Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) reports that last year, 44 percent of its travelers were flying solo -- up from 35 percent in 2013 and 27 percent in 2007.
"We're seeing a sea change in the way many boomers and seniors are traveling," said OAT CEO Kara O'Toole. "Married couples no longer feel the need to take every trip with their spouse or partner, and this frees them to explore parts of the world that might interest them, but not necessarily their significant other. At the same time, single travelers are embracing the advantages of group travel, especially when they're not penalized for traveling alone, and have become a critical presence on all of our tours."
Eight in 10 of OTA's solo travelers are women.
"We're not surprised that so many of our solo travelers are women, although we can't entirely explain such a high percentage," said O'Toole. "About two-thirds of our overall travelers are women, so we know they like to travel in small groups, both for the camaraderie that intimate groups foster and the access to local people, cultures and communities that a small group size provides. An aging U.S. population, with a majority of women, clearly has something to do with our having more female solo travelers. We also know that many older Americans have long bucket lists of destinations they wish to see, and that when you take steps to make it easy and affordable for them, there's really no stopping them."