Blog 2 – Microtrend – Maela Verschuren
These days you do not have to be single or friendless to travel alone. It is actually quite normal to book a vacation for yourself and go on adventure with just ‘me, myself and I’. Especially the last two years this trend is much discussed in articles and magazines, blogs and vlogs. But is solo traveling a real trend or is it just a hype and will it fly over?
It all started when solo traveling increased with 64% within 2011 and 2014, based on the research from travel agency SITA World Tours. (NRT media, January 2015) Remarkable is that more than 70% of the solo travelers are ‘female baby boomers’. They do not go on vacation with the intention to find a new relationship. The main purpose is to meet new people and gain experiences. Mostly they choose for a cultural vacation. (NRT media, January 2015)
Paul Wiseman, president of Trafalgar travel and tourism hospitality industry says: “We’ve seen demand for solo travel double over the past five years and this trend is continuing for consumers who want to explore the world with other like-minded people.” (E. Cody, June 2016) Trafalgar makes his vacations easy as possible for the solo travelers. It allows them to travel as safe and comfortable as possible. (E. Cody, June 2016) The fast growing market for solo travelers is creating new opportunities for travel agencies. There is much difference in the vacations the travel agencies supply, but that gives the solo travelers much more to choose. So there is always an agency who fits your demands and expectations. Some are much more accommodating to solo travelers than others, you just have to know with which one you want to book your vacation with. (Worldwide destination guide, June 2016)
There is more and more demand for solo vacations and that makes it a trend, but the demand is growing in a rising line and not short and intense like an hype or mania. The mesotrend is to be independent, while the megatrend is the personal development you go through during your vacation. I think this trend is at stage 3: growing. The solo traveling is still developing.
There are also solo travelers who are much younger than the ‘female baby boomers’. Students or people who are just graduated from high school, going alone on a backpack vacation. GoEuro did research about traveling solo in ten countries in Europe. When they asked the respondents if they travel alone, more than half countries responded ‘yes’. (GoEuro, n.d.)
There are much benefits when you travel alone: You can make your own plan for the day and change your schedule whenever you want, without permission from your traveling companion. Traveling alone should be very educational and you will most likely come back as a new person. Beside you are not with your own squad and you have to take care of yourself, you can find out if you can make it on your own. And after all: you become much more open to meet other people. When you are alone you have more time to talk with locals and sometimes you just have to do that for information or something else which is also a great practice for your English or any other language. (InfoNu, n.d.)
Do people travel solo to make a statement to their friends and relatives? Are they just joining the trend? Or is our generation really trying to develop themselves in this way?
Cody, E. (2016, June 6). Paul Wiseman, President of Trafalgar and Brendan Vacations. Retrieved from http://www.travelresearchonline.com/blog/index.php/2016/06/paul-wiseman-president-of-trafalgar-and-brendan-vacations/
GoEuro. (n.d.). Solo travel. Retrieved from http://www.goeuro.co.uk/solo-travel
InfoNu. (n.d.). Solo reizen of alleen reizen: een populaire vakantietrend. Retrieved from http://reizen-en-recreatie.infonu.nl/diversen/160763-solo-reizen-of-alleen-reizen-een-populaire-vakantietrend.html
NRIT Media. (2015, January 12). Tien vakantietrends volgens Cherry Picker. Retrieved from http://www.nritmedia.nl/kennisbank/34018/Tien_vakantietrends_volgens_Cherry_Picker/?topicsid=
Worldwide destination guide. (2015, June 26). Solo Travel Report. Retrieved from http://worldwidedestinationguide.com/news/solo-travel-report/