Guest Post by Lysha
Solo travel is on the rise, especially among millennials and women. A recent estimate claims there’ve been 21 million solo travelers from the UK and the US.
That’s a lot of solo travel!
When you’re travelling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.”
– Shauna Niequist the author of Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.
To define solo travel as an “emerging phenomenon” would be unfair to the memory of wanderers like Ernest Hemingway and Freya Stark who travelled far and alone. The number of people travelling solo is increasing year after year. Google searches for “solo travel” and “travel alone” hit the highest mark ever in January, 2018.
It’s obvious that solo travel has become the new “it” way to go.
Women are Leading the Way
Virginia Woolf famously said, “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world,” so the woman of today doesn’t sit back and rely on others to fulfill her wishes to see the world.
A recent survey by Independent.co.uk showed that 58.3 percent of single travellers are women. Booking.com, in their survey of 2014, stated that American women are most likely to travel solo and take more than one trip a year while Solo Traveler World announced that 72 percent of American women are traveling solo.
Advantages of Solo Travel
The essence of solo travel lies in its expediency.
- Self-discovery is the most known and celebrated advantage of lone travel.
- Improvement of social skills and opportunity to make new friends is a driving force in itself.
- A schedule free of interference and accommodation with others is a perk on its own.
- It will give you a sense of independence and push you out of your comfort zone.
- It will be more cost-efficient in terms of accommodation (can stay in hostels) and food wise (grabbing street food.)
All pros come with cons. The disadvantages are:
- Safety issue – as Ned Stark (Game of Thrones) once said, “the lone wolf dies, the pack survives.” Otherwise known as safety in numbers.
- Luggage – you would have to carry all your luggage by yourself.
- Cost – nobody to split your meal and room cost with.
Travel and Lifestyle Bloggers
Growing numbers of people are finding ways to make their travel pay for itself, through travel or lifestyle blogs.
Three of the big travel bloggers to follow are Nomadic Matt, Dan Flying Solo, and Lili’s Travel Plans.
Although their travel is often work — they’re busy writing, taking photos, and making copious notes to turn into articles or guides later, and they have to stay active on social media to keep their ratings up — they all say “we wouldn’t change a thing!” They love their life — and the money doesn’t hurt either.
Because they’ve developed large followings on their blogs and on social media, they can sell advertising, work for companies as brand ambassadors, create and sell their own guidebooks, and write reviews of places they visit in exchange for free trips.
If you’re interested in becoming a travel blogger, here’s something that will help you get started.
Impact on the Travel Business
The growth of solo tourists has helped the travel industry to flourish, and encouraged the travel and tourism industry to make suitable provisions for them.
- Various travel websites like Tripadvisor and Goaway have launched solo travelling and single-friendly packages.
- There are some websites like Solotrekker4u that are fully committed to providing the best solo travel experience.
- A few websites dedicate themselves to the cause of motivating and preparing one for solo travel and provide deals related to it.
- Even cruise companies are restructuring their cabins and equipping themselves with services fit for lone travellers.
- Cab companies have introduced conveniences like Express POOL and UberPOOL which are fairly cheap and help lone tourists save money.
Helen Keller taught us that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Waiting around for others to make plans for you that you didn’t even want in the first place will lead your life to a compromise, and to what end? If your heart would rather take you to Havana when your friends only think about crashing in Vegas, just pack a bag and lead your own way.
Lysha works at Lalco Residency – Executive Apartments in Mumbai and she loves her job. Helping clients and monitoring the progress of business strategies along with her leadership skills makes her perfect suited for Hospitality services. You can catch up with Lysha at Lalco Residency in Mumbai, where of course they welcome solo travelers.