Table of Contents

Methodology

This work was carried out through the Osint (Open Source INTelligence) techniques aimed at finding and analyzing useful information for the purposes of the research.

The analysis through open sources consists of the application of analytical methodologies for the collection, processing and analysis of information. The ultimate goal is to transform what is apparently a confusing set of disconnected data, facts, and news into exploitable knowledge, thus offering a context consistent with the objective of this report.

Some of the Osint sources include:

  • Scientific and technical-commercial databases;
  • Official and unofficial data of institutional bodies;
  • Information from professional and academic sources;
  • Search engines, used both with Boolean operators and with advanced operators;
  • Meta-browsers;
  • Software for the analysis of the social graph;
  • Software for the analysis of metadata and geolocation;
  • Social network;
  • Domain intelligence tools;
  • Network analysis;
  • Newspapers and magazines, institutional publications.

Given the consistency of the information to be compared and considering any cases of harmony, we inform you that the processing may present limited cases of inaccuracies.

Market Research

The base year for data collection was 2019, due to the extraordinary impact of Covid-19 on the tourism and travel industry. However, for completeness, some of the trends that have arisen during the pandemic are also reported.

A Trend That Keeps Rising

Travelling alone has become a major trend in recent years. Many of the operators in the sector are, in fact, offering ad hoc services for this segment, such as shared rooms and group guided tours where solo bookings are available, and even travel clubs where you can find other solo travellers going to the same destination.

In today’s article we will discover the reasons that push these adventurers to travel alone, we will also talk about the places they visit and what characteristics these people have.

Read on to find out about this and more!

Key Data

  • In 2020, 25% of solo travelers were considering a trip.
  • The best destination for solo travelers is considered Australia, with 71% of solo travelers having visited the country.
  • Solo travelers are highly educated with 50% of them having a degree or diploma and 35% having post-graduate degrees.
  • The majority of solo travelers are “into a relationship”.
  • 84% of solo travelers are women.
  • In 2019, the number of solo travelers increased by 42%.
  • #solotravel hashtag on IG is present on a total of 5.2 million posts as of 2020.
  • 72% of American women have solo traveled in their life.
  • Solo travelling was the first travel trend in 2019 according to Klook.
  • Google keywords related to solo travel increased by 131% in the last 3 years.
  • Around 15% of all Americans have taken at least one solo travel trip in their life.
  • 25% of US millennials planned to travel alone in 2020.
  • Among women solo travelers, roughly 60% have stated that they would repeat their trip.
  • 26% of solo travelers want to be alone and discover new countries at their own pace.
  • According to Cox & Kings, solo travel is the second-most popular category for post-lockdown trips.

Why Do People Solo Travel?

There are several reasons why people prefer travelling solo. One reason is that it allows travellers to have complete control over their trip. They can choose where they want to go, how long they want to stay, and what they want to do. Solo travel is also a great way to meet new people. When you’re a solo traveller, you’re more likely to meet other travellers and locals who are happy to chat and show you around. And finally, solo travel can be a great way to relax and enjoy some time alone. Whether you’re taking a trip to get away from it all or seeking a new adventure, solo travel has something for everyone.

According to the Agoda‘s survey:

  • The main motivation for their solo trip was “relaxation and time to unwind” for 61% of the respondents.
  • 52% of them said they solo travel to get away from the routine.
  • 45% of them explore new cultures.

British Airways Global Solo Travel Study found out that:

  • 76% of solo travellers want  “to do what they want”.
  • 63% pointed out that solo travel means “to take some time out for themselves”.
  • Exploring a new destination was chosen by 37% of respondents.
  • 31% agreed that they see solo travel as a chance to meet new people.

Other statistics are:

  • 42% of solo trips were taken to enjoy independence.
  • 22% of solo travelers preferred not to be restricted by others.
  • 15% of solo travelers were looking for a personal challenge and confidence boost.
  • 64% of American women in relationships have taken a vacation by themselves.

Is Solo Travel Safe?

Woman takes pictures

When it comes to travel, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether solo travel is safe. The safety of any trip depends on various factors, including the destination, the mode of transportation, and the traveller’s own precautions.

Let’s see what solo travelers have to say about this matter:

  1. 76% of women travelers admitted they would feel unsafe just by themselves.
  2. 30% of families weren’t happy about their relatives’ solo trips.
  3. 33% of individuals who travelled solo thought at first they would get lonely while on their trip.
  4. 32% of solo travelers start planning 6 months before departure.
  5. 33% start planning 3 months or less before departure.
  6. Compared to 2015, 51% of women in the UK are now more likely to travel alone.

How Much Money Do You Need to Solo Travel?

Money

The answer to this question is that it depends on many factors, including your destination, your travel style, and the length of your trip. For instance, for their gap year, many students travel to southeast Asia, where the cost of living is relatively low so that they can get by on a tight budget.

On the other hand, baby boomers with more disposable income might choose to travel while enjoying the finer things in life without worrying too much about their bank balance.

Let’s take a look at some statistics to see what they tell us.

  • A solo traveler spends around 20,000 USD for a solo trip around the world in one year.
  • Travel insurance costs are 20% higher on trips alone.
  • The main reason travelers do not travel solo (40%) is the higher costs of the accommodations due to single supplement charges.
  • The most convenient country (30 USD per day) to travel alone in Asia is Laos.

Age/Gender/Academic Statistics

Solo travel is no longer just for the young and carefree. More solo travellers from all age groups choose to venture out on their own. There is a growing trend for retirees, who often have the time and resources to travel but not always the companionship to do so, to forgo an escorted holiday in favour of exploring independently.

You’ll also find that solo travellers are a brainy bunch, with research finding that those who travel alone have a high level of education.

  • Millennials are the largest group (55%) of users who look for “solo travel” on the internet.
  • 58% of Millennials were solo travelers at least one time in their life, versus 47% of older generations.
  • 12% of  Gen Z have been on at least one solo trip in their life.
  • As we already said, 84% of solo travelers are women, versus 16% of them being men.
  • 50% of solo travelers have a university or college degree or diploma and 35% have post-graduate degrees. Solo travelers are highly educated.

Solo Female Travel Statistics

Woman on solo travel

Solo women travelling is not the unusual sight it once might have been. On the contrary, solo female travellers are starting to outpace their male counterparts in both frequency and destinations, making a large impact on the global leisure travel market.

There are several reasons for this shift. For one, women are increasingly independent and confident enough to venture out on their own. Thanks to advances in technology and communications, personal safety is also less of a concern than it used to be.

Let’s explore the travel industry research on solo female travel and see what the stats have to say about this growing trend.

  • The keyword “women solo travel” was used 62% more in the last 3 years.
  • Roughly 60% of women are looking to travel alone in the next 12 months.
  • Solo female travellers that are over 45 years old are the biggest female solo travel age group (81%)
  • 35-44 are the 13%, between 25-34  are the 6%, and 1% are 18-24.
  • 27% of women would consider taking a solo trip.
  • Female travellers account only for 1% of solo business trips.
  • You will receive more than 45 million results on Google if you type ‘Solo female travel’.
  • 72% of American women like to take trips solo.
  • 55% of solo travel searches in the UK are made by 25-34 years old women who live in London.
  • When asking travel agents, 73% found that female travellers embark on more solo trips than males.
  • 59% of women who solo travelled last year said that they would go alone again within the next 12 months.
  •  In the last few years, solo bookings, especially online, have grown by 45%.
  • 54% of British females are more likely to take trips alone than they were five years ago.
  • Cuba, Macedonia, Guatemala, UAE, Luxembourg, Egypt, Nepal, Mexico, Albania and Finland, are the top 10 destinations for American women travelling solo.
  • The best place to find factors such as culture, safety, landscape, women’s rights and adventure is considered to be Japan by women traveling alone.
  • The ranking continues with France, Spain, USA, Indonesia, Italy, Australia, Canada, Portugal and the Philippines.
  • The ‘Solo Female Travellers’ group on Facebook counts 27,000+ members.
  • Only on Pinterest, searches about ‘solo travel’ surged by 600% in 2018.
  • Before Covid-19, 3+ trips were taken annually on average by solo travelers.

Best Place to Solo Travel?

Travel view

As the saying goes, the world’s your oyster when it comes to solo travel destinations. However, some countries are safer or more geared up for solo travellers than others. When it comes to choosing the best place to travel solo, it really depends on your interests and budget. Australia currently holds the top spot as the most popular destination for solo travellers, but Asia and South America are teeming with options for those looking for out-of-the-way adventures.

Maybe these statistics will help you decide?

  • 88% of solo travelers are looking for unique and non-touristic destinations.
  • 53% of travelers tend to stay outside tourist areas because they want to engage with locals.
  • Europe is considered the safest destination for solo travel.
  • City experience is sought by 23% of solo travelers.
  • Adventurous destinations are sought by 30% of solo travelers.
  • Those travelling alone would consider a solo vacation to the US (23%).
  • As we said, Australia is the most popular destination, with 71% of solo travelers.

How Do Solo Travelers Book Tours and Places to Stay?

The internet has revolutionised the travel industry, making it easier than ever for solo travellers to find tours and accommodation that suit their needs and preferences. Thanks to online booking platforms, travellers can now easily compare prices and reviews for different hotels, tour operators, and activities for their solo travel destination.

These stats offer the low down on how savvy solo travellers book their trips.

  1. Online agents or booking websites are used by the majority of people who travel alone.
  2. Laterooms.com reported a 14% traffic increase in just one year.
  3. Riviera Travel reported that 18% of clients now take sightseeing and cruise vacations by themselves.
  4. In 2019, Hotelscan.com reported a 170% increase in single-occupancy room inquiries.
  5. Hostelworld has increased their booking by 42% in the last 3 years.
  6. River cruises booking through Uniworld has increased by 25% in the last year.

Tips for a First-Time Solo Trip

Now that you’ve read the stats, you’ve probably got a good grasp of the solo travel market and what it looks like. Hopefully, it appears less daunting than it did before! We’ve put together a few travel tips for your first-time solo trip if it’s sparked your interest and you’re thinking about giving it a go.

Start With Smaller Solo Trips

Until you are alone on the road, you won’t know if your own company is a blessing or a curse, so don’t go booking a round-the-world trip as your first solo endeavour. Start small and see how your first solo trip goes before committing to a longer one. It doesn’t even have to be an international destination. Somewhere closer to home makes a good start.

You might find that you love it and can’t wait to explore more of the world on your own, or you might prefer to stick to group tours in the future. There’s no wrong or right decision here.

Stay Safe and Act Confident

As the saying goes, two pairs of eyes are better than one; unfortunately, this means that solo travellers can be an easy target for pickpockets and thieves. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and not put yourself in any unnecessary danger.

Take extra care of your belongings when you’re out and about, and try to act confident even if you don’t feel it. It’s also a good idea to let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, just in case something does happen. Most solo travellers have no problems whatsoever, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Choosing the Best Accommodation

One of the great things about solo travel is that you can stay in whichever type of accommodation you want without compromising with anyone else. If you’re looking for a social experience, then hostels are a great option as they provide an easy way to meet other travellers. However, if you want some peace and quiet, you might prefer to stay in a hotel or Airbnb. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do your research beforehand to know what to expect.

Get to Know the Locals

It can be easy to stick to the beaten path and only mix with other tourists when travelling solo. However, one of the best ways to experience a destination is by getting to know the locals. Talk to people in cafes, bars, and shops, and see if you can find any insider tips on the best places to eat and drink, as well as things to see and do. You will probably meet new friends and have experiences that you would never have had if you’d opted for group travel.

Wear a Fake Ring

This tip is more relevant for female solo travellers but can also be applied to guys. If you’re worried about unwanted attention, wearing a fake ring on your wedding finger can be a good way to deter potential suitors. Still, one of the joys of solo travel is meeting new people, so don’t be to standoffish!

Solo Travel Statistics – Final Thoughts

As the statistics show, more and more people are opting for solo leisure travel. If you are inspired to travel by yourself, these stats show the safest places to visit for solo travellers, the best solo travel destinations, as well as the cheapest. While it might seem a bit scary at first, most adventurers who have travelled solo end up having the time of their lives and can’t wait to hit the road again. If you’re still unsure, why not start with a smaller trip close to home? Once you’ve got a taste for solo travel, you’ll be hooked!

FAQs

What is the most popular solo travel destination?

Australia tops the list as the most popular country to visit for solo travellers. Not far behind are New Zealand, Thailand, Italy, and Spain.

What is the cheapest solo travel destination?

Developing nations are typically the most affordable places to travel solo. You can often find good deals on accommodation and transportation, and there are plenty of cheap (or even free) things to do. Some of the best cheap solo travel destinations include Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Bolivia, and Morocco.

Where are the safest places to travel alone?

There are a number of safe places to travel alone, although it’s always important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Some safe solo travel destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, and Japan.

What exciting new destinations are solo travellers visiting?

Some new solo travel destinations that adventurous travellers are visiting include Iceland, Laos, Croatia, and Bhutan. These destinations offer a unique experience and are perfect for those looking to get off the beaten tourist path.

What are the downsides of travelling alone?

Some of the potential downsides of travelling alone include feeling isolated, being afraid of getting lost or injured, and dealing with everything on your own. However, these downsides can be mitigated by sound research and planning. Most individuals find that the pros of solo travel outweigh the cons.

Sources

  1. Agoda ‘Solo Travel Trends. 2018
  2. British Airways Global Solo Travel Study. 2018
  3. Klook Solo Travel Survey. 2019
  4. Solo Traveler Reader Survey. 2020
  5. Solo Female Travel Trends Survey. 2020