For solo travel, I tend to gravitate toward structured trips, like exploring a few cities in Scandinavia, road tripping through Northern California, or seeing the Taj Mahal. It might be my Type A tendencies, but my solo travel usually includes a packed itinerary with goals like fitting in bucket list attractions or making it to a new continent. What I don’t associate with solo travel is a tropical vacation. Palm-lined beach towns and scuba dive lessons aren’t necessarily top of mind for the traveler going it alone. Driving the coast of Maui, sailing in French Polynesia, or bronzing on the Riviera Maya are activities usually tailored to couples and families.
After talking to 12 solo travelers who specifically sought out tropical destinations, one thing is apparent to me: The island life is definitely not reserved for bachelorette parties, couples, college groups, and families anymore. Tropical destinations offer perfect itineraries (and prices) for when you need to escape from the hustle of real life—you just have to know where to go. And choosing a tropical destination doesn’t mean you won’t find must-see landmarks; get you a destination that can do both.
As with all solo travel, you might need to give yourself a push to actually make your trip happen. Whether you’re going through a big life change and need time to process, you’re traveling for work and looking to extend your trip, or you’re just in desperate need of a change of pace, sometimes lounging on a beach by yourself is exactly what the doctor ordered. Here are 12 of the best tropical destinations to explore on your own: