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LIST: Top international destinations for Filipino solo travelers

By Kara Santos Published May 22, 2024 11:14 am

Dreaming of exploring the world on your own? You're not alone.

Global travel trends show that more travelers are choosing to embark on solo trips, with younger generations driving the bulk of the travel demand, compared to past generations.

According to a report published by American Express Travel, 76% of millennials and Gen Z’s (compared to 69% of all respondents) said they are planning on taking a solo trip in 2024. The study revealed that younger travelers are eager to plan their own itineraries and explore new locations at their own pace.

Hosting platform Airbnb likewise noted that more Filipinos are traveling solo, with a 33% rise in private room bookings last year. In response to the surge in solo travel demand, the platform launched a Solo Traveler Safety feature on the site in different languages, including Tagalog.

If you want to get out of your comfort zone but don't know where to start, here are a few international destinations for Filipino solo travelers you can consider.


For first-time international travelers, neighboring countries in the ASEAN region are the most practical option, as these are more affordable and don’t require visas for Filipinos.

Travel blogger and food entrepreneur Nina Fuentes of Just Wandering says Thailand is a good entry point for solo travelers who want to cover multiple countries because of its good tourism infrastructure, cultural appeal, and vibrant food scene.

“Even without speaking Thai, visitors can easily navigate their way around Bangkok and to different parts of Thailand, be it by plane, bus, train, boat, or a combination of all four. Since the country shares a border with four countries, it's a great starting point for a Southeast Asian tour: just hop on a bus and you can be in Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, or Myanmar,” Fuentes told PhilSTAR L!fe.

Street food is affordable and solo travelers can easily join tours from hotels or join up with other backpackers for tours. For solo-friendly activities, Fuentes recommends temple-hopping in Bangkok, day trips to Ayutthaya and the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, and shopping in Pratunam (Chinatown) or Chatuchak on weekends. 

“If you have more time in Thailand, you can make your way to the beaches. You can head east to Ko Chang, which is much quieter than the more popular Krabi or Phuket in the South,” she said. It's also possible to stay overnight in Ang Thong National Park in Koh Samui Island so you can enjoy it all to yourself in the mornings and evenings, as most visitors come on day tours.


With its easy-to-navigate public transport system, flavorful street food, culture, and friendly people, Taiwan is highly recommended for solo travelers. Going around feels very safe for solo female travelers, even at night. According to Christine Fernandez of Jovial Wanderer, locals are very nice to tourists, and it's easy to get around and find places to eat there.

"In my experience traveling around Taiwan, I found the people to be predominantly kind and polite. While Mandarin is the official language, train system will have signs in English. You can also rely on Google maps for directions. For eating out, some restaurants also carry an English menu. If not, you can use Google translate and just point," she told L!fe.

There are lots of activities to do in Taiwan, with many satisfying to do alone. Hiking trails and nature spots are easily accessible by train.

View from Jinmianshan Trail in Taipei City, Taiwan

"You can do a lot of day hikes from Taipei that don’t require guides or permits like Mt. Qixing, Elephant mountain, and Jinmianshan. You can hike in the morning and with their excellent transport system, be back in time to food trip in the night markets or other restaurants. There are tons of good cafes, parks, and museums, too," she said.

Aside from the night markets and cafe-hopping, first-time visitors can easily go sightseeing to top landmarks like Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and Taipei 101 or book day tours to explore further in Yehliu Geopark and Jiufen. If you like cycling, you can also rent a bicycle to explore the riverside parks and green waterways or go sightseeing around Taipei on your own.


As one of the most affordable destinations in Asia, Vietnam is ideal for solo travelers on a budget. According to Visual Designer Monique Tendencia, who traveled from North to South Vietnam (covering Hanoi, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Saigon) for two weeks, it’s one of the more pleasant destinations for solo travelers, because of the affordability, cuisine, and diverse activities.

“Vietnam is fairly inexpensive for first-time travelers. Hotel accommodations can be as low as P1000 per night. And food can be as low as P100 per meal. So it can be done on a budget. Not only is the food cheap, they all taste good, too. From simple street food to higher-end dining, the food was always of quality. I don’t recall ever having a bad meal in Vietnam. The cuisine isn’t too different from ours too so that’s a plus,” Tendencia told L!fe.

“The days feel so slow in Vietnam that you really get to enjoy the essence of traveling and don’t feel so rushed to go from point to point. And the tourist spots are more about experiences rather than just 'for the gram,'” she added.

Paragliding in Da Nang, Vietnam

For transport, solo travelers can make use of Grab and Gojek and use Google Translate to beat the language barrier, though most locals try their best to converse in English.

She recommends solo travelers learn about the history of the place by visiting the Hoa Lo Prison Relic in Hanoi and War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels Tour in Saigon and going on food tours and coffee classes anywhere in Vietnam. She also suggests scheduling boat lantern tours in Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, around the full moon, when the town switches off lights so the streets "feel a lot quieter and calmer.”

More adventurous travelers can also try riding a cable car to Fansipan Peak (which holds a Guinness World Record for being the longest three-wire cable car) in Sapa and paragliding with a view of the coast of Da Nang.

Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, making it easy for solo travelers to navigate and explore the city. Aside from main attractions such as the Disneyland theme park and Victoria Harbour, you can head to different neighborhoods to visit famous Instagram spots like Choi Hung Estate and street art spots, hunt down unique eats like noodles and egg tarts in Kowloon, unwind in coffee shops, explore different urban parks and gardens, or hike up Garden Hill. At night, you can visit Mong Kok’s famous street markets, such as the Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market. Day trips or overnight stays in Macau are also a good option for those staying longer in Hong Kong.


Japan, specifically Tokyo, is the top destination Filipinos want to travel to based on Google Flight searches last year, and many travelers are willing to go solo. While visas are required for Filipino travelers, it’s relatively easy for first-time applicants to secure a Japan visa.

Kenneth Surat, a Decoration and Travel Content Creator who has traveled to 45 countries, says solo travelers can never go wrong with Japan because of the wealth of things to do there, efficient public transport, natural beauty, culture, and food. Despite the language barrier (which is remedied by using Google Translate), Japan has some of the best tourist-friendly infrastructure in the world.

With a very systematic and organized public transportation, you can go around the country just by hopping from one train to another. Sure, Japan transportation can be overwhelming for first timers, but once you get the hang of it, you can find yourself navigating the country with ease,” he told L!fe.

Solo travel in Japan

Aside from being a safe destination, there's a strong solo culture in Japan, so business hotels often have rooms with single beds at much cheaper prices. Capsule hotels and many restaurants cater to solo diners. You can easily buy bento boxes in convenience stores or food and drinks from vending machines for budget-friendly meals.

While there are many hidden gems in Tokyo that you can visit, Surat recommends the Kansai Region, where Kyoto and Osaka are located since these cities are smaller and more laid-back, but "still touristy enough so you don't feel alone." They're also great destinations for foodies and people watching.

“Walk around Dotonbori and grab some takoyaki and okonomiyaki. You can also dine in small restaurants around the area. My favorite here is Gyukatsu Motomura. You can also buy a full jiggly cheesecake at Rikuro’s Cheesecake. When you visit Kyoto, have a little bit of a slow day where you can just walk along Kamo River while enjoying Kyoto’s architecture and people watch," he said.

South Korea

South Korea, particularly Seoul, is another top destination Pinoys want to visit mainly because of the K-culture craze. Seoul is safe and easy to navigate with its efficient transport system and join-in tours you can book through apps or your hotel. K-Pop and K-drama fans can enjoy going around different cafes and filming locations featured in Korean films and music videos like the Starfield Library, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Nami Island, HiKR Ground, and Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway. For affordable eats, Myeongdong is a great place to sample street food without breaking the bank.

While South Korea is ideal for solo travelers, the high demand, visa requirements and generally higher costs may be an extra hurdle for first-timers.


Want to venture outside Asia and have loads of cash to spare? Digital Creator SOO, a 22-year-old U.S.-based solo traveler backpacking around Europe, says her top solo travel destination is Prague, the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic.

“It’s super walkable so you don’t have to figure out that much public transportation and it’s one of the more affordable than other European countries. It’s also bustling with other solo travelers. I’m not the most extroverted person, but it was also still so easy to meet other people through walking tours and pub crawls,” she shared in an Instagram reel.

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She also recommends Lisbon in Portugal for its “character and color” as well as Sevilla and Granada, two cities in Southern Spain that are more laid-back compared to other bigger cities, but with lots of activities to do and an “amazing food scene.”

However, Filipino travelers, particularly first-time solo travelers, should take into account the higher costs of flights, hotels, general cost of living, and requirements needed to apply for a Schengen Visa to visit European countries.