Have fun

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Cannes (attraction)
  4. Nice (city)
  5. Biarritz (city)
  6. Bordeaux (city)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Maria from Dublin

Paris, Brussels and Rome sounds good but it will be very warm! Why not consider travelling around Ireland and then maybe onto the North of Italy, taking in a few days in Paris on the way? Paris is really beautiful any time of year and an amazing and romantic city to visit for the first time! You could fly to Dublin or Shannon from the US and then maybe look at for cheap flights to Paris from there. The south of Ireland is really, really beautiful and the people are genuinely friendly and the country is pretty safe to travel in. From Paris you could fly to Milan Bergamo which is a really beautiful city and a great access point for Comer See and Lake Iseo.  You can hike the Dolomites or travel into Switzerland from there or, alternatively, travel through Italy to places like FlorenceVenice Parma Ostuni Génova, Siena Cinque Terreand Rome I have always felt safe travelling solo in Italy. Last year I flew into Bologna and travelled by train through Tuscany and then to Milan and flew back from Bergamo. The trains are clean, cheap and relatively efficient and, every little village has a railway station so you can really see the country and live like a local. You don't need to speak the language as English is compulsory in Italian schools so most people speak a little!

Have a great trip and if you need specific information please let me know.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dublin (attraction)
  2. Shannon (city)
  3. Bergamo (city)
  4. Comer See (attraction)
  5. Lake Iseo (attraction)
  6. Switzerland (country)
  7. Florence (city)
  8. Venice (city)
  9. Parma (attraction)
  10. Ostuni (city)
  11. Génova (attraction)
  12. Siena (attraction)
  13. Cinque Terre (hotel)
  14. Rome (city)
  15. Bologna (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Gina from Minneapolis

Congrats on your acceptance! What a great idea to sneak in some travel before you get started. 

GreeceCroatia and Turkey all come to mind when considering your tastes and budget, but the problem is that it'll be high season. Nevertheless, they have history, culture, great food, water access, hiking opportunities and so on.

Thailand might be a good option, but so too might Vietnam. Incredible food, beautiful scenery, rich culture and all for far less than you'd pay per day in Europe. 

Nicaragua has so much buzz right now that it might be worth looking at. Prices seem reasonable and you've got some pretty colonial towns, nice coastal areas and hiking opportunities. I think food might be the trade-off, though, at least in comparison to Thailand, VN, Turkey, Greece and so forth. Central American temperatures stay pretty steady year round, so that's another bonus.

Good luck and happy travels!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Greece (attraction)
  2. Croatia (country)
  3. Turkey (attraction)
  4. Thailand (attraction)
  5. Vietnam (attraction)
  6. Nicaragua (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Kinley Will from Thimphu

Bhutan. Incredibly friendly, hardly any crime. Small country with rich culture and biodiversity. Known for having started with gross national happiness development philosophy. Check out pictures at

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bhutan (attraction)
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answered by
varun from India

Reading your question has made me think twice before answering. You have so many things making parade in your mind. So what I suggest is don't think too much.Just pack your bag and go straight to airport and book ticket on the spot depending upon the availability and budget(select developing nation eg. India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Sri Lanka). Be random. Before you launch yourself in a world where people will only talk about on how to make profit and nothing else. So I advice you to go for responsible traveling where you can travel while giving back something to society and earn piece of mind. Working for society eg. teaching kids will transform you completely where people benefit by helping each other unlike in corporate world where the only intention is how to print money. Developing Nation offers ample opportunity for responsible travelers as well. 

P.S - Don't take post graduation thing too seriously. Its just my viewpoint. Wherever you go just go with open mind. All the best!!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. India (attraction)
  2. Nepal (country)
  3. Bhutan (attraction)
  4. Thailand (attraction)
  5. Sri Lanka (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Marcy from Cincinnati

Solvenia is beautiful like Switzerland but less traveled and less expensive. I expect it would be easy traveling solo. Scotland is gorgeous, beautiful hiking and outdoor activity, very friendly people, cooler, easy to get to Northern England. Edinburgh is a cultural capital and very vibrant during the summer with its International Festival. I was there alone and felt totally safe.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Switzerland (country)
  2. Scotland (attraction)
  3. Edinburgh (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Elizabeth from Canada

One of the most amazing trips you could take is hiking part of the Camino Ways Santiago de Compostela. The reason why it is so fantastic is that it is such a simple and relaxing way to spend time and really get to know some incredible parts of Europe. All you need to think about each day is waking up, putting on your hiking shoes and just walking. It is a great way to clear the mind and prepare for the next adventure in life (MBA school)!

A second reason is that you will constantly meet interesting and like-mined people who will become your new friends - it is pretty amazing meeting new people on the Camino. There is something about walking - it really connects you to the world as a whole, to the people you are walking with, to nature and to yourself. It is a great adventure if you are with a group, a couple or a single woman. As a single woman, I would have felt very safe as you will meet other people along the way, walk for a while with them, meet more people, talk, have dinner with a big group of a few people and then continue on the next day, meeting more people as you go. It is a unique and great way to travel.

I hiked part of the trail in France and continued into Spain meeting great people along the way and experiencing France and Spain in an authentic way. You can stay in the various monasteries or find inns in the towns on the Camino. No real need to plan plan much - just go!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Camino Ways Santiago de Compostela (attraction)
  2. France (attraction)
  3. Spain (country)
2 thanks

answered by
Jüri from Tallinn, Estonia

I suggest Norway - amazing nature. Not hot, good food and friendly people.

See also

If You can´t see the pictures, become my FB friend :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Norway (attraction)
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answered by

Japan.  The safest country in the world.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Japan (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

I always felt very safe as a woman traveling alone in Europe. France offers so much, not just Paris but Normandy, Bretagne, Le Mont-Saint-Michel the wine country, Burgundy and the south of France, Nice and Marseille. You could easily plan a few weeks there and enjoy amazing food, landscapes and the unique French culture. 

I found Italy and Spain more difficult as a solo woman traveller. 

Scandinavia was very welcoming. Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo are an overnight train ride apart and so safe. 

There are so many possibilities in Europe and all a short train ride away from each other. Whatever you decide, have a great trip. Lucky you.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. France (attraction)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Normandy (region)
  4. Bretagne (attraction)
  5. Le Mont-Saint-Michel (city)
  6. Burgundy (attraction)
  7. Nice (city)
  8. Marseille (city)
  9. Italy (country)
  10. Spain (country)
  11. Scandinavia (attraction)
  12. Copenhagen (city)
  13. Stockholm (attraction)
  14. Oslo (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Yuksel from Kuşadası

Hi Sylvia.

I suggest you to go to Italy ( Rome, Venice, Province of Florence, Naples), Greece(Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Samos), and Turkey ( Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, and Istanbul). You will love all these destinations!

Have a good holiday

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
  2. Rome (attraction)
  3. Venice (city)
  4. Province of Florence (metro area)
  5. Naples (attraction)
  6. Greece (attraction)
  7. Athens (city)
  8. Mykonos (city)
  9. Santorini (island)
  10. Samos (city)
  11. Turkey (attraction)
  12. Kusadasi (attraction)
  13. Pamukkale (city)
  14. Cappadocia (region)
  15. Istanbul (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Nam from Bangkok

Solo female traveler is not problem.

Thailand in July is rainy season and steamy. This is not the good time for holidays.

Peak season for Thailand is during Nov - Feb, mild and dry weather. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Thailand (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Kamel from Paris

Hello Sylvia,

If you are planning to go to Paris. Well, you will enjoy it in July. It's full of tourists in that period of time all over Europe. But we will be in summer so you will really enjoy the city and café-terrasses !

Travelling in Europe is a good choice. Everything close, easy to visit by train or bus. You can visit Europe by plane in less than 3 hours max.

Paris - Amsterdam & Berlin can be a nice trip !

For my part i will be in Ibiza in July :-)

Bye !

2 thanks

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

I would do Paris, Nice, and Barcelona. Start in Paris, train to Nice and either fly (certain days dirt cheap) or train (stay overnight in Montpellier) to Barcelona. You must go to Barcelona.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Nice (city)
  3. Barcelona (city)
  4. Montpellier (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
nithin from India

Kerala is one of the best places to visit. Its a natural destination for any tourists.Its known as gods own country for its tranquility, and natural beauty.

In kerala you can cruise the backwaters of Alleppey, visit beaches (KovalamVarkala, Alleppey), Hillstations (MunnarWayanadu).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kerala (state)
  2. Alleppey (city)
  3. Kovalam (attraction)
  4. Varkala (city)
  5. Munnar (city)
  6. Wayanadu (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by

Congrats on your acceptance!!  


You surely have many great answers, I'd like to add Colombia. You're on a budget, seek great food, culture, and fun. Colombia has a Caribbean side in San Andrés and Santa Marta. English is widely spoken in San Andres, and there are many great water activities, even if you can't swim.  

Villa de Leyva offers incredible cultural adventures. Chiva offers great architecture, Bogota, great museums and throughout great people, delicious food, and very safe for a solo female traveller.  

 All the best and happy Travels.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Colombia (attraction)
  2. San Andrés (attraction)
  3. Santa Marta (city)
  4. Villa de Leyva (attraction)
  5. Chiva (attraction)
  6. Bogota (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Tracy from Orangeville, Ontario

Europe choices would be great for the time you have but busy. Thailand is far for two weeks. What about Western Canada after Toronto and Montreal or add Quebec City and surrounding areas?

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Europe (attraction)
  2. Thailand (attraction)
  3. Toronto (city)
  4. Montreal (city)
  5. Quebec City (city)
1 thanks

answered by
joseph from Sacramento

Boston and Washington, DC.  Battle fields of the Civil War.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boston (city)
  2. Washington, DC (city)

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