SOLO TRAVELING – Do you make a statement if you travel alone?

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?

Reference list:

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/

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5 thoughts on “SOLO TRAVELING – Do you make a statement if you travel alone?

  1. The topic of your article is very interesting and relevant for what you see nowadays. I have heard about solo traveling through social media and first thought it was a little bit weird. I couldn’t understand why you would want all these experience without a friend to share them with.

    After reading a long article about a woman who explained why she went on vacation without her husband, I could relate more.

    As you described in your article, people who solo travel are usually people who want to discover themselves more and understand themselves better. I think this trend is definitely resulted by the meso trend of wanting to be independent. However, the megatrend you described, I would specify a little bit more. You described the mega trend as ‘the personal development you go through during your vacation’. This is actually the micro trend that you write about in this article. Nowadays people get more accepted as who they are and can be themselves. People want to discover who they truly are and we live in a society that supports that. So maybe the real mega trend is ‘lives matter’.

    Lastly I actually do think the solo travellers are following the trend. This, because it is more accepted for people to travel by themselves than it used to be. So I think people join the trend, because they actually always wanted to do something like solo travelling, but now finally have the courage to do it, because it is more accepted.

    -Lilian Casson 15-09-’16-

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  2. Hello Maella,

    I think you choose a topic that is really relevant. It is said that there is a mega trend going on called Individualism. More and more consumers want to be recognised for having personal needs. The freedom of choice is growing.

    As someone who loves to go to a gig on her own from time to time I can why people would like to travel on their own so much. You can do what you like, plan your day as you like and think about your life. Take some time for yourself. Traveling on your own is like you said also a great way to meet people, I’ve met so many new people at concert as well, however this is also the danger. Not that long ago BBC placed an article that was about the positives of traveling on your own (unfortunately I can’t find it anymore). On Facebook this got a lot of negative comments, mostly of girls, saying that they’ve been traveling on their own and experienced a lot of sexual harassment.

    Of course this shouldn’t be happening in 2016, but it also makes me wonder if we should take the risk to be scarred for life? Then we let the ‘bad guys’ win and I don’t think that is a good idea either. I think we should take the golden middle and travel with travel agency like Suprise.Me who organises trips called ‘alone together’. You travel on your own with a group of people. This way you get to know people but you can also do your own thing. What do you think?

    At least, to answer your question I don’t think people travel on their own to impress friends or family or follow a trend. I do think they do it because they really want to. I have never thought I’ll go to a gig on my own because people would think it was cool, I do it because I want to, and I think it’s the same with traveling. I think before the trend started people wanted to as well but people can now because of traveling becoming easier, we speak more languages, we have smartphones to keep in touch etc. And I curious to see what will happen to the trend in the future.

    Merle Veurman 1636541

    Source
    Trend-Monitor. Megatrend #4 Individualism (8 June 2015). Retrieved 15 September 2016 from https://www.trend-monitor.co.uk/megatrend-4-individualism/

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  3. 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?

    I think there are more reasons for traveling then online making a statement. That last 10 years the way of traveling has become way more easy, that is were it started. People starting traveling more and more for less money.

    Nowadays there are a lot of people around 20 that don’t know what they want to do with there life because they had to choose it to early (for example i was 14-year-old). At the moment of 20 we are starting to think about our future and what we want to do and then discover we actually don’t know. Because of the fact that there are a lot of choices and because of society pressure we don’t know what to do. so we chose to escape.

    I think for some people it is a trend but most of the people are really searching for themselves en who they really are.

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  4. I personally think that a part of the solo travelers are just joining the trend, but that does makes sense to me, because solo traveling has been hyped so much lately. My facebook and instagram feeds are blowing up with posts from travel bloggers who promote solo traveling by posting beautiful pictures and stories from their adventures. I think the desire to travel solo was already there for many years, but that recent innovations have made solo traveling more accessible to a larger audience.

    Many of the latest innovations and changes are making it easier, cheaper and safer to travel alone. Matt, K. (2016). But what are these changes and innovations exactly? One of them is the rise of websites that compare fares from different travel agencies for you, to make sure you’ll find the cheapest deal in seconds. Then there is the rise of international budget airlines and the sharing economy, which is actually a micro trend itself. The sharing economy is the name for when people use an asset or their personal time to make extra money. Examples of the sharing economy that can be find within the travel sector are new concepts such as Airbnb, EatWith and BlaBlaCar.

    So I think that the mega trend of digitalisation has also played an important part of the increase in solo traveling. There is so much more information and recommendations about solo traveling available online nowadays and I think smartphones made it a lot safer to travel alone as well. You’ll be able to call for help when you’re lost or in danger, and will be able to keep in touch with your loved ones on the other side of the world at (almost) all times.

    Matt, K. (2016) 5 Ways That Traveling on the Cheap Has Changed, for the Better. Retrieved from: http://time.com/money/3652490/budget-travel-tips-tools-matt-kepnes/

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  5. 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?

    This is a topic that is on my mind for a long time now. Because I don’t get this. I’m almost jealous at the people who feel the urge to go travel alone, I just don’t have this feeling. I want to share my experiences with somebody else and there is now reason for me to go and discover who I am. But that is prejudice and a conclusion I’m making.

    I think that there are a lot of reasons to do this. One of the reasons indeed, is the reason people trying to develop themselves. This is because of the bigger trend: individualism (Individualisering). Because of the big babyboom couple of years ago, a lot of ‘female babyboomers’ (70%) want to travel and discover new destinations and meet new people. These babyboomers come from a period where there were a lot of people born, which caused individualisation (Individualisation, 2017). People are trying to be different and have their own personal lifestyle, be unique.

    Others just want to discover the world and new places. In a research (McCarthy, 2016), 50% of the 300 responders answered that they were going to travel alone. 80% of them were German. 29 % of the responders answered that they wanted to discover new destination and more then 32% wanted to learn a new skill. So learning a new skill could also be a reason to travel alone.

    No there is also another reason: Globalization (Gobalization), which makes it more easy to travel. So maybe that is why the numbers of people traveling alone are rising.

    So to answer this question. The reason that people are traveling really depends on there moral values. Some of them might join the trend, while others really want to discover themselves.

    Sources
    Gobalization. (sd). Opgehaald van Business dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/globalization.html – Defenition

    Individualisation. (2017). Opgeroepen op 01 17, 2017, van Trend One: http://www.trendone.com/en/trend-universe/mega-trends/mega-trend-detail/individualisation.html

    Individualisering. (sd). Opgeroepen op 01 17, 2017, van Trends ontwikkeling: https://trendsontwikkelingen.jimdo.com/ontwikkelingen-1/individualisering/

    McCarthy, A.-M. (2016, 10 21). Solo travel trend 2017. Opgeroepen op 01 17, 2017, van Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2016/10/21/solo-travel-trend-2017/

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