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How many people travel alone? Solo travelers travel frequently, around 3 or more times a year and make up 11% of the overall travel market. Solo travel has been trending upwards since 2016, and although the 2020 pandemic stopped travel for some time, post-pandemic travel is ever-increasing with 83 million Americans looking to take a solo trip this year.
Women are still leading the way for independent travelers, but with the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on the world, many are looking to embark on trips they may have otherwise missed out on. The greatest increase in solo travel in 2022 came from female solo travelers aged 65 and older going from 4% in 2019 to 18% in 2022.
As you'll see from the data below, unaccompanied travel behavior has started to shape the industry with some travel agents recognizing the shift and dropping single supplement fees. Independent travelers statistics show that traveling solo is more socially excepted, and on Instagram the hashtag #solotravel is associated with 5.2 million posts.
In 2022, 16% of Americans took a solo trip and, in 2023, 25% of Americans ( 83 million people ) are considering taking a solo trip.
Searches for single-traveler flights are 36% higher for 2023 travel than in 2022.
23% of all travelers in 2021 are planning a solo trip, compared to only 14% in 2019.
84% of solo travelers are women.
72% of women in the US have taken a solo vacation.
Solo travel #1 trend for 2019 according to Klook.
131% increase in the number of Google searches online for 'solo travel' between 2016 and 2019.
One in six people (15%) of us have already taken a holiday alone.
59% of female solo travelers would travel alone again in the next 12 months.
Single travelers make up 11% of the overall travel market.
42% increase in solo traveler bookings over the last two years.
25% of millennials in the US plan to take a solo trip in the next 12 months.
10% of all holidaymakers say they have taken a trip or holiday on their own in the past 12 months.
#solotravel is currently associated with more than 5.2 million posts on Instagram.
26% of those traveling alone sited the reason to simply be by themselves and explore new places.
71% of unaccompanied travelers have visited Australia making it the number one international destination for solo travel.
Pre-pandemic, only 14% of travelers were going solo, but by mid-2021 that number had almost doubled to 23%.
Post-pandemic data shows the number of travellers who want to travel solo has nearly doubled from 14% in 2019 to 23% in 2021.
Three-quarters of solo travelers are interested in both domestic and international travel.
54% are considering going solo in 2023.
In 2022, 16% of Americans took a solo trip and, in 2023, 25% of Americans (83 million people) are considering taking a solo trip.
Compared with pre-pandemic figures, Exodus Travels has seen solo participation in group trips increase by 9%.
In 2022, 74% of people go solo as they want to see the world and don't want to wait for others.
63% of people wanted to do what they want when they want.
73% want to travel independently vs. 50% who want to travel on a group tour.
Searches for single-traveler flights are 36% higher for 2023 travel than in 2022.
A Solo Traveler World survey in 2021 revealed that most people travel alone because they want to feel free, independent, and in control - all feelings that were negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The latest solo travel statistics show the effects of the pandemic have encouraged 74% of people to travel solo as they don't want to wait for others to join them, and 63% want to do what they want when they want.
Female Solo Travel Statistics
The greatest increase in solo travel in 2022 came from women aged 65 and older going from 4% in 2019 to 18% in 2022.
96% of women who have never traveled solo before would be more likely to do so on a group tour.
84% of all lone travelers are women.
72% of American women are choosing to take solo trips.
65% of US women have taken a vacation without their partner.
Women are likely to take three trips or more in a year.
46% said the reason for traveling solo was because of the freedom and independence it provides.
22% said it allowed them not to wait around for others.
15% wanted to challenge themselves and help improve their confidence.
55% of 'Solo travel' Google searches have been women and are millennials.
In 2021, 22% of US-based male travelers were planning to travel solo in 2022.
Travel companies are taking advantage of female solo travelers by providing women-only tours and taking advantage of the fact that women are likely to take up to 3 trips a year. Female travel is increasing in popularity with 84% of the market now made up of women, and 55% of all Google searches for 'solo travel' now being female and mostly made up of millennials. Women travel to enjoy freedom and independence, along with challenging themselves & improving their confidence.
Interestingly it's not just single women who are traveling solo, 65% of American women have taken a break without their partner in the last year.
How much money do you need to solo travel?
$20,000 is considered the average cost for a solo trip around the world for one year.
Solo travellers from USA, Canada, UK & Australia spent between $1000-$2000 on average per week, during their trip, excluding airfare in 2021.
Solo travellers are spending about 20% more on travel insurance than other travellers.
40% of travellers said the high cost is the main reason they do not travel solo.
Going solo can mean 50% extra on accommodation costs due to single supplement charges.
Laos in Asia votes the cheapest country to travel solo at just $30 a day.
Those travelling alone should budget for around $20,000 when considering a year long trip around the world, which works out at $54 a day to cover flights, hotels, food, insurance and any required vaccinations.
Solo travel statistics data shows that they spend an average of 20% more on their travel insurance and a massive 50% extra on hotel and accommodation than other travellers. The main reason being is that travel agents and hotels have not yet caught up with the increased popularity in travellers going it alone and are still charging single supplements. In fact, it’s the biggest reason why other travellers don’t travel solo, with 50% sighting the fact it’s too expensive. Some companies like Voyages of Antiquity have reacted and removed all their single supplements on its Greek island’s cruises.
If you’re looking for a solo trip on a budget then a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, Laos has been voted that cheapest place to visit solo. Activities can cost as little as $7 for a full day tubing experience down the river Vang Vieng.
What age groups are most popular for solo travel?
58% of millennials travel alone vs. 47% of older generations.
40% of Baby Boomers across the world have taken a solo trip in the last year.
86% of lone travellers are aged over 35 years.
Independent travellers have an average income of $150,000
The average solo traveller is aged 47, with 84% being female travelers and only 16% being male.
12% of 18-24 year old’s have been on a holiday by themselves.
Research conducted by ABTA Consumer Survey: Holiday Habits Report, show that around 15% of us are now taking holidays alone. And this is just one of the recent reports indicating that solo travel is no longer a niche market, and its not just the younger generation ‘backpacking’ around the world. According to Booking.com its Baby Boomer solo travel which is now leading the trend, with 40% of 55 to 64-year old’s have taken a trip alone in the past year. This is backed up by holiday operator, Unique Home Stays who say their average unaccompanied traveller customer is aged 47. One of the leading singles holiday operator ‘Just You’ confirmed the average age of their customer was 55.
71% of solo travellers have visited Australia making it the number one international destination for solo travel.
21% prefer to travel to the US.
The safest place to travel alone is Iceland.
18% of solo female travelers recommend their country of origin as the best destination for their first solo trip.
30% of lone travellers prefer adventure travel, beating the 23% who favour urban travel.
88% of solo travellers want to go off the beaten path.
53% hope to engage with locals away from the busy tourist spots.
50% of female travelers choose Europe as a safer destination to travel alone.
54% of British females are more likely to travel alone than they were five years ago.
Culturally rich travel destinations such as Cuba, Emirates and Macedonia are starting to become the trend of solo travel. With the rise in total solo bookings to Cuba from 2016 to 2017 rising by 406%.
Global travel has advanced so much in recent years and it’s easier to visit exciting long-haul destinations, with connectivity improvements, travel apps which allow travellers to see where they are doing and even allow them to change their plans in an instant. Combine this with more and more flight options and new destinations each year, travelling alone is now much safer and easier than it was 5 years ago. Australia still remains the number one travel destination 2019 for those going alone, followed closely by New Zealand.
76% of women travellers said they would feel unsafe on holiday by themselves.
30% of travellers revealed their families weren’t keen on them travelling solo.
33% of solo travellers believed they would get lonely whilst they were away.
36% of unaccompanied travellers would feel comfortable walking into a bar by themselves.
45% wouldn’t mind eating in a restaurant on their own.
Post-pandemic, the top 5 safest destinations for women to travel to are:
69% said safety was their main reason for not travelling alone.
50% were concerned about getting lost.
46% didn't want to feel lonely.
There are lots of mixed reports about solo travel and how safe it is, however its more about common sense rather than facts pointing the way. Travelling with a tour is obviously safer than going independently. Most importantly it’s about careful planning and doing your homework before you travel – our biggest tip is to make sure you’ve got decent travel insurance and your covered for as many eventualities as possible.
25% increase in solo travellers reported by river cruise line Uniworld.
9 out of 10 solo travellers would prefer to take a tour all or some of the time.
170% increase in the last 12 months on Hotelscan.com of those looking for a room by themselves.
70% of solo travellers take a tour to see destinations they wouldn't feel confident going to alone.
14% increase in bookings on LateRooms.com between 2017 and 2018.
42% hike in Hostelworld bookings for solo travellers from 2015 to 2017.
18% of Riviera Travel customers, taking tours and river cruises, are now travelling alone.
Norwegian Cruise Line spied the opportunities in solo travel all the way back in 2010, and since then lots of travel agents and solo travel tours have cited huge increases in bookings. The likes of Riviera Travel have seen 18% of its customers now travelling alone, helped by the decision to introduce solo cabins with no single supplements across their river cruise programme.
The most dramatic spike than in any other sector is that of Hotelscan.com who saw 170% rise in searches for those looking for rooms on their own – perhaps an indication that this sector will continue to grow.
32% of those who travel solo start planning 6 months in advance.
22% of solo travellers said they would travel more often in future, compared with 46% in 2020.
Google search trends show a 761% increase in the number of searches for 'solo travel' between 2019 and 2021.
37% of solo travellers planned to travel more consciously and sustainably in the future.
23% will have confirmed their destination four months prior to going.
Recommendations from Solo Female Travelers Facebook groups are the most trustworthy, in 2022, overtaking friends and family.
Only 1% of solo bookings happen during July and August, the majority of solo travel happens off-season.
This research shows that these travellers plan well in advance, with 32% of them planning their trip 6 months prior to leaving, and 23% of them making their travel decisions on the destination 4 months ahead of going.
Holiday companies should take advantage of solo market opportunities, mainly because it’s an off-peak market; according to HolidayPirates most bookings come between April to June and September to October. Their booking statistics show that only 1% of solo bookings happen during July and August. The solo travel market continues to see growth year on year since 2016, with a massive 131% increase in Google searches for ‘solo travel’.
52% of those travelling alone say they'd be interested in an escorted holiday.
59% of solo travellers go alone because they want to experience the world without waiting for someone.
45% enjoy the freedom that comes with travelling alone.
54% of those travelling by themselves want to get outside their comfort zone.
55% agree travelling solo is now more socially acceptable than 10 years ago.
61% found that relaxation and time to unwind for travellers was the main motivator for solo leisure travel across the world.
52% also ranked getting away from routine as a reason to travel alone.
45% wanted to explore new cultures as a top motivator.
There are lots of reasons why you should travel alone, but the emerging solo travel trends suggest that 54% of travellers want to challenge themselves and push their travel limits. Interestingly, 59% of those going alone did so to avoid frustrations of waiting for a partner to keep up with them. The rise of solo travel could be explained by the fact that 55% of people now feel that travelling solo is much more socially acceptable than it once was. 45% of those who have travelled solo enjoyed the freedom and the ability to explore new cultures and meet the locals as a top reasoning to go it alone.