Solo travel among women has been growing exponentially during the past decade. During the four years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, searches for the term "solo female travel" had increased six-fold, according to data from the Solo Female Travelers Club. And that search volume recovered in 2022 once the pandemic became less of a concern.
But even as women increasingly embark on travel alone, safety remains a top concern. The 2022 Solo Female Travel Trends Survey showed that 65 percent of women who travel alone worry about their personal safety.
A new report from travel insurance provider Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) and GeoSure Global, aims to address such concerns. The report identifies the world's 11 safest cities and countries for women traveling alone. And there's one country in particular that appears among the top 11 more than any other.
The runaway winner of the BHTP ranking is Switzerland. In particular, Basel, Switzerland, nabbed the No. 1 spot for safest city in the world, while the No. 3 slot went to Bern, Switzerland, and No. 4 is held by Zurich, Switzerland.
Other destinations that made it into the top include Toronto, Ontario, at No. 2 and Lisbon, Portugal at 5. Orebro, Vasteras and Uppsala, Sweden, all tied for the No 6 slot, while Stockholm came in at 7. Rounding out the list were Monaco; Salzburg and Innsbruck, Austria (tie); Pamplona and Oviedo, Spain (tie) and finally Cannes, France.
"Women who are traveling alone and consider safety a top priority should look into Western Europe, Scandinavia and Canada, as these regions topped the list of safest cities and countries for women," BHTP said in a statement when issuing its ranking.
The travel insurance provider added that the safest countries for women traveling alone comes as no surprise given that the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland were all included in BHTP's separate ranking of the Top 10 Safest Countries for travel in general.
In a blog post about their safety ranking for women traveling alone the company further explained that "certain cultures around the world objectify women and/or treat them as less than equal. Violence against women is not held to the same standards as violence against men in some countries, sometimes with tragic results."
However, the BHTP added their new ranking is in "no way meant to deter women from traveling."
"In fact, just the opposite. We want to empower women to feel safe when traveling by offering valuable information and facts for their travel-planning decision making, and ultimately their protection," says the company's blog post.