The sweet, sun-drenched travel of summer.
It is the time of year when most people take their vacations.
Unfortunately, this tends to make it the most expensive time to travel.
Fortunately, all tourist attractions are open and the world is in full festival mode.
If you're looking to travel solo this summer, whether for a long weekend or for longer, the question becomes where. Here are three themes for planning summer solo travel along with a few fond memories and links to posts with more information.
You can consider these three themes separately or use the festivals theme for destinations, road trips theme for transportation and camping for accommodation. Enjoy!
Summer Solo Travel Festival by Festival
Summer isn't just a time to check out a destination, it's a time for celebration – and maybe a little dancing in the streets. Every major city in North America, Europe, the world, is vying for your travel dollars with fabulous events and festivals that are free or have free components. Summer is high season for festivals.
Think of Toronto for Caribana, New York for its iconic SummerStage Festival or small town Caraquet, New Brunswick for the incredible Tintamarre. How about Belfast for its Belsonic music festival, Tollwood in Munich for a broad range of performance arts or Fête de la Musique in France where musicians, professional and amateur, take to the streets to play each year on the summer solstice. There are loads more. Check out the Fest300 website for festivals in North America and Must Love Festivals for Europe. Here are my top city destinations for the summer. All of them have festivals to entice you:
- North America
- Toronto – Affordable Toronto: 32 Free and Low-Cost Tips
- New York City – Affordable New York City: 32 free and low-cost tips
- Caraquet – The Tintamarre: A Festival to Beat the Band
- Philadelphia – 48 Hours in Philly
- San Francisco – Solo Travel Destination: San Francisco, United States
- Vancouver – Solo Travel Destination: Vancouver, Canada
- Nashville – Affordable Nashville: 32 Free and Low-cost Tips
- Our Accommodation Guide covers 65 countries. Here are direct links for a two.
- Belfast – Solo Travel Northern Ireland: 32 Tips for a Fantastic Trip
- Munich – Solo Travel Destination: Munich, Germany
- London – Affordable London! 32 free and low-cost tips
- Paris – Affordable Paris! 32 free and low-cost tips
- Emilia Romagna – Solo Travel to Bologna and Emilia Romagna – 32 Tips
- Girona – Girona and The Dali Triangle: a most perfect storm
- Our Accommodation Guide covers 65 countries. Here are direct links for a few.
Naturally, there are dozens more cities that I could recommend. If you've chosen a destination, check our destination section to see if someone from our community has written about it. If you're traveling to North America, have a read of Solo Travel to America: 32 Tips. If, conversely, you're traveling to Europe, read Solo Travel Europe: 32+ Tips You Need to Know.
Did Someone Say Road Trip?
Regular readers know that I love a road trip. It's the freedom – the open spaces.
I've road-tripped much of North America and Europe. I've driven across Canada a couple of times, down the west coast of the US and back up the center, down the east coast and back (there's more territory to cover) and 10 months driving and camping in Europe in a Volkswagen pop-up. I've done my fair share of road tripping. Here are my top posts to inspire you to a road trip.
- General road trip advice
- North America
To find and book activities anywhere in the world check out Viator. (Tours sometimes require a minimum number of people for booking. If you can't book online, call the tour company directly and see if you can join a group.)
Slow it Down in the Great Outdoors
Cities are busy!
7 days a week, 24 hours a day – you can get just about anything you want which is great but it can also make for a dizzying lifestyle. Why not slow things down a bit and go hiking, camping or RVing/caravaning or cottaging.
For me it's a simple tent in a campground. I just can't get over my fear of bears to go interior camping but I do love a well-treed campsite spaced far from my neighbors with a fire pit, a picnic table and my tent. A cooler and a stove and I'm good to go. You can read about how I camp here: 7 Things that Happen When You Do Nothing.
So where to camp? Here are a few of my favorite spots:
- In North America I definitely prefer the National, State and Provincial parks over private parks.
- 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation and there are celebrations everywhere including the national parks. Order online to receive a free day pass.
- Despite being Canadian I have been a card-carrying enthusiast of the American National Park system. This is the National Parks site for planning and this is the National Parks Reservation System.
- Provincial parks. I've camped in many provincial parks in Ontario and British Columbia. I'm particularly fond of Lake Superior Provincial Park.
- In Europe you'll find that camping is much more civilized – think ordering your croissants in the evening so that they arrive fresh at your campsite for your morning coffee. Yes, there are many luxurious touches to camping in Europe. You'll most often be dealing with private campgrounds. In France I absolutely love the Les Castels for camping that leans towards luxury. You'll also find that many campgrounds have cottages you can rent.