Going solo is a big part of travel for Millennials, according to Resonance Consultancy’s new Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report. 25 percent of U.S. Millennials polled in the study said that they plan to take a trip on their own in the next 12 to 24 months.
Resonance reports that the number of Google searches for the terms “solo travel” hit a peak in the first week of January 2018, topping out at almost 55 percent higher than the previous year. While Booking.com’s first Solo Travel Report delved into the niche as far back as 2014, solo travel continues to grow, Resonance said. Compared to other countries examined in that report, American women rank first in solo travel, and are most likely to take three trips or more in a given year.
Paul Hennessy, CMO at Booking.com, notes that this is not a trend, but the new normal. “Our research suggests that female solo travel is a phenomenon that is here to stay,” he says.
Resonance’s research shows that the two most important factors for solo Millennial travelers when choosing a vacation destination are similar to those of Millennial travelers in general: safety (56%) and cost (51%) top the list, followed by quality of natural environment/scenery and English spoken. According to another study by Topdeck Travel last year, Australia and New Zealand outranked Europe in terms of popular destinations for solo travel, which Resonance attributed to the two countries’ spectacular natural scenery and primary language of English.
The Resonance report shows that those with higher incomes place greater importance on several factors compared to lower income earners. The most notable priorities for higher-income respondents are quality and variety of shopping (49% vs 19%), close to beach (44% vs 21%) and number of fun attractions (47% vs 28%).
Resonance also found that fun attractions, dining and learning new things (90%, 89% and 88%, respectively) top the list of preferences for solo Millennial travelers while on vacation, followed by sightseeing (87%). Participating in a once-in-a-lifetime activity and volunteering are the most desired future activities they would like to try.