Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re single, you’re probably not in the mood for witnessing public displays of affection. What do you say, you plan your escape from the crowds of adoring couples that will soon crowd your favourite go-to restaurant and go somewhere new and exciting to have an equally great time celebrating life? Like… renting a villa with your best buddies in Bali, or embarking on your long-awaited solo adventure?
Have a place you fancy? If you like it, then you should have put a (flight) ticket on it. Here are some ideas for every single’s superior Valentines’ Day.
Satisfying Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day if You’re Single and Love Travel
1. Go solo on an unpredictable trip to India
Teeming with diverse traditions and ancient heritage, India is bound to have something for everyone, which bodes well for the solo traveller on the hunt for an unpredictable adventure.
For first-time travellers in India, head to destinations on the well-trodden tourist route like parts of Rajasthan, Agra, Delhi, Goa, and Kolkata, where you can immerse yourself in the colourful chaos of India.
While these places might experience a lot of tourist traffic, they remain culturally fascinating and are jam-packed with spectacular sights you’ll never tire of exploring. Readily available hostels and tours also mean you can meet other like-minded travellers. Who knows? You just might end up with a better story to tell the next time your friend goes on about her romantic Valentines’ Day in Paris.
Traditional multi-coloured turbans, peddled by a street vendor in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Where to stay
Fly into Delhi, where there’s easy access to the popular tourist circuit in North India. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighbourhood, Colonel’s Retreat is where you can meet other travellers on its peaceful roof terrace during its intimate thali breakfasts and dinners.
2. Skip the wine… for craft beer in Vietnam
There’s nothing special about succumbing to the timeworn cliché of a wine-and-dine romance at a French restaurant with a prix fixe menu. If you’re single, lucky you. Instead, grab the nearest beer lover you know and drink each other’s sorrows away with a far more eclectic trip into Vietnam’s booming craft beer scene.
Bia hoi and street food – a classic combo! | Credit: @ntvvirus on Instagram
While beer culture in Vietnam first began with ice-cold bia hoi, a local draught lager, it has since exploded into a large and varied beer scene with industrial-chic microbreweries serving up craft beers with Asian twists. Take your pick from artisanal brews with unusual ingredients like Dalat coffee, Asian pear, and even durian. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with a gulp of the classic bia hoi—best consumed on a bright plastic stool among locals in a narrow street corner.
Award-winning Pasteur Street Brewing Co has been spearheading the local craft beer revolution / Credit: @pasteurstreetbrewing on Instagram
Where to stay
Sample local craft beers from the clusters of craft breweries in Ho Chi Minh City’s Districts 1 and 2. Stay right on the doorstep of this exciting beer scene at Grand Hotel Saigon, which is located in the same district.
3. Get off the grid in Australia’s incredible national parks
Have we mentioned escaping from the crowded streets on February 14th yet? Because if not, here’s an opportune time to get off the grid on a road trip to one of Australia’s stunning nature spots. Go solo or take a hiking partner with you. Either way, there’s nothing like some well-timed peace and quiet, where you can cosy up with wild kangaroos and fall in love with Mother Nature, who will assuredly always be there for you no matter what.
A spectacular view awaits at The Pinnacle lookout in Grampians National Park
Fly to Melbourne directly and stock up on perfectly brewed coffee, before taking short trips to nearby national parks like Grampians National Park and Wilsons Promontory that are located just a few hours’ drive away. It’s best to rent a car so you can travel easily from breath-taking viewpoints to pristine coasts.
Where to stay
The rustic cabins at Halls Gap Caravan Park make for a cosy stay after a day’s hike in Grampians National Park. Keep a lookout for wild cockatoos perched on the veranda or curious kangaroos nosing about the campgrounds.
4. Rent a villa with your friends in Bali
Round up your best friends and pamper yourselves by splurging on a weekend getaway at a luxurious beachfront resort in Bali. Living up to its misnomer as a tropical paradise, Bali is many destinations in one. If it’s picturesque landscapes you’re seeking, the lush rice terraces in Ubud and the dramatic sunrises seen from Bali’s active volcanoes are surely a sight for city-sore eyes.
Elsewhere, you can unwind along private beaches and beat a peaceful retreat at a rejuvenating spa. Or delve into the trendy club culture in Seminyak, the party centre of Bali, which is abuzz with stylish nightlife all year round. Whatever you decide to do, you know you’re guaranteed to have a whale of a time here. Valentine’s who?
Where to stay
Anchor yourself in Ubud, the laid-back cultural heart of Bali. The spacious villas at the Ubud Green Resort Villas, crowned by paddy fields and neighbouring gardens, make for a perfect base to explore Bali.
5. WILD CARD: Throw a dart on the map and go wherever it lands
Feeling adventurous? Throw all caution to the wind by aiming a dart at the map and booking a spontaneous trip to wherever the dart lands. Having given this a go, I can vouch for the way it’ll save you the hassle of extensive trip planning while resolving your indecision on where to go.
Stumbling upon quaint churches in Vilnius, Lithuania
Months after making the spontaneous decision, I found myself wandering the narrow, cobbled alleys of Vilnius, Lithuania.
Since I’d arrived with little expectations of what the city had in store for me, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by its discreet Baltic allure and old-world charm. I savoured traditional Lithuanian dumplings, called cepelinai, which strangely reminded me of Chinese glutinous rice dumplings; chugged on local craft beers; and delved into its complex Jewish history and Soviet past. I gambled, took a chance on somewhere I hadn’t expected to go, and was richly rewarded.
Where to stay
Behind the historic facade of Artagonist Art Hotel are rooms full of contemporary Lithuanian artwork, each one different from the next. A unique experience indeed!
Armed with these ideas, you’ll be able to brave the trials and tribulations of Valentine’s Day. Even better, you just might come around to enjoy it. Nothing beats falling in love with a new place after all. A toast to new adventures!