The Rise of Solo Travel for Women
Women travellers are taking the world by storm and they’re doing it on their own according to statistics from across the travel industry.
Online booking software company, Trekksoft shows that since 2014 up to 72% of women in the USA had undertaken solo travel. Some of them flying the coop more than 3 times a year. This trend looks set to continue, with 59% of these respondents planning to do it again next year.
It’s not just the Americans that are doing it either, stats from the UK show that females travelling alone outnumber males 2 to 1. Correspondingly, between 2015 and 2016, there was a 230% increase in the number of companies offering women-only travel.
Tour operators like REI Adventures and Abercrombie & Kent have noticed that almost 70 % of their clients embarking on solo travel are females. Almost 40% of these chose to go it alone to explore historical or cultural sites that their partners have no interest in, many others are recently divorced or widowed.
Reasons for Female Solo Travel
Trends show that women are increasingly travelling for these kinds of self-enrichment, to broaden their language skills without distractions, or to try adventures under their own steam. Budget options on smaller single accommodations and cheap flights for solo travellers were other drawcards for this market.
Maui Surfer Girls has had to increase their women’s surf offering from just 1 session in 2016 to 12 for the 2017 season.
According to Travel Agent Central, up to 85% of solo travellers are women between the ages of 41 and 47. Lonely Planet, has 50 as the golden age for solo travel.
Statistics aside, women have clearly decided that now is the time to explore the world on their own, regardless of what anyone says.
Overcoming the Challenges of Solo Travel
Women travelling alone attract a unique set of challenges – both real and perceived.
It is an unfortunate and undeniable fact that women travelling alone are often seen as soft targets by unsavoury characters such as muggers and con artists. Another drawback is missing out on someone to share your adventures with, getting ill and having no familiar face to care for you, or attracting unwanted male attention. Most of these can apply to male travellers to.
What women can, and do, encounter is the perception that they have turned their back on familial duties to indulge in travel fantasies or have failed to attract a man to travel with them. These archaic perceptions do not apply to every corner of the world and are easily avoided or ignored.
The real challenges that women face when travelling alone are their own ideas of inadequacy, of not being able to scale that mountain alone, or enter that jungle unescorted. For this reason, many tour operators are offering female-only expeditions. The kind of hair-raising jaunt that you need to train for – and women are loving it. Besides providing a helping hand, support and encouragement when things get rough, teaming up with fellow female travellers has the benefit of providing someone to share your unique experiences.
What’s in it for the Solo Women Traveller?
If you travel to get away from it all – then going solo is for you. With nobody else to answer to, solo travellers can indulge in as many desserts as they want, ride the camel as many times as they see fit, lounge on golden island beaches for hours on end, and window shop until they’re truly sick of it.
When you travel alone, you are more open to meeting fellow travellers along the way and your hosts will be more likely to strike up a conversation with you. You get to choose who you spend time with and how you spend your time and budget.
Travelling alone will teach you vital coping skills, resilience and independence. You will learn your limits and you’ll learn how to overcome obstacle on your own. There is no doubt that travelling solo will make you a stronger, wiser and possibly even better person.
Regrets? All this blissful self-indulgence could cause you to miss out on a few of the sights and activities you originally had on your list. For that, there’s always next year.
Head on over to our flight search page and start looking for awesome deals on cheap flights for your solo travel adventure, or check out our top destinations for solo travelers!