Solo Travel Gaining Steam

Solo Travel Gaining Steam

One-third of consumers would prefer to travel with a smartphone than a companion
A solo female traveler looks out at a city

If you’ve been searching unsuccessfully for a travel buddy, you may want to give up and pack your bags instead, as new research suggests a majority of solo travelers are vacationing alone by choice rather than necessity.

The idea of traveling alone may be intimidating to some, but for many travelers, it has a number of perks, according to travel site Expedia’s Solo Travel Report. To gain insight into consumer perceptions about traveling alone, Expedia commissioned polling company CITE Research to survey 1,516 adults in the U.S. who have either taken a trip alone in the past or planned to take one in the future.

More than half — 55% — of survey respondents said they preferred the freedom that comes with traveling alone over having a travel companion, and 60% said they planned to take a trip alone in the next year.

Younger travelers were particularly likely to prefer solo travel to vacationing with a partner, as 77% of Generation Z and 71% of millennials agreed with that statement.

Solo trips motivated by desire to disconnect and get away

Solo trips are appealing for a number of different reasons. For example, 25% said they take solo trips to disconnect from work and life and 24% take solo trips to meet new people and explore new places. The idea of getting away is so attractive that 45% of respondents said the desire to get away inspires them more than other common motivations such as goals, events, books and even people.

Once they’ve arrived at their destinations, 28% said they most look forward to exploring a new city, 12% said they most look forward to learning new things and 12% said they look forward to taking part in “once-in-a-lifetime” activities.

The majority of respondents were partial to shorter solo trips as 52% of respondents preferred getaways of between three and six days. Twenty-two percent preferred 7- to 13-day excursions and 15% preferred a one- to two-day microbreak.

Technology may give some solo travelers a feeling of security, as 45% plan to use their phones to take photos and videos, 42% for directions, 36% to text and call others, 33% to look for things to do and 28% to check travel details.

In some cases, respondents would prefer to have their technology over a travel companion. Among respondents, 33% said they would prefer to travel with their smartphone than a companion on their next trip.

If you like to travel, traveling alone can free you up from having to schedule your trips when others are available. You’re also more likely to be able to take last-minute trips if a good travel deal comes your way. Create a travel budget in which you set aside money regularly (as long as you’re also focusing on your savings goals). You can also leverage your travel dollars by applying for a credit card that offers travel rewards.