What is stopping you from traveling solo?
SOLO TRAVEL is on a rise and it has been in the recent year.
In fact, Google searches for “solo travel” and “travel alone” were at the highest they’ve ever been in January this year.
Even more surprisingly, a majority of solo travelers are women. According to Solo Traveler‘s 2017 survey, the gender split is 85.7 percent women.
Thus, travel companies are embracing it and getting their hands full with building catered products for the solo traveler.
Intrepid Travel, for example, launched their first solo-only tour range, which includes solo tours in Bali, India, and Vietnam, after seeing a 40 percent increase in solo passengers on group trips over the past five years.
Single-friendly vacation packages with no single or low single supplements (a charge paid by a solo traveler when they take a room alone) are also aplenty, whether you’re an adventure-seeker, culture junkie, hungry foodie, or history buff.
To add on, Saga Cruise in the UK is building 109 solo cabins on its new ship launching in 2019.
It is true, the dawn of solo travel is upon us.
That having said, not every traveler is biting.
Travel Wire Asia has spoken to a select few who admitted that they’re never traveled solo and it is not something they would even consider.
To each his or her own, but we decided to explore this further by finding out what is stopping these ordinarily curious minds from going at it alone.
It is not safe
17 percent believe that their safety is at risk if they attempt to travel solo. The truth is, this depends on your chosen destination.
If you’re really insecure about what may befall you during a trip alone, play it safe. By that, we mean you should pick one of the world’s safest countries.
Survey has shown that Singapore, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia are among some of the safest Asian destinations.
For the ladies, Asia’s safest places for women solo travelers are Chiang Mai, Thailand; Bali, Indonesia; Hong Kong; Singapore; Kyoto, Japan; Palawan, the Philippines; and Taiwan.
And to the aspiring solo travelers who have always wanted to go to India, consider going with a guided tour and try not to throw caution to the wind.
I will get lonely
Safety may be one of the main concerns, but it certainly isn’t as worrying as being lonely.
The beauty of traveling solo is having your own time and a flexible schedule without having to wait on anyone else.
However, a whopping total of 45 percent of our respondents (that’s almost half) said that loneliness is what’s stopping them from traveling solo.
It is hard to fight the feeling of loneliness and it does take more effort to not feel that way, but there are things that can be done to alleviate the fear.
International tour operator Transat has recently expanded their Solo Collection, creating communal tables for shared meals so you won’t have to sit through breakfasts, lunches, or dinners alone.
And with services like Airbnb Experiences at your fingertips, you’ll find more opportunities to talk to locals, gain confidence, and maybe even make lifelong friends.
My family doesn’t approve
Approval is the least of your worries, it seems, as this garnered eight percent of the total votes. But there’s nothing that a reassuring pep talk and consistent follow-ups can’t solve.
First of all, ensure that the necessary people have your travel details and full schedule so they know exactly where you will be and when.
Then, show them that you’ve downloaded the necessary apps, have all the local emergency numbers of your destination, and that you’re well equipped to get around alone.
Of course, don’t forget to stay connected and send them updates to reassure them always.
Better yet, spam constantly them with pictures of yourself, your meals, your surroundings, or just about anything that you can think of and take a picture of.
Solo travel is expensive
Is solo travel expensive? 3o percent of Travel Wire Asia’s Twitter poll respondents think so. That isn’t always the case, though.
As aforementioned, having acknowledged the rise in solo travelers, hospitality companies and brands are now waiving single supplements, making it more affordable.
Solo travelers can also opt for other accommodation alternatives such as Couchsurfing, Airbnb (rooms), and hostels.
Being able to split a bill for meals does cut back on expenditure, but what fun is traveling if you don’t get to sample cheap yet satisfying street food, especially if you’re in Taiwan, Bangkok, or Seoul?
Weigh your options well and you’ll be getting your enriching, unforgettable solo travel experience in no time! You might even want to do it again and again.