Prompted by anecdotal accounts on the subject, British Airways decided to commission a study on solo travelers and, as a result, has released its Global Solo Travel Study which focuses on the phenomenon of the independent female passenger. A study of almost 9,000 18-to-64-year-olds across the UK, US, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, India, and China, it found that over 50 per cent of women have taken a holiday by themselves, with 75 per cent of women planning a solo trip in the next few years.
Elsewhere, the results of this first-ever study provide some interesting details and facts:
—The most adventurous female travelers are from Italy, with 63 per cent of Italian women aged 18-65 have explored another country alone, followed by Germany at 60 per cent.
—More British women and men (14 per cent) were over 50 on their first solo trip compared to any other country.
—However, 60 per cent of UK women are planning a trip in the next few years, with 16 per cent of them jetting off solo in the next two to three months.
—The least inclined to venture overseas with only 16 per cent, were women from the US. However, this looks to change with 62 per cent currently planning their getaway in the next few years.
—Most of those in this travel segment take trips that last for one week, with over 50 per cent globally choosing a short-haul trip overseas. However, more than 30.5 million women in the surveyed markets have headed off on long trips of over six months.
—German travelers go solo the most often, with one in five having treated themselves to a solo trip over 10 times.
—The nation most willing to travel long distance is China, with almost 50 per cent flying over 11 hours for their last international experience.
—Two-thirds (67 percent) of solo travelers worldwide choose to explore their own continent. India’s travelers skip between continents the most, with 37 per cent having travelled solo to Europe and 33 per cent exploring the UAE and Middle East.
—More than 51 per cent of the travelers in both the U.S. and China had also toured Europe solo.
The British Airways Solo Travel Study also unpacked the reasons why passengers were choosing to head out alone:
—More than half of the global respondents (55 per cent) choose to travel alone due to the feeling of freedom and independence, being able to choose your destination, what you eat and what you do.
—Holidaymakers from Germany are the most open, with over 50 per cent also prioritizing meeting new people and having unique experiences. Ten per cent of UK travelers confessed they had taken off solo to get over a break up.
—The U.S. has the lowest number of female solo travelers, with only 17 per cent having taken a solo holiday, compared to 46 per cent of US men, however those that do travel are the most likely to travel for over six months
—In China, more women than men have made a solo trip abroad over 10 times