Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to plan a solo vacation before it’s over. If you never planned a solo trip before, don’t worry I have all the info you need to plan. But, if you’re ready to plan, but just don’t where yet, keep reading about the best places to vacation this summer. You’ll find:
- Which countries are best for your summer vacation
- What you should do in the summer
- How you can enjoy summer vacation alone
Where to go for summer vacation
Domestic – U.S.
Atlanta is great. Atlanta is fun. But, it’s also full and packed. If you’re about the festivals, food, music, and summertime, then pay this a nevermind. Well, until you’re stuck in traffic for an hour.
- Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Fest June 14th-16th
- Caribbean Festival June 15th
- Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash June 15th
- Jazz Matters (series): June 21st, July 16th, August 19th
FreaknikFest June 22
- Cooler Fest June 29th
- Roots Reggae Festival July 20th-21st
- Like Glue Festival August 3rd
- Piedmont Park Arts Festival August 17th-18th
Atlanta offers much more than festivals, but also history. Visit the MLK National Park and Center
Curious about the nation’s capital? Even during one of the most bizarre governments run by a president? Considering all of that, I still think a trip to D.C. is worth your time. I’ve been twice and still haven’t accomplished or seen everything there is to see.
I recommend a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture because of its depth of information about African and African American history. Through the five floors of facts, artifacts, photos, videos, and harsh memories, I would allow a half a day to a full day of venturing through the exhibits.
Book a Free Walking Tour for more history and culture about the top tourist attractions around the city.
One of the greatest festivals happens in the middle of summer: Essence Fest. While it’s too late (well never say never) to find housing and tickets during the July 4-7th weekend, you might want to take a solo trip. Experience the rich culture and heritage in this vibrant city while it’s also packed with other visitors and Essence Fest attendees.
There is always something to do. If you’re lucky, you might hit up a day party with Mannie Fresh as the DJ. Eeoow! Or, you can bump elbows with celebrities at the convention center (free for everyone) or the many events happening around town during the day and night.
Whichever you choose, stay hydrated, come to slay (you never know if you’d get stopped by a photographer or writer for Essence), and live your most glorious life in N’orleans. Oh, you can catch a glimpse of the former first lady, Michelle Obama at this year’s 25th Essence Festival. Of course, if you’re not busy in dabbling into other adventures. 😉
Sorry…it’s cheesy but funny eh? Ok, ok! I’m kinda missing Greece and this is my way to deal.
Greece was amazing. I want a do-over and can’t wait to revisit.
Plan to travel around Greece for a minimum of one week or two. There’s so much to see and do, you won’t have time to add another summer destination onto your itinerary. Or at least, I don’t suggest it. (I spent two weeks hopping around Greece, Ghana, and Egypt and it was exhausting).
So, if you can, stay in Greece the entire time.
Recommended places: Athens, Chios Island, if you must then Santorini (it’s more touristy than Chios Island).
Recommended Activities: Airbnb photoshoot (Athens, Santorini), Chios Island Tours with Alios Tours, if you have an iron stomach and don’t get easily seasick, try day or night cruise in the Meditteranean.
Connect with your inner
2019 marks the 400th year of the African Diaspora when the first slave ship arrived in America. It’s significant to the world which prompted my visit and subsequently my love for the country.
Preparing for Ghana is not as seamless as the rest of the places on this list. There are multiple steps before departure such as applying for a visa, getting vaccinated (Hep A & B), taking medicine before and after your trip (anti-malaria and typhoid), which are necessary steps to make traveling to Ghana relatively easy and harmless.
Note: Read the side effects of the medication before you take it. I know I suffered from diarrhea (Ewww) for about two weeks. More about that in another post.
The best part about Ghana? The people. I met Nana through Airbnb and I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with the woman hosting me and her home. Beautiful cannot even capture how truly amazing this experience was. Upon my arrival in Accra, my luggage was delayed. Egyptair took not one, not two, but THREE days to get my luggage to me. Beyond frustrated, I wanted to return home. But, Nana offered me some of her clothes until my luggage arrived. And, immediately I felt like I was home. Like I was visiting my auntie in Ghana.
I also met my tour guide, Junior through Ghana Tours, who helped me find some clothes for the days I was without fresh clothes (side-eyeing Egyptair). He negotiated prices on my behalf, taught me words in Twi, shared the history of the country with me and led me to some historic and very difficult places around the country.
Recommendations: Hire a private tour guide/driver to translate and negotiate for you; book an Airbnb to immerse yourself in the local culture, and select to pay an Uber driver in Cash (otherwise they’ll cancel your ride. Mmhmm tragic).
Oh, the Caribbean! Barbados, one of my favorite places, is a go-to summer destination.
Wheww! Between the
men people, food, beaches, and sites, you might extend your vacation by a couple of years days.
And, if you love being near water and Caribbean flavors, then plan your trip NOW! From May to August, Barbados celebrate their summer festivals and festivities, so anytime you go during this period you will be right in the middle of the fun, food, and fetes (parties). Though, the biggest week is August 1st-6th, Barbados Carnival/Crop Over.
Recommendations: Hire a private driver
How you can enjoy summer vacation alone
- Learn to trust yourself: You’ve lived with yourself for years. You know your likes, dislikes, and pet peeves. So, trust your instincts and your feelings and navigate your travels with that in mind. Don’t listen to anyone else, if you’re not listening to yourself first.
- Alone doesn’t mean lonely: Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert (or ambivert), you can decide how social you want to be. Want to meet people? Use travel communities to meet others traveling around at the same time, go to public and safe places to chat with strangers, select a hotel or location that’s purposefully built to connect solo travelers. Or, book a quiet room near the water and be as content with silence as you want to be. Either way, it’s your vacation. Do as you please.
- Learn from your mistakes: I’m all for preparing, maybe over-preparing, but you will make mistakes. Learn from them.
- Show yourself Grace: When we make mistakes, especially while traveling, we get hard on ourselves. Stop! Don’t judge yourself harshly. You’re an imperfect person.