Solo Travel is on the rise! But there's more.
The best part of it, is the people you meet along the road.
The reasons for travelling alone would probably fall into one of two categories:
• you simply don’t have a companion to join on your travels
• you actively choose not to bring along friends or a spouse.
Today’s solo travellers are no longer defined by their relationship status.
More people are choosing to take a holiday by themselves because they don’t want to compromise on where they go and what they do.
It would seem that choosing to travel solo is an increasingly an endeavour of self-preservation, it could be choosing not to compromise on your choice of destination, itineraries or any kind of activities you take part in, or perhaps it has simply become a stress-free way to explore the world, whether you’re single or just want some “ME time”.
More people today remain single for longer, or indeed forever. Add up all those divorced or widowed, all those keen travellers whose partners either cannot or will not join them. Add the solo travellers who are married or otherwise attached who are increasingly choosing to leave their loved ones behind in order to do what they want, when they want and get a bit of hard-won “ME time” when travelling. And there you go with a huge potential crowd of solo travellers.
There are many reports and researches on the matter, and what does appear us to be consistent is that:
• Solo travel applies to all age groups, from generation Z to Baby Boomers and beyond, with an overall significant rise of the phenomenon.
• Women are much more likely to travel alone than men, and that’s only rising. In the past, the idea of women going solo travel was considered “brave”, “eccentric” or “risky”, but there has since been a huge shift in attitude. It’s more acceptable to take time out for yourself in present times.
• The rise of digital nomads tribes. The way work is changing, technology shifts impacting our relations and daily life drives new social scenarios. Many travellers are doing well in their careers, but they feel something doesn't fulfil them. And some “ME time” can help rebalancing their life.
The best part of travelling solo turns out to be the good company you meet along the road, like-minded travellers roaming the world alone in the same boat, who might have significant others at home, and are taking trips on their own.
In fact, we should all do it at least once in our lives. It gives us the gift of clear thinking time and being in an environment like that builds self-confidence like nothing else. It provides a break from monotony, builds confidence and exposes you to people and places you’d otherwise never cross.
Naturally, going solo can be difficult for the less-social travellers among us. More introverted people can become anxious, and retreat into their shells. But should they go for it anyway? Arguably yes.
What are the drawbacks of travelling solo?
Being single seems to be the most indulgent of 21st-century luxuries, among all the extra expenses to be added to the household annual budget, depressingly, travel is the expense with the biggest price difference between a single traveller and a couple sharing.
While there is now an incredible choice of holidays and destinations to choose from, one of the biggest pitfalls of travelling solo is cost, with a third of people saying they felt disadvantaged by choosing to travel alone, being forced to pay a single person supplement as a result of going solo.
The vast majority of solo bookers are actually travelling off-season, this should help to reduce cost impacts, yet holiday packages are usually priced per person based on two people sharing a double room. When a single person books, many tour operators levy an extra charge. They argue that they have to charge extra because “singles are a less attractive commercial proposition” for them. Among other aspects, single travellers spend less money in restaurants and bars than couples.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked downsides however, are the “return blues”. Frequently people who have had the most exceptional experience on their travels find the return home disappointing, being unable to share their intrepid adventures and significant moments with those remained at home.
For those travelling solo by circumstance rather than pure choice, there is now a middle way. Small group package tours made up of strangers are proving themselves very popular for some very good reasons:
• They can suit introvert people and less social-travellers, who might find fewer difficulties to travel and socialize. In a small group they can feel sheltered and less anxious while making new experiences.
• They can accommodate any budget, there’s a program for just anyone of every age, for slow paced or intrepid travellers, rock climbing or cruise lovers, experience seekers, like-minded passionate on different themes.
• They are a good choice for those less compromising, there’s company if you want it, like at dinner time, but also the opportunity to be separate without offending anyone. There’s a strong chance you’ll meet like-minded people, and the mix of the social and the solitary time generally works well.
Considering taking a solo travel, starting from a small group tour?
Just visit HappinessToBeTour.com for inspiration, news and advice.
Telegraph Travel channel for solo travellers. telegraph.co.uk/travel/solo-travel
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