Solo travel is booming. For enlightened adventurers like us, that’s no surprise. But what may raise an eyebrow is that the vast majority of solo travellers are women! So are they the fearless kind who like to live dangerously, or is solo travel not quite as scary as it’s cracked up to be?
According to Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), almost half (47%) of those who travel with them are registered as ‘solo’. For a leading name in small group adventures, that’s no big surprise. But what did surprise us, was that 86% of them are women.
And it seems the trend is reflected elsewhere. In fact, recent tour operators’ studies suggest solo female travellers outnumber single male travellers by four to one. That’s not great odds if you’re looking for a holiday hook up, ladies. But surely it puts paid to the idea that solo travel is unsafe?
The fact that #solotravel is tagged on more than 7.6 million Instagram posts would suggest more people have travelled alone or are thinking of doing so. Industry figures also show solo travel accounts for up to 18% of a global bookings, which suggests a growing confidence in going it alone.
But there are a few other stats worth considering.
While millennials make up the largest proportion of solo travellers, it’s the over 50s that are leading the trend. And it’s safe to say, there are more likely to be travelling in affordable luxury. The World Economic Forum reports Baby Boomers spend $157 billion on vacations every year; they also spend twice the amount on accommodation than Millennials. So those worldly-wise, relatively affluent female travellers are less likely to stay in cheap hostels or hotels. Plus life experience alone makes them more resourceful and less likely to behave in ways that leave them open to petty theft, or more serious crimes.
So age may play a part in this new-found confidence in solo travel. But that’s not to say that you should be blasé about personal safety. In fact it should be your number one priority. And we’d go as far as saying that female solo travellers need to be even more vigilant – including going alcohol free. You can check out our eight essential safety tips for solo travellers to learn more.
How safe do you feel when travelling solo? Share your experiences in the comments below!