Holidays for solo travellers are on the rise. Fewer travel restrictions, more affordable air travel, and a taste for new experiences are all spurring a culture of spontaneity for holiday seekers.
Solo travellers, of course, are already the biggest advocates for this unique way of seeing the world. One survey found that 45 per cent of solo travellers enjoy the freedom that comes with travelling alone.
Importantly, solo travel defines itself as a break from the conventional. 52 per cent of people also ranked ‘getting away from routine’ as a reason to travel alone. 55 per cent of solo travellers agree that going away alone is now more socially acceptable than it was 10 years ago.
But, while statistics tell one story, the experiences of those who have travelled alone speak as champions of single-handed holidays.
Exploring the benefits of solo travel, the essential destinations and suitcase essentials are revealed.
The benefits of solo travel
Solo travel is designed around you, your tastes, and what you want to achieve with a private getaway. But whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or an unwinding retreat, the benefits are largely the same. The essentials: do what you want, when you want, and how you want.
Carrie Miller, a storyteller for National Geographic, explains how solo travel is an education; not only in the cultures you explore but in your own character and identity. Carrie says: “Traveling by myself has taught me things I couldn’t learn anywhere else. I learned how I like to spend my time, self-reliance, and I learned that I could go (just about) anywhere and do (just about) anything. And no one can take that knowledge or independence from me. It’s freedom.”
Freedom, quite clearly, is a major appeal of solo travel. Following the pandemic, we should expect to see more people travelling abroad, making up for missed opportunities.
Kevin Pratt, travel and finance expert at Forbes Advisor, said: “There is clearly huge pent-up demand for once-in-a-lifetime overseas dream holidays, with so many Brits not having seen the inside of an airport for two years. Once the restrictions are removed, we can expect to see millions of people heading to far-flung destinations for sun, fun, adventure, and relaxation.”
This overbearing demand could encourage more people to travel solo and experience the benefits of seeing new locations and cultures on their own. It can be a reflection of your personality, allowing you to express yourself through your activities, your fashion, and your spirited nature.
While solo travel can be liberating, packing for your adventure can be limiting. You’ll need to carry lightweight, easy-to-pack, and easy-to-carry essentials with versatile uses.
Of course, what you take depends on your location and activity. However, versatility continues to be key. A pair of men’s cargo shorts is ideal for warmer weather, especially for those on walks and adventures through natural settings or local markets. Flexible, strong, comfortable, and with additional pocket space, they’re accessible in every way.
Meanwhile, light linen shirts ensure comfortable travel. But their natural fibre properties provide additional benefits to your travelling wardrobe. Breathable, highly absorbent, and naturally insect repellent, linen provides a multitude of merits that make it a must-have in your travel bags.
Of course, your wardrobe should adapt to where you are. Shorts, no matter how versatile, may not be of use on a solo ski trip. However, the same principles apply. Recognise your essential needs, your limitations, and work out what you need to carry.
You may also find use in mobile power banks, an eAlarm, and a small first aid kit — just in case of any emergencies on your travels.
Location, location, location
You may have a bucket list of locations that you want to visit and enjoy, but is there an ideal location for solo travelling?
Sociable travellers are more likely to hit it big in cities such as New York, Stockholm, or Lisbon; destinations with other like-minded solo travellers that are ready to mingle.
Landscapes in South America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean can also lend themselves to the most adventurous solitary traveller.
Being on your own, you’ll have more time to take in your surroundings, so a location is so much more important than just the climate.
Solo travel is a far different experience from travelling with a group. You may not even need to visit somewhere new. The opportunity to re-explore a location you have visited before may uncover new truths about yourself and a location. Find a deeper understanding of the history and culture of a destination that you have only viewed through tourist-tinted lenses.
Alternatively, throw a dart against the map and see where fate will take you.
Solo travelling is a brave choice, but not one that people should be wary of. With correct preparation, and a recognition that your experiences will be different from what you are used to, travelling on your own can be far from lonely.