It can seem like vacations are for lovers. Honeymoons, babymoons, engagement trips, romantic getaways are everywhere. Cities like Paris and Rome promise holidays for the heart and posts of couples drawing hearts in the sand in the Maldives clutter up social feeds.
What about those grieving a failed relationship, jilted at the alter or those eager to get away from a dating disaster? Break ups don’t need to mean curling up on a couch and watching romantic comedies from the eighties. Assert your newfound independence and enjoy discovering new places alone or with friends.
We’ve pulled together some suggestions on where to travel to heal a broken heart, or assert your independence, because travelling can be just as great (some argue better) when you’re single.
So, where should you go?
For those grieving a broken relationship
Whether you were together for years or had a few unsuccessful dates, the romantic landscape is full of heartbreak. If you’re mourning a love lost, pack your suitcase and head to the airport – there are plenty of suitable destinations for those looking to escape their woes.
Nice: Glamorous Grieving
For a glamorous mourning period, head to the French Riviera and sit by the beach, looking longingly out to sea like in an old movie. Fly into Nice and stroll the boardwalk or indulge in white wine on one of the terraces in the centre of the city. When you’re starting to feel a bit better, drive to Cannes and people-watch. Plus the cars are as beautiful as the people who clamber out of them. Peer into shop windows and imagine what handbag or cufflinks you could splurge on with the money you’ll be saving not going on date nights. If you get desperate for shopping, take a train to Monte Carlo and try to gamble your way to some French designer items.
Mexico might elicit images of university students on Spring Break or honeymooner strolling wistfully with flowers in their hair, but Tulum can be the perfect beach-setting for some time to think about a love lost. Think beautiful white sand, perfect water and delicious food in this holiday destination. If you’re ready to be more active, check out the cave diving, snorkelling and explore some ancient Mayan ruins with a guided tour. Take some time to do some yoga at one of the hippy styled beach resorts to stretch your cares away and let your mind open up to new possibilities.
Tokyo: Lost in Translation
Prefer to get over your break up through distraction? Japan is calling! A flight to Tokyo will transport you to a different culture and let you lose yourself in new food, people and customs. If you’ve got time, take the Bullet Train to Osaka. Bring the friends who have been supporting you through the breakup some gifts from Harajuku and sing out your feelings at a local karaoke bar.
For those looking for some perspective
Losing a lover can feel like the end of the world. The good news is: it’s not. To gain some perspective on your love life, consider some of the following destinations:
Cape Town: Geographical Perspective
There is nothing like standing at the Cape of Good Hope, seeing two oceans collide into each other, to make your problems seem insignificant. Fly to South Africa to explore the very bottom of Africa and revel in the beauty of Table Mountain and the coast. South Africa also carries an incredibly important historical heritage, so make sure to educate yourself on Apartheid and visit the prison that once held Nelson Mandela. You’ll barely remember your problems by the time you head back to the UK.
Cambodia: Historical Perspective
A trip to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields will put your personal problems into perspective. From 1975 to 1979, nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population was killed and the mass graves are still around to attest to the immense tragedy. If you’re heading to Cambodia, visit a site such as Choeung Ek. Be mindful of the dark past of the site and make sure you’re respectful: reign in the selfies and appreciate the educational experience and weighty history of these locations.
Colorado: Hiking in Nature
Like Cheryl Strayed in Wild, sometimes you need a bit of nature to figure out what to do next. Pick a trail and walk by yourself, but make sure to select one that suits your timing and fitness. Colorado offers some good options for beginners, such as the three-mile North Vista Train in Gunnison National Park. There’s nothing like staring into a deep canyon to gain some perspective.
For those who harbour anger
Channel your frustration in a productive way instead of punching the wall. There are plenty of adrenaline fuelling destinations on offer both near and far. Whether you want to watch someone else do something adrenaline fuelled, or take out your anger on some innocent grapes, we’ve got the lowdown on the best destinations.
Barcelona: Grape Stomping
Bring a friend or go alone to Barcelona to crush your anger and engage in some visualisation while stomping on some squishy grapes. A bonus is the wine tasting that follows, but you will definitely feel less frustrated after releasing your pent-up rage on some grapes from the Spanish vineyards.
Texas: Ready for Rodeo
Looking for something a bit further away? It’s Texas time! Head to the Lone Star state to take in a rodeo or visit a ranch. There’s nothing like watching a full-grown man (or woman) cling on for his/her dear life while a bull struggles to break free. If that’s too much for you, consider testing out a mechanical bull. Makes for great pictures and will keep you distracted for as long as you can hold on.
Phuket: Fit for Fight
Channel your anger into a new sport in Phuket, Thailand. Research a good destination and hole up learning Muay Thai for as long as you need to get your fighting spirit back. You’ll come back leaner but not meaner after taking out your frustrations in a productive and healthy way. If you want to be slightly more zen, consider a yoga training camp in Bali to help you focus and re-centre after a life change.
For those looking to get away with their mates
Your friends will help you get through your breakup and be there through the tears and the anger. Make sure it’s not all hard times for them by planning a getaway for your group of mates. Whether that’s a long weekend or a longer jaunt, consider some of these destinations to get away with your best pals.
Marbella: Partying with the Best
It’s time for Marbs, babes. You’ll forget all about your former significant other when you hit the pools and beach clubs in Marbella. Grab some friends and plan a long weekend in the sun. This is definitely a destination to see and be seen (don’t miss the luxurious Puerto Banus), but be sure to also check out the Old Town. Other points of interest include: Alameda Park, Paseo Maritimo (the beachside promenade) and the Salvador Dali collection in the Avenida Del Mar.
Berlin: Beer and Brandenburg
The German capital offers everything you need for a long weekend. Visit the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral for beautiful architecture and read up on the city’s rich history to fully appreciate what Berlin has been through. During the night, take advantage of the wide nightlife offering and make sure you add a biergarten to your tour.
Las Vegas: Taking a Gamble
Feeling lucky? Las Vegas, Nevada is the place for you. Set yourself a gambling budget and visit the casinos along the strip. If Poker and Roulette are not your thing, don’t worry. These casinos are the best of American extravagance – expect to spend time gaping at astounding design features and marvelling at the sheer size of everything. There’s even an Eiffel tower! If you need a little cry break, go see Celine Dion’s live show and get caught up in that Titanic song.
For those who are feeling strong and independent
Reclaim the romantic capitals of the world. The lovers have staked their claims, grabbing Paris, Rome and other top destinations, but there’s plenty on offer for single travellers hoping to enjoy nature, culture and history.
Paris: Lovers Vacation for One
Hop on a train or plane to Paris. We can’t let the couples have the City of Light all to themselves. Wander the halls of museums and discover beauty, history and technique. Buy some bread and cheese and head down to the Seine with a bottle of Rosé. Get out a dictionary and practice your GCSE French with strangers. Indulge in lazy lunches in the sun, sipping on wine and sneaking peaks at brave locals tackling snails or splurge on some oysters in your arrondissement of choice. Paris is a beautiful city to explore, especially on your own.
The Maldives: Beach Paradise
You have undoubtedly seen images of this vacation wonder on your social feeds or in magazines. Think beach huts that extend into a never-ending ocean and infinity pools. There’s no reason singletons should be discouraged from a visit. Look for a good deal on a holiday for one, or bring a friend, and enjoy pristine beaches and gorgeous nature. Dive with hammerhead sharks and explore the capital Male if you want to do something slightly more active.
Hawaii: Hello Freedom
Feeling like an explorer why not follow in the steps of Captain cook and jump on a tour boat to visit the bay at Kealakekua. The location is beautiful with translucent water only broken by pilot whales and spinner dolphins putting on a show of aquatic gymnastics. The bay is perfect for snorkelling, kayaking and a history lesson. The great navigator Captain James Cook was killed on February 14, 1779 in the Bay after his crew upset the locals with their behaviour.
For meeting someone new
It may not feel like it now, but you’ll be open to meeting someone new in no time. Since there’s nothing like a holiday romance, we’ve picked out some great dating destinations for single travellers looking for love.
Stockholm: A Scandinavian Start
It will take a while, but eventually you’ll feel ready for romance again. Start soft, with a weekend trip to Stockholm. Visit in the summer and spend your time walking around the city. In the evenings, hit up some of the many bars and clubs in the centre of the city. Don’t worry about learning pick-up lines in Swedish – Scandinavians are famously great at speaking English. However, knowing how to ask for a phone number in Swedish will grant you bonus points.
New York: An Empire State Romance
Looking for something further away? Head over to New York and get chatting to locals, making sure they pick up on that cross-Atlantic accent. New York is of course the city that never sleeps, so you can spend your days exploring the tourist attractions and museums, with your evenings free to get to know new bars and restaurants. Americans are a chatty sort, so prepare your best anecdotes and flirty lines!
Sydney: Holiday Romance Down Under
It’s not surprising that so many Brits choose to relocate to Australia. Great weather, friendly locals and fantastic beaches make the country a top destination for vacation as well as an amazing place to call home. If you’re not quite ready to up root your life yet, opt for an extended vacation to Sydney or Melbourne. Chat to outgoing Australians and pick up surfing to give you something to focus on. You’ll be good as new and with someone new in no time.