“Some journeys in life can only be travelled alone.”
― Ken Poirot
Once considered brave, risky, or daunting, today, attitudes towards solo travel have changed and, in fact, it´s fast becoming the preferred way to travel for many.
The Survey Says…
In May, a survey of 20,500 travellers was released by Booking.com revealing a surge in solo travel. 40% so-called baby boomers said they had taken a solo trip in the past year while an additional 21% said they were planning to in the future.
Results from the Holiday Habits survey conducted by UK travel association ABTA showed that one in nine respondents had holidayed on their own in the last 12 months - double the number just six years ago.
Hostelworld´s own survey showed a 42% increase over the past two years in solo traveller bookings including a 45% growth in female solo bookings between 2015 and 2017.
Additionally, UK online behavioural research tool Hitwise analysed searches by 3 million UK consumers and found there was a 143% increase in searches for "solo travel" during the past three years.
Be warned: travelling alone may change your life.
It´s common to hear those who have travelled alone talking about having “found themselves” while travelling. Solo travel allows us to explore our inner and outer worlds. It pushes our comforts, and in between the awe of new sights and sounds, solo trip will enable us to get quiet enough to hear our own voices, and just be.
Looking at the Challenges
As rewarding as solo travel is, it´s not without its challenges. There are usually three concerns for solo travels. The first is safety. Some places are safer than others, and some places are also more solo-traveller friendly than others. Selecting the right destination is, of course, a critical factor in reducing safety concerns. Europe has long been considered the best continent for solo travel.
Navigation is usually the second concern for those travelling alone. How do I get to this or that place? Am I going the right way? Who will watch my belongings or suitcases?
The third challenge for solo travellers is the expense. The fact is when travelling as a couple or with family or friends, it´s cheaper since you can share the costs of hotels and other charges. Solo travellers spend an average of 50% extra on accommodation.
You´re The Boss
The upsides to travelling solo will always outweigh any challenges. In the early mentioned survey by ABTA, nearly half of respondents said the best thing about travelling solo was being in charge of their own schedule. A further 21% said the best thing was that it encouraged them to meet new people.
Here are a few more reasons why you should travel solo:
- It pushes your comfort zone
- You´re in control of where you go and when
- You´re in control of your own finances and budget
- You get to plan your itinerary
- You decide what to see and do and for how long
- You can be more spontaneous
So, where are you going to travel?
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