By Rebecca Siggers
When you’re in your twenties, traveling is exciting and enriching. Being young makes you feel invincible and confident, so you might find yourself spending vacations backpacking through Europe. However, as you grow older, your priorities shift, and your perspective changes significantly.
Once you’ve hit 50, you realize how short life is and how important it is to savor every moment. You see that life isn’t just black and white, but that there are grey areas with everything. Instead of jumping from one destination to the next, it would be wise to travel to one place in your car with a roof rack basket (to keep the extra luggage)installed and stay for longer, getting to know the people and the culture better.
Keeping all that in mind, here are the seven best countries for a solo traveler over fifty:
Greece, the birthplace of democracy and western civilization, makes for a relaxing holiday destination for solo travelers. The vibrant contemporary culture, ocean landscapes, and ancient temples make it a beautiful and affordable destination.
In Greece, the islands are simply wonderful. Here, you can enjoy the best beaches in Europe and also get some hiking done. You’ll find friendly locals, delicious food, and an older population to keep you company wherever you go.
If you want to do something different, you can check out the museums or visit a yoga retreat. To sum up, Greece offers something for all kinds of solo travelers – be it food, nature enthusiasts, beach bums, or history buffs.
Italy is a beautiful country with a lot of popular as well as less-trodden destinations to pick from. As you walk around the country, you’ll find it to be a feast of glorious landscapes, history, art and incredible food. There is a lot to see and do here; you will never be bored.
The capital city, Rome, also known as the Eternal City, is a must-visit. It offers excellent shopping and dining options. It is home to the Vatican, the Imperial Forum, the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. There’s also the famous Trevi fountain where you can throw in a coin and make a wish. If you want some more action, you can explore the Tuscan castles on an e-bike.
Switzerland is one of the safest countries globally, making it a great place to start your solo traveling. The other reason to visit the country is how picture-perfect it is, from the sparkling snow and deep blue glaciers, to the soaring peaks of the Swiss Alps.
Exploring Switzerland on foot is every hiker’s dream. There are trails of varying difficulty and length, so there’s something for everyone. If you want something more mellow, there are some spectacular lakes and fairy tale-like medieval castles to explore and wonderful wines to be tasted.
Switzerland, despite being one of the more expensive countries in Europe, offers affordable accommodation choices- getting around is easy and inexpensive. Some of the most scenic train rides are found here. If you need some solitude, Switzerland is the easiest and calmest destination to explore independently and at your own pace.
The Netherlands is a small country full of iconic windmills, beautiful and vast farmlands, calm beaches, and a system of canals. Of course, it also has Amsterdam with its coffee shops and central canals.
Cycling is hugely favored here, and there’s even a particular path dedicated to it. You can spend your time exploring and wandering the streets and canals, admiring the historic architecture. If you’re tired of being outdoors, you can check out various museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, or the Stedelijk Museum.
Chile, one of the most prosperous and safest countries in South America, has much to offer. The cities are large, cosmopolitan and modern with rich histories. The people in Chile are very kind, honest and helpful, making your solo travel easy.
Chie is an all-in-one destination as it is home to huge glaciers, the driest deserts as well as majestic mountains. In Arica, north Chile is also the St. Mark’s Cathedral, which was designed by Alexandre Gustav Eiffel (who built the Eiffel Tower). The capital city, Santiago, offers exciting nightlife, excellent cuisine and is also a tech hub for the region.
Czechia, or the Czech Republic, offers a wealth of beauty, history, culture and art. Its capital city, Prague, is also known as the “rooftop of Europe” or “the golden city of a thousand spires” owing to its prickly skyline dotted by one thousand towers and churches stunning spires.
A trip here might be one of the most liberating ones you ever make. Beer tasting tours are routinely held here and are a great way to form lifetime friendships. Crime rates run low, so you have one less thing to worry about as you go about independently exploring this stunning city.
Japan, a country with the oldest population globally, and where respecting elders is the foundation of the culture, is one of the best places in Asia to start your solo travel. The people here are so friendly, welcoming and beautiful that you can find your way around even if you do not speak Japanese.
Bullet trains make it convenient to get from city to city, but if you’re only visiting a few cities, don’t miss Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. These mega-cities capture the essence of life in Japan: alive with traditions yet modern, well-organized, clean and safe.
If you’re a solo traveler over 50 who prefers destinations with infrastructure, good food, temperate climate and overall comfort, then the seven mentioned above are among the best in the world. They’re safe as can be and won’t leave a huge hole in your pocket.
So, are you ready for your next adventure?