More and more travellers are making trips alone, with the biggest increase amongst females, reports holiday provider Hostelworld.
The company, which provides hostel accommodation for travellers, reveals a 42 per cent increase in solo traveller bookings between 2015 and 2017, which increases to 45 per cent for women. It predicts the preference for going it alone, which 40 per cent of male travellers have also chosen, will continue this year.
The increase amongst women goes against common perceptions that it is brave and risky, thanks to a change of attitudes. Many female travellers now feel that it is an adventurous and exciting experience, with no one else to worry about or please.
Hostelworld gives the example of 25-year-old Marina Nazario from the US, who has been traveling solo since 2017. “I made my first solo trip in March 2017 when I wanted to try something new and no one could come with me,” Nazario said. “I left New York City to visit Copenhagen and Stockholm and after returning, my co-workers immediately sensed my wanderlust. Next thing I knew, I quit my job and ended up in Tokyo. Now I’m here, living in Queensland, Australia, having met my boyfriend in Europe while I was travelling a few months ago. Travelling solo made me comfortable with the unknown and not anticipating the future. I started taking things day by day, living in the present and enjoying every moment of it.”
Breffni Horgan, Director of Product, Hostelworld said: “It’s great to see people and women in particular embracing solo travel. Solo travel doesn’t mean travelling alone, and it shouldn’t be a barrier to those wanting to explore the world. It’s a great way to branch out and meet like-minded people from all cultures and walks of life. The increasing number of solo travellers could be due to a combination of better technology, with apps allowing us to easily discover our next location, that fact that more of us are staying single for longer and aren’t worried about waiting for a suitable travelling companion to come along, or the fact that flexi working can make it possible to combine a job with travel, operating remotely.”
“We’ve gone from zero bookings in Cuba in 2014 to having more than 273 accommodation options in 22 cities, throughout the country. People now have the technology at their fingertips to research and book at the touch of a button and we’re working really hard to ensure solo travelers have the time of their lives,” continued Horgan. “Features such as the Hostel Noticeboard on the Hostelworld app, mean people can check what activities and events are happening at each hostel so they can meet likeminded people and make the most of every moment of their trip.”
Marina Nazaria also gives her top tips for solo travellers – unsurprisingly her main piece of advice is to stay in hostels. Others include:
- Go out there and get off your phone
- Get to know other travellers. Every hostel generally has a communal area and you can find people to start talking to
- Take things day by day, live in the present and enjoy every moment of it
- Live outside of your comfort zone. If you’re scared to do it, it’s probably a good thing