It is great to travel with family and friends – humans are, after all, social animals that like to share their experiences with their loved ones. The latest travel trend seems to gainsay human nature itself. Solo travel – traveling alone, without any companions – is a trend that seems to be rising all over the world, seeing lonesome backpackers, solitary explorers, campers, hikers, and bikers show up all over the place. What are their reasons for choosing to explore the land alone? Let’s try to shed a bit of light on this new travel trend below.
The rise of solo travel
Just a few years ago, you barely saw any social media updates featuring a traveller visiting a beach, a resort, a landmark or even one of nature’s wonders alone. In the last few years, though, things have changed fundamentally – the number of people taking time off from their social circles and travelling to any corner of the planet alone has grown exponentially. In 2017, industry insiders called solo travel the biggest trend in the industry – and it seems to continue well into this year, perhaps even beyond.
And it shows a distinct demographic divide, too – women seem to embrace solo travel far more often than men, powered maybe by their increasing empowerment or the better safety records of resorts and destinations around the world.
OK, but why?
On one hand, it may be the relative welfare of the travellers themselves. When they don’t have to wait for somebody else to match the time and money, scheduling becomes a matter of their own choosing. Many travellers are no longer tied to others’ schedules and pacing, so they can dive into their adventure at their own terms, at their own pace, and choosing their own destinations to explore.
Being independent when at their destination is probably another reason why an increasing number of travellers choose to go solo. Thus, they get to schedule their day as they please, not depending on any other person and their preferences. After all, travellers are of all kinds: some of them like to lounge on the beach, others prefer to party, some like guided tours, others prefer to explore their destination on their own… by going solo, travellers can do what they want when they want to, choose travel buddies while there or simply go their own way alone.
The modern, connected world is instrumental in helping solo travel become a major trend. On one hand, social media and the rising number of solo travel blogs have made the trend more popular. On the other, there are a number of apps and services out there, available on smartphones, that help solo travellers embark on the trip they have dreamed of and find the best places to explore and even occasional travel buddies to hang out with while away and stay as safe as possible in the process.