Solo female travel is a booming segment, according to the blog Solo Female Travelers. To learn more about the group, the blog surveyed 5,000 women from across the globe from November 18 to December 9, 2020; it sought to discover the motivations and challenges for women traveling solo, the purchasing behaviors of solo female travelers, and the values, accommodation preferences and interest in retreats among the audience.
First and foremost, Solo Female Travelers found that traveling solo is a choice and not necessarily a “lifestyle.” In the 12 months prior to the survey, 22 percent of respondents said they only travel on their own, although “with girlfriends, independently” (31 percent), “with a partner or spouse” (28 percent) and “with my family members” (24 percent) were all common responses. A majority of solo female travelers (56 percent) said they travel this way for the flexibility and freedom of having their own schedule; 38 percent said to “challenge myself.”
With that said, personal safety is the top concern for the segment, with 73 percent of respondents saying so. Money (48 percent), getting lost (27 percent) and feeling lonely (25 percent) followed. In addition, 42 percent of women who haven’t traveled on their own yet cite the fear of something happening to them as the reason for not doing it.
The blog found that small group trips are a good solution for solo female travelers: 50 percent of respondents said they would join a women-only group trip, 40 percent said yes on a mixed-gender trip and 27 percent said they were unsure; only 6 percent said they wouldn’t.
As far as where to travel, the survey found most solo female travelers would recommend within your own country or Europe as the first place to go. The top countries for solo female travelers are the U.K., Australia, Italy, Thailand, Spain and Japan. Reasons, according to Solo Female Travelers, include:
- They are major tourism destinations
- They enjoy really high levels of safety
- They have great tourism infrastructure
- They are affordable
- They have friendly locals
- They see a constant stream of solo travelers to beat loneliness and boredom
The top countries on solo female travelers’ bucket lists include Australia, Japan, Italy, Greece, Iceland and New Zealand. When choosing a destination, 82 percent of women traveling solo find the local culture extremely important or very important, while 69 percent consider safety or the crime rate at the destination. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they care about a country’s reputation, its human and social rights track record and the way it treats women.
The group also said it would pay a premium for a higher standard of accommodation (49 percent), room privacy (46 percent) and a better location for their accommodation (43 percent). They are most interested in cultural sightseeing (83 percent), nature and wildlife (73 percent) and cultural immersion/interacting with locals (68 percent). While price is the most important element when choosing a travel provider (86 percent), 70 percent say that a business’ eco-friendliness is also important.
Solo female travelers most trust the recommendations of friends and family (76 percent), solo female travel Facebook groups (73 percent), online review sites (66 percent) and travel blogs (64 percent). They least trust online (50 percent) and TV ads (47 percent). The group is split on travel influencers, with 26 percent saying they trust them, while 23 percent don’t. Forty-two percent of female solo travelers trust travel advisors, while 15 percent are distrustful of them.
Source: Solo Female Travelers