With solo travel growing increasingly popular, leading travel agent Opodo has polled 10,000 customers across the UK, Europe and the USA to discover the various reasons that consumers might choose to travel on their own.
According to the research conducted, 9% of respondents make an active decision to journey alone, which is similar to Europeans, while Americans more than doubled the number with 24% actively embracing the notion of single travel.
Of the 9% who prefer to travel alone, almost one third (32%) said their key reason is the absolute freedom of movement it allows.
31% said they’d only travel solo if friends or family weren’t available to join them, 26% would travel solo as an experiment and 25% think it is a great way to meet new people.
The research found the key motivations for travelling solo is the quest for culture (38%).
Germans were found to be the least likely to travel ‘to get to know myself better’ (21%), closely followed by UK travellers (23%) while US and Spanish travellers are far more interested in travelling for self-exploration.
Brits also put ‘meeting new people’ relatively low on their reasons for solo travel (25%) compared to Americans (51%) and Swedes (33%).
Instead, 32% of Brits would travel alone for a beach/relaxing trip, 31% for a volunteering trip and 6% would travel to find adventure/sport.
The research also found 14% of males would travel alone, compared to only 6% of women.
More than one third of the men (36%) would travel for complete freedom of movement, while 30% of women would travel solo because friends and family aren’t available.
Both males (36%) and females (49%) opted to put safety first when considering solo travel essentials (i.e. money belt, first aid kit, emergency contacts).
The age range most inclined to travel solo was 25-34 year olds, with only 11% of largest age group, 35-44 year olds willing to do so.
29% of UK respondents thought that 25-34 is the ideal age to travel solo and across all responses the age of 31 proved the average best age for travelling alone.
The research conducted by One Poll for Opodo’s parent company eDreams ODIGEO also found regional differences in the data.
Londoners were found to be the most inclined to travel solo (22%), followed by Yorkshire (10%) and Scottish (10%) travellers.
The Welsh considered safety a priority with more than half (55%) confirming a money belt, first aid kit, emergency contact, etc as travel essentials.
When it comes to 10,000 respondents for the global data, 2,000 people were based in the UK with the others polled in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and USA.
The global data closely related to the UK-specific data, with the exception of a few key differences including the aforementioned 24% of Americans willing to travel solo compared to 9% of Brits.
Portugal had the highest statistic of people preferring to travel with someone else with over 86% of people choosing this, versus only 70% of UK travellers prefer to travel with someone else.
Americans were the most included to travel alone for an adventure or sports trip (53%), while the least adventurous or sporty solo travellers are UK travellers.
Solo German travellers put comfort high on their priorities (33%) as opposed to Portuguese and Swedish (14%) and British (19%).
Portuguese and Spanish travellers were most likely to plan well in advance and pack a map or GPS system (36% and 35%), while only 19% of Brits considering pre-planning a priority.
In the oldest age group (55+), the Swedes were the most intrepid with 8% believing this the best age to travel alone, compared to 2% of Americans.
Opodo recommended four locations for individuals looking to travel solo: Athens, Greece for the culture, South Africa for volunteering, Cusco, Peru for adventure/sport, and Tulum, Mexico for a relaxing beach trip.