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Solo travel for women is in vogue: how to make the most of your trip

For several years now, there has been an increasing interest in solo travel among women. This is evident from the increased search volume on Google for related offers and tips, as well as numerous surveys and analyses conducted by travel providers, travel communities, and tourism companies.

Travel providers, in particular, indicate that women dominate the market for solo travel, across all age groups. The reasons for the desire to embark on a solo trip are diverse.

According to a survey by Solo Traveller, the top reason is "seeing the world without waiting for others." Instead of waiting for friends or partners to decide to travel together, more and more women are setting off on their own.

Data from the travel search engine KAYAK shows that the search for flights for solo travellers in 2023 is 36% higher than in 2022. A survey by Skyscanner, a competitor of KAYAK, reveals that 54% of travellers are considering solo travel in 2023. 65% choose to go their own way because their family and friends do not share their travel interests.

Women represent 85% of solo travellers

According to reports from Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), over 60,000 women travelled alone between 2018 and 2019. Currently, 47% of O.A.T.'s Travellers are registered as "solo," and a notable 85% of these solo travellers are women.

The main motivation for solo travellers is that they don't have to consider fellow travel companions (74%) and can do whatever they want at any time (63%). This is accompanied by a sense of freedom and independence (52%). Therefore, it is not surprising that solo travellers also prefer independent solo travel (73%) and only half of them would choose to travel in a group.

Moreover, solo travellers are willing to invest in their trips. Across all age groups, 36% would spend an average of €2,000 to €3,000 per week (excluding flight costs). More than a quarter of people (27%) would even invest €2,000 to €3,000 per week.

Are solo trips for women an untapped market?

The tourism market seems to struggle to keep up with the rapid development of this trend. While search engines immediately suggest "solo travel for women" when the term "solo travel" is entered, there are still relatively few offerings specifically tailored to solo female travellers in the tourism market. In addition to limited booking options and prevailing safety concerns, the often-high single room surcharges are a nuisance for many solo travellers, who often end up paying more than if they were traveling in pairs.

Solo female travellers carefully choose their accommodations and destinations. Safety is one aspect they consider. They also ask questions such as: Are there means of contact available locally? Will the hotel mostly have couples? What group activities and leisure options are available? What is the composition of groups in organized tours and trips? Is there good healthcare that can be accessed through long-term travel health insurance?

The more questions are answered and the more specific the information provided by travel agencies and hotels, the more attractive they become to the large group of solo travellers.

Traveling alone: Things to consider

Solo travel is a growing trend. When traveling alone, you are responsible for yourself and decide what you want to see and do. Exploring different countries and cultures can be better or different when done alone compared to traveling in a group or with a partner. A solo trip is often a journey to discover oneself.

For those traveling alone for the first time, concerns are often significant, unsure if everything will go well or if it will be quite lonely to travel alone.

When traveling alone for the first time, there's no need to seek out the grandest adventure right away. A weekend city trip to a country with a low language barrier is an excellent way to test solo travel. Being alone takes practice, even when traveling.

The language travel provider EF Education First has some tips on what good planning can look like.

Watch your budget

Traveling alone can potentially be more expensive. To avoid high single room costs, staying in hostels or with private hosts is a good option. Couchsurfing even offers a free alternative where you can definitely get in touch with locals since you'll be sleeping on their couch. Self-catering accommodations or a restaurant guide for budget travellers also help save money.

However, when traveling as a single, you are less alone than you might think. It's worth keeping an eye out for people with similar travel plans early on. This way, you can reduce costs for taxis, rental cars, or the next excursion.

Try something new while traveling alone

Solo travellers can also use their time to learn something new. Whether it's meditation in Bavaria, a cooking course in Italy, or diving in Malta, there are numerous options depending on personal budget and interests. In groups of like-minded individuals, it is easy to make connections and share new experiences.

Language trips for singles abroad are also a good option for your next solo trip. They allow you to explore a new country with other solo travellers while refreshing your language skills or learning a completely new language. For singles, a language trip is a great way to make new connections with other participants and locals. By the way, around 90% of our participants embark on their language trips alone."

As solo travel continues to gain interest, many travel providers have a wide range of offerings specifically for solo travellers on their portals.

Traveling alone and sustainably

As in all target groups in tourism, sustainability is becoming increasingly important for solo female travellers. During a conscious solo break, they place great value on healthy and organic food, nature experiences, responsible resource management, and the use of natural cosmetics.

Green Pearls partner resorts and hotels have also seen increasing numbers of solo travellers in recent years. With special offers, they create an environment where solo guests feel comfortable and can enjoy their time alone or make connections with other guests.

Shared activities and group classes are ideal starting points for solo travellers to interact with other guests. During shared hikes, cooking classes, or workshops offered at Green Pearls accommodations, solo travellers easily engage in conversations with other guests.

This article is from the 2/2023 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.