The Rise of the Self–First Traveller

New research shows that people are putting themselves first when it comes to travel in 2024

Wednesday 21 February 2024: New research looking into global travel habits shows why more people are choosing to travel solo – and it’s not because of compromise or need. 
Holidaying solo has become the signifier of putting yourself first. 
According to the data from travel company Explore Worldwide, more people are choosing to travel solo because it means we can do exactly what we want on holiday (81%) and that we don’t need to wait for family and friends to be able to join us (78%). 
As well as enabling us to enjoy ourselves more, many express that solo travel has helped to improve self-confidence (67%), and well over 6 in 10 (65%) say they find the experience of travelling alone empowering. Millennials seem to find solo travelling the most liberating experience, with 76% respondents aged 25-34 saying they found their solo trip empowering.   
It seems solo travel is also a catalyst to trying new things, striking up conversations and friendships with strangers, as well as spurring us on to see more and go further, with 68% agreeing that travelling alone gives them increased confidence to take risks. 
Self-first travelling is quickly gaining traction, with 44% of those that had tried solo travel naming a solo holiday as the best they’d ever had. This is especially apparent with younger people, with the majority (56%) of 25-34s that have tried travelling solo saying it was their best trip to date. 
In addition to the clear draws of choosing where you go and how you get there without needing to compromise, the data also suggests that some people see solo travel as a good remedy for loneliness (41%).
Once people try solo travelling, they are likely to go back for more, with respondents in the UK (78%), US (83%), Canada (80%) and Australia (84%) all saying that they would holiday solo again. 
Globally, over half (63%) of Explore’s bookings come from solo travellers, with the most popular trips among solos in 2023 including Jordan Discovery, Amalfi Coast Walking, Simply Japan, Walking in Madeira and Turkey in Depth.


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