BELLEVUE, Wash. – Data from Expedia’s first Solo Travel Report reveals 60 percent of travelers plan to take a solo trip within the next two years, proving people want more flexibility, convenience, and autonomy from their vacations. This data suggests that a digital connection is starting to rival the need of human connection on trips.
When given the ultimatum to choose between their mobile phone or a travel companion to bring on their next trip, one-third (33 percent) of Americans said they would choose to travel solo with just their device.
Travel expert and frequent solo traveler Courtney Scott comments on the new trend: “Mobile devices are an essential resource for travelers, helping us feel more informed and more confident on the road, so it doesn’t surprise me that many people would rather travel with their phone than with a friend. Use your travel app to manage your itinerary, research your destination and stay connected to friends and family ─ but don’t forget to put your phone away and fully immerse yourself in your surroundings, too!”
“We recognize there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to solo travel preferences, but that doesn’t mean solo travelers can’t have it all in the one device they’re most reliant on during their trip,” said Alexis Tiacoh, PR manager for Brand Expedia.
Here’s a deeper look at the findings:
What Drives Solo Travel
Overall, solo travelers most often say they take solo trips to meet new people and explore new places, disconnect from work and life, and improve their independence and confidence. And while the simple desire to get away is the biggest motivator for going it alone over any movie, book or celebrity influencer.
Solo Travel is Becoming the Preferred Travel Category
Two-thirds of respondents agree they prefer the freedom of traveling alone and meeting new people over the desire to have a vacation companion. Younger travelers (83 percent of Gen Z and 80 percent of Millennials) are especially likely to agree. Less than 40 percent of the respondents Expedia surveyed identified themselves as parents, and of those, nearly all of them (82 percent) agree they too would prefer to travel alone.
The Ideal Solo Trip
While some might want to spend their summer backpacking across Europe, the most popular solo trip is the ‘Weekend Break’ – a quick couple days in a new city or off the grid (30 percent). Americans are more likely to want to experience an ‘Island Getaway’ – cruise to a tropical destination or visit a beach (23 percent), ‘Foodie Trip’ – eat their way through a region known for delicious cuisine (16 percent), or ‘Event Travel’ – visiting a place specifically to attend a music festival or sporting event (14 percent).
Solo Travel Destinations
Domestic travel continues to be the foundation of how most Americans choose to vacation – and solo travel is no exception. US travelers are more likely to choose new or familiar places within their own country, and 69 percent said their last solo trip was in the USA. When it comes to future solo trips, roughly 3 out of 4 Americans (74 percent) say their ideal location is in the USA followed by Canada (45 percent) and Europe (42 percent).
Solo Trip Advice is Practical
When it comes to planning your solo getaway, experienced solo travelers emphasize preparation and a positive attitude. Stick to a budget, know which travel documents you’ll need and always have a plan B. Americans mostly feel that it’s good to be mindful of fears but to not let them stop you (20 percent).
This Is When Things Get Awkward
Generally, solo travelers feel most uncomfortable when they are lost and need directions (42 percent), or when they are lost in translation (38 percent). US travelers also dread having their phone battery die or eating alone (29 percent).