Unpacking the solo travel trend

(iStock)
(iStock)

Cape Town - Solo travel has been on the rise in recent years and is one of the hottest trends for 2018, with roughly one in four people saying they will travel alone this year.

“It’s not surprising when you consider the advantages of travelling alone which include: no disagreements over destinations; being able to explore a location at your own pace; and, of course, that liberating sense of freedom,” says Samuel Nassimov, Premier Hotels & Resorts’ founder and managing director.

This trend is being driven by women, with a survey by Solitair Holidays showing that 72.4% of women are likely to travel alone, compared with just 27.6% of men.

Solo Traveller - a website where people who share a passion for traveling alone exchange tips, suggestions and encouragement – recently asked its readers why more women travel alone than men. The responses ranged from women being more adventurous, to women being more comfortable with being on their own.

Female readers were also asked why they travel on their own and 46% said freedom, independence and the chance to do what they want when they want; 22% said they weren't willing to wait around for others; and 15% said to challenge themselves and gain confidence.
 
Solo travel is also proving to be a popular pursuit amongst those over 50, with the Solitair Holidays survey revealing that more than 84% of people who go solo on holiday are between the ages of 51 and 70, with only 4% being under 30.

In terms of where solo travellers like to go, 53% prefer international trips versus only 2% being interested in domestic travel. Furthermore, according to online booking and management software provider, Trekksoft, the most popular destination to visit is Europe, followed by Mexico, the Caribbean and America.

However, inbound tour operators in Africa are beginning to notice an uptake in solo requests coming through from the North American market.
This may be due to 82% of solo travellers saying they like exploring the off-beaten path when travelling.

Other activities enjoyed included seeing top sights (71%), visiting museums (59%), meeting locals (55%) and meeting other travellers (51%).
 
According to an Australian survey, the biggest concerns for solo travellers are safety (60%), followed by fear of feeling lonely or homesick (14%) and cost of the trip (12%).

“With South Africa having a favourable exchange rate, coupled with a reputation for the friendliness of its people, it is an ideal solo vacation destination. While safety concerns are valid, being vigilant can go a long way towards helping travellers stay safe,” says Nassimov.

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