When I was 25 I took a month off work and set off on my first ever solo backpacking trip to Australia. I hadn’t traveled much before. I wasn’t what you’d call a complete travel virgin, but I’d only ever traveled with friends or family before. I wanted to experience Australia with a friend. I spent months trying to convince my friends to join me, but they all had their own excuses. “I can’t get the time off work”, “I just can’t afford it”, ” Australia is too far”, etc, etc. I didn’t want to put the trip on hold and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see Australia. So despite my parents concerns, I bought my plane ticket and set off on adventure of a lifetime.
At first I was terrified of traveling alone, but Australia soon dispelled all of my fears. The trip became the start of a much bigger solo adventure that took me all around the world. Since that trip to Australia, I’ve embarked on solo trips to several other countries, including Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, China, and parts of Europe.
Having experienced solo travel in many different places, I am now convinced that Australia is the absolute BEST country to travel to for your first solo backpacking trip. And here is why.
Australia is English Speaking
There is a certain level of comfort in knowing that despite being so far away from home you can still communicate in your own language. (This is of course assuming that English is your first language, or at least a language that you speak fairly fluently). You can read the signs, follow instructions, order food, or ask for help and guidance without having to deal with a language barrier. If you can manage to get by speaking English at home, you can easily do it in Australia.
A word of caution: Australians do use a lot of odd words and expressions that will make you question whether they actually speak the same English as you do, so make sure to read up on a few local slangs before you go.
It’s Easy to Get Around Australia
The backpacker trail and infrastructure has been in place in Australia for decades. There are busses, trains, ferries, and cheap airlines that can get you from point A to point B without major hassle. You can research fares, review schedules and book online months before the start of your trip, or you can play it by ear and book just one or two days in advance.
The ease of travel is a huge benefit for solo travelers, who are prone to changing their itineraries to follow new friends and new experiences. Thumbs up for that, Australia!
Read Next: How to Get Around Australia on $1/day
Planning Your Solo Adventure in Australia is a Breeze
If planning your own trip around Australia sounds like a pain in the butt, there are lots of companies here that will happily do it for you. Australian tour companies love solo travelers and cater to them at all price levels. There are luxury tours for the sophisticated solo travelers that want a 5-star experience, comfort tours suitable for those looking for a great holiday without the scary price tag, and plenty of options tailored for backpackers who are after the cheapest price with the most basic amenities.
The best part about it is that most travel agencies and tour companies don’t charge single supplement fees in Australia, so you don’t have to pay extra as long as you are happy to share a room with another traveler of the same gender.
There are Lots of Other Solo Travelers in Australia
Every day you will bump into other solo travelers in Australia. They’ll be enjoying breakfast at the table next to you in your hotel/hostel, they’ll be taking the Greyhound bus from Melbourne to Sydney, they’ll be your dive buddy at the Great Barrier Reef, or the person sitting next to you in your 4×4 on the Fraser Island tour. They’ll be dancing on tables at Byron Bay’s Cheeky Monkeys, sharing their goon (Australian boxed wine) with you as you sail the Whitsundays, and cheering you on as your catch your first wave at the Spot X Surf Camp.
They too are coming to Australia hoping to meet other travelers to share their amazing Down Under experience and they’ll be just as thrilled to meet you as you are to meet them.
Australians are Friendly and Really Laid Back
If you’d rather mingle with the locals than be glued to the hip to the only other [insert your home country here] traveler you meet in your hostel, then you are in luck. Australians are a friendly bunch. They are often well traveled and love meeting other travelers. You can find them sun tanning on the beach, perusing the local farmers markets, sipping coffee in little hole-in-the-wall cafes, or having a lazy Sunday on a patio.
Step away from the main tourist sights and attractions and you are bound to find lots of chances to interact and make friends with the locals.
Australia is Safe
There is nothing more important to a solo traveler than their safety. When you travel alone, there is no one else to watch your back. You may be more susceptible to crime and general travel scams, so you have to exercise extra cautious and be aware of potential safety risks around you. But luckily in Australia safety concerns are minimal. The crime rate in the country is low and while general precautions should of course still be taken, Australia constantly ranks as one of the safest countries for solo travelers.
If you have been dreaming about traveling on your own and needed a destination that will tick all the boxes, Australia is it. So pack your bags, leave your fears behind, and set off on an adventure like no other. Australia awaits!