New Zealand named best country for solo travellers: Travel + Leisure

A glacier in Mount Cook National Park in South Island, New Zealand (wolfmaster13/

A glacier in Mount Cook National Park in South Island, New Zealand (wolfmaster13/


, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

After considering factors like safety and 'happiness,' editors at Travel + Leisure magazine have given New Zealand the title of best country for solo, independent travellers.

It's where adventure seekers can trek glaciers and rainforests, bungee jump and jet boat and meet some of the "friendliest and most open-minded people in the world."

While a country's safety and security may be easy to evaluate -- political stability and crime rate -- editors say they wanted to consider other factors that may be important to solo travelers.

For instance, " the country you've chosen a happy place?"

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"Is it a country where you'll be made to feel welcome, a nation where you can easily interact with the locals, where conversation flows easily even if you're struggling with a new language? For truly rewarding solo travel, it's crucial that you can connect with the culture and not feel like an outsider."

For that, editors say they consulted the Happy Planet Index which looks at environmental impact and human well-being in 151 countries.

For safety, editors consulted the Global Peace Index.

Interestingly, though the listing is representative of Europe, South America and Asia, the US is conspicuously absent as the country "didn't rank highly enough to make the cut."

Representing North America, Canada tied with Finland and Laos for 13th place.

Here are the top 10 countries for solo travelers according to Travel + Leisure:

1. New Zealand
2. Norway
3. Switzerland
4. Costa Rica
5. Austria
6. Vietnam
7. Chile
8. Tie: Japan and Sweden
9. Indonesia
10. Germany