With summer on the horizon, travel plans have become top of mind. And while traditional vacations tend to involve a pair or small group, recent years have made it more common than ever for solo travel to be a viable option. To better understand this phenomenon, CivicScience asked over 1,000 U.S. adults about their comfort with traveling on their own. As the data reveal, a large majority feels somewhat or very comfortable with solo travel.
The above numbers suggest that solo travel is a topic about which respondents have relatively strong feelings. The ‘I’m not sure’ category is almost unrecognizable.
Not only are U.S. adults relatively comfortable with traveling solo–when they do, they enjoy it. The data show that traveling for pleasure is a beloved activity for the majority of the population, one that is directly correlated with solo travel comfort. Only 15% have no interest in traveling for enjoyment.
Another poll found that 41% of respondents have taken a solo trip and would do it again, while another 24% would like to do so.
The clear interest in solo travel speaks to the potential growth that this type of vacation trend could experience: as those who already enjoy it take repeat trips, and those who have not yet experienced it set out on their own solo adventures.
Perhaps not surprisingly, men are far more comfortable than women with traveling solo.
The unfortunate reality is that men and women will have different experiences, not just abroad, but also when traveling at home. As a result, it is not exactly surprising to see that women make up 72% of those who are not at all comfortable with this kind of travel.
There is a strong correlation between comfort with traveling solo, and traveling frequently for work.
However, it doesn’t mean those who travel for business are always keen on traveling for pleasure on their own, as shown below:
As Seen on… The Internet
The study revealed that social media and internet influence could be spurring solo trips. Or, at least, people could be swayed by ads on these platforms, over television, to take another solo trip. This is especially the case among those who haven’t taken a solo trip but want to – vacation-related businesses for rentals, airlines, retreat centers, and other packages should utilize social media.
Solo Travel, Shared Rides
When traveling, a rideshare is often a convenient way to get around a new place. As the data reveal, rideshare app usage and comfort with solo travel go hand in hand.
Those who are comfortable with solo travel are also the most likely to splurge on themselves and to have stayed in a private home or apartment a la Airbnb in the last six months. As for future lodging plans, the most comfortable solo travelers will likely be staying at bed and breakfasts, with family and friends, or in tents, cabins, and RVs. Rental listings are the most popular amongst somewhat comfortable solo travelers.
Additionally, the study found that comfort with solo travel increases with income. This information suggests that solo traveler behavior could be could be part of more pervasive lifestyle choices. The following data on living situation echo this:
While those who live alone do rank highly in solo travel comfort, it is actually those who live with six or more people who are the most comfortable with solo travel. Both of these categories imply a certain level of inherent independence. Living alone is obvious, but living in a crowded household might also inspire similar skills of self-reliance that could make solo travel appealing.
Comfort with solo travel also happens to peak in mid-life, as the study found that Gen Xers are most comfortable with the idea of traveling solo. That said, those who are married are the least comfortable with the idea.
The data around solo travel paint a detailed picture of who exactly is pushing this travel niche forward. And, as it turns out, those who are comfortable with solo travel may be the ones normalizing otherwise fringe options, such as rideshare apps and rental homestays. After all, how an individual chooses to spend their vacation is not so different from how they choose to spend their life.