Solo Trips: the best places to visit on your own

And boy, will you have stories to tell!

Have you ever considered traveling solo? For some, the idea seems daunting, but the joys of spending time alone in a faraway place can be astounding. Explore as you learn and grow. Take in new forms of entertainment, delight in regional delicacies, and get familiar with cultures far different from your own.

Traveling alone allows for introspection and recharging, time to reflect and find inner-peace. Don't worry, your friends and family will still be there when you return. And boy, will you have stories to tell!

Here are three places around the globe where solo travelers will have the trip of a lifetime.

Seville, Spain

Via telegraph.co.uk

Sightseeing and fun in the sun make Seville, Spain a solo traveler's treat. With so much to explore and take in, you'll barely have a chance to pay attention to anyone you may have otherwise traveled with. Not to say you won't meet some wonderful friendly locals and other like-minded vacationers, if that's your desire.

U.S. News & World Report recommends, "Stroll along the Guadalquivir River for scenic views or walk through the streets of Barrio Santa Cruz to discover the local flavor of Seville's tapas bars, boutique shops and outdoor plazas. To maximize your time in the sun, amble through the gardens of Parque María Luisa or uncover the royal story of the Real Alcázar palace."

Thrillist names Seville as one of the top places to take the solo trip of a lifetime, noting the area is, "Perfect for finding friends to dance and share tapas with. You don't even need a plan: just go outside and something will find you."

The Crazy Tourist suggests, "Come in spring, when the aroma of jasmine and orange blossom carries on the breeze, and you can catch either the atmospheric solemnity of Semana Santa or the raucous merrymaking of the Feria de Abril."

Check out Trip Advisor to set up sightseeing tours, day trips, cruises, food and wine excursions, and the nearly endless entertainment options Seville has to offer.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Via booking.com

If solo adventures suit your travel style, then Queenstown, New Zealand is the perfect destination for adrenaline-pumping action and activity. As per Queenstown New Zealand, "Each of the seasons has its own special vibe in Queenstown, and the great thing is that most activities can be accessed all year round. World-renowned for its adventure, Queenstown is home to a huge choice of adrenaline activities including jet boating, bungy jumping, white water rafting and skydiving."

After all that activity, there are plenty of ways to do some "me time" relaxing – consider the area's many spas and wellness facilities, wineries, and scenic flights. Boat cruises are popular, where you can mix and mingle or just embrace solitude and soulfulness.

As per Thrillist, "The town itself is walkable, safe and welcoming -- all pluses for solo women travelers." So take a hike or bike ride your way through Queenstown and enjoy the incredible landscape. As Forbes notes, "Queenstown sits at the base of steep mountains, on the edge of a lake. It's an incredible mix of gorgeous views, great food, fun outdoor activities, and more." Sounds like a solo traveler's dream destination.

See some fantastic recommended things to do in Queenstown as listed by Forbes.

Vienna, Austria

Via travelzom.com

Insider considers Vienna a perfect place for a solo vacation. "It's perfectly normal to enjoy a treat by yourself at one of the city's many upscale cafes." If you love to take in rich history, as well as rich treats and sweets, "Vienna is a city that relishes its past, and it has the attractions to prove it. Whether you're interested in the long-reigning Habsburg family, classical music composed by Vienna's own Mozart, or antiques; this city has enough to keep you entertained for days," notes U.S. News & World Report.

According to The Crazy Tourist, "Ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world with its inhabitants enjoying a high quality of life, Vienna is a haven in central Europe and remains a popular tourist destination and is a major center for Austria's culture, economy and politics. With many different names like the City of Music and the City of dreams, Vienna is renowned throughout the world and has a plethora of stunning historical buildings, gardens and establishments."

Some popular attractions for people traveling alone include the Schonbrunn Zoo - the world's oldest, the impressive 826-foot high Danube Tower, the Vienna State Opera house, and the Belvedere – "a palace which houses one of Austria's most valuable art collections," as per Vienna Now Forever.

Touropia lists their top 10 tourist attractions in Vienna. Plan your trip alone with these suited-for-solos hot spots in mind.

You are your best travel companion. Go it solo and return richer with experience. Safe travels!

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Three Things to Consider When Planning Your Vacation

There are plenty of things to consider when planning your vacation. Make sure you have all your bases covered by the time you buy your plane ticket!

Going on vacation is wonderful after months of stress and work. There's just one last hurdle before hopping on that plane: planning.

There can be an overwhelming number of things to consider when planning your vacation (COVID-19 not least), but putting them in an itemized list helps. Here's a quick cheat-sheet for you to get a jump-start on that.

Vacation VacationUniversity of Kentucky

Remember Your Budget

If you make a budget, which you definitely should, stick to it. Don't spend more than what you can afford when you start vacationing. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, so saddling yourself with debt will only dampen the fun of your trip. How much are you spending on living accommodations, food, activities, travel? How much are you setting aside in emergency funds in case something happens?

Plan for the Length of the Trip

Are you going out of town for a few months, or do you only have a week off? How much time you have can affect where you can go and how much you can enjoy it. If you only have a week and a half for a trip, then it's best not to go somewhere that's a 16-hour flight away. Half the trip is going to be spent on planes, and the other half will be spent being jet-lagged.

Trip length can also affect how you have to deal with your home while you're away. If you're away for long periods of time, do you need to hire people to cut your grass? Do you need to hire house sitters or babysitters? There are even things to know if you need to board your dog. Keep all these in mind for extended vacations.

Consider the Weather

You never want to ruin your vacation by heading somewhere beautiful in its offseason. Depending on the time of year, most activities could be canceled due to weather restrictions. Some places are ideal for winter trips, and other destinations are made to be enjoyed during the summer heat. Plan accordingly, and don't show up in a swimsuit when it's 50 degrees outside.

That rounds up the basics, but there are plenty more things to consider when planning your vacation. Give yourself wiggle room if any unique considerations pop up in your planning process.

There has never been a better time to learn a language than right now. While we can't really travel, we can still get ready to explore the world and other cultures through film, music, and food. But the key to all of this is language. It can be hard getting started on your own and so we found the perfect solution: Rosetta Stone.

We've been loving hunkering down and digging into Rosetta Stone, a language learning app with many different languages, the best lessons, and an affordable subscription. It's flexible and made to work for you, no matter what level you're starting at. Jump back into French without dusting off your highschool books or pick up Mandarin with a clean slate.

Thinking about Rosetta Stone for your language lessons? Here are the answers to your most pressing questions:

What languages do they offer?

With Rosetta Stone, you can choose from 25 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. When you get the Unlimited Languages subscription you gain access to all 25 and can switch between languages. While you may be intensely learning German, you can take a break and pick up some conversational Korean — all in one app.

What are the features?

What makes Rosetta Stone's lessons really work are the incredible learning features.

Phrasebook will teach you short, useful expressions that are sure to come in handy during your travels, letting you see the practical application of what you're learning. Seek & Speak brings the fun back into learning by having you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and taking photos of them to get the translated name. Even in an app, Rosetta Stone turns any environment into a classroom.

TruAccent is a speech engine within the program that provides instant feedback on your pronunciation so you know if you're on the right track. You'll grow more confident about speaking aloud and it's like having an accent coach in the room with you.

How long does it take every day?

Rosetta Stone's lessons are bite-sized, so all you need is 5 -10 minutes a day to sneak in some practice and work towards your language goals. Of course, you can do more if you want but there's no regimented schedule or pressure to speed ahead.

How does it compare to in-person classes?

With the Rosetta Stone app, your learning is within your control and designed to move at your pace. The app will tailor to your particular interests, strengths, and weaknesses! Plus, with the recent explosion of online classes, most people have fallen away from in-person instruction anyway.

Rosetta Stone brings you expert teaching, fun engaging lessons, and a multitude of language options all on-the-go. Take your classes whenever and wherever works best for you, conveniently on the app.

Is it suitable for all levels?

Absolutely. When you first start, the app allows you to choose a study plan based on your experience level. So, if you're a beginner you can start from scratch and those with some proficiency can advance to where they're comfortable.

How much does it cost?

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month and grants access to all 25 languages, cheaper than Netflix. You get an education at a great value and the best part is no ads while you learn!

We look forward to our Rosetta Stone lessons and highly recommend it to anyone eager to learn a new language or even brush up on an old one. This program makes learning fun, practical, convenient, and most importantly affordable.

Say bonjour, to the go-to language learning app and have the world right at your fingertips!

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!

Like so many out there I haven't been traveling. With everything going on these days I've been staying home, which I love, but it does have me itching to travel. The international section of Netflix just isn't satisfying my travel bug like it used to (trust me, if it's been recommended I've watched it).

I was looking for another way I could travel without leaving home so I did the rounds of take-out food: Chinese, German, Italian, and Mexican. This was fun and tasty but a pricey way to explore the world.

A friend of mine suggested taking a prepping approach to travel and try Rosetta Stone: a language learning program that offers an annual plan with access to 24+ languages.

I've always wanted to learn a new language but have had trouble committing. I was a bit wary about starting Rosetta Stone but ultimately decided to give it a shot.

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month for 12 months (what a deal). While I was determined to learn Spanish in anticipation of my dream trip to Spain, this plan allows me to switch to any of the other 24+ languages.

I was excited to get started and use the app. I figured with all of the extra time I had until I could actually go on my trip, I'd aspire to be near fluent by the time it happened.

Jumping right in, I took a ton of lessons through their app and really binged the language. I loved the focus on conversational language, phrases, and vocabulary but after about a week I had burned myself out a bit.

I ended up pulling back and doing 10-minute lessons a day. This was manageable and easy to incorporate into my schedule whether it was by doing a lesson over my morning coffee or winding down right before bed. Learning in bite-sized amounts helped me digest the information and really process what I was being taught.

After a couple of weeks, I was getting really comfortable with Rosetta Stone and was actually enjoying the learning process… even though I wasn't a big fan of language when I was in school. What really set this experience apart for me was the Phrasebook and Seek & SpeakⓇ features.

Phrasebook teaches short, useful expressions that I know will come in handy on my trip. Seek & SpeakⓇ definitely brought the fun back into learning for me, as it has you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and take photos of them. Once you do this it gives you a translation of each item (I've never enjoyed looking for cucumbers in my fridge before).

Watching so many telenovelas I knew how important the accent is (in any language) but difficult without an in-person instructor. Rosetta Stone realizes that too and uses TruAccentⓇ. The speech engine within the program gave me instant feedback so I knew that my pronunciation was on the right track and it made me more comfortable speaking aloud.

Rosetta Stone turned out to be a great choice for me. Now I'm daydreaming about traveling and feel like when the time comes I'll be ready to. I'm so confident in my learning that I've branched out and have done some lessons in Italian and French! I'm thinking, after Spain… maybe Rome and Paris? My destinations list is endless now!

Honestly, with Rosetta Stone, I feel more inspired than ever to travel and all this inspiration is happening right in my home. I can't wait to take what I've learned on the road but until then the preparation is still incredibly fun and useful.

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!