One in five women (22.6%) in the UK travel unaccompanied at least once year and over a quarter (25.1%) every 1-2 years, despite almost 60% (57.2%) being married, new research has revealed.
It seems men are much more shy about going alone with only one in ten (11.5%) admitting to doing it once a year and 14% less often.
Single, separated, divorced and widowed women are also increasingly seeking independent adventures with many choosing to travel alone to meet new people or visit family or friends who live abroad.
The research, conducted by tour operator, Jules Verne, found that for many of those surveyed, the main reason they choose to travel alone is to visit places or take part in activities their partner/spouse has no interest in, as well as having more freedom and flexibility to do as they please.
The survey also looked at the reasons why people choose not to travel alone. The main reasons that topped the list included: less fun, loneliness, fear, expense related, and health/stress levels. When it came to more niche reasons, one respondent said they wouldn’t do it because they “would have no one to take pictures” of them while another was “frightened of getting lost or catching the wrong flight”.
The cultural diversity of sunny Spain and ethereal promise of India are the most appealing for those travelling solo, both on accompanied and unaccompanied and tours.
Top places for solo travel overall (by country) 1. Spain 2. India 3. USA 4. New Zealand 5. Italy
The over 55s are in the majority when it comes flying solo with one in three (30%) doing so more than once a year however, a quarter of 18-35 year olds are also regularly seeking lone adventures.
When it comes to cities, Sheffield residents are most in need of a solo getaway, with 50% doing it at least once a year, followed by Edinburgh at 47.1%. Almost half (47.1%) of Bristol residents would never travel alone.
Prini Patel, Head of Marketing at Jules Verne, said: "The stigma surrounding singles holidays has largely disappeared and solo travel is increasingly popular and more appealing for both men and women. Despite the misconception that there might be additional costs associated, there are many trips available that don’t come with a premium, and offer genuine no single supplements.
“Fear and loneliness can also prohibit people from taking the plunge however, solo travel within a group of likeminded holidaymakers always offers opportunities for meeting new people to share experiences with, which can often be priceless."