Solo Travel – Are You Next?

8603567984_18c2029019_z

Amid ongoing attacks on female tourists abroad, a solo travel survey has found women are more likely to travel alone now than they did five years ago.

By Mia Ohlin

Amsterdam based accommodation booking site Booking.com and market research firm Vision Critical recently conducted the survey, which revealed half of female solo travel enthusiasts are now more likely to holiday alone than they were five years ago, with two-thirds claiming they feel more confident when adventuring by themselves.

Further research also found that the trend is set to grow, with over half of female solo travellers set to embark again in the next 12 months.

Booking.com published the survey findings in the Solo Travel Report in late April after collecting data from men and women aged 25-45 who have travelled in the last 12 months from the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia and Germany.

Booking.com Chief Marketing Officer Paul Hennessy says it’s a phenomenon.

“Our research suggests that female solo travel is a phenomenon that is here to stay,” Mr Hennessy says.

Incidents of violence and sexual assault against tourists in Mexico, India, Turkey and Egypt seem to have undeterred travellers, despite many warnings from national consulates regarding female safety.

According to Lauren Wolfe’s New York Times article, Women Alert to Travel’s Dark Side, published on May 23rd of this year there is a dark side to travelling.

“Whether it is on a bus in New Delhi or at a resort in Acapulco, Mexico, the risk of an assault may seem ever-present, if recent high-profile attacks in places like these are indicative of a general state of danger for female travellers,” Ms Wolfe writes.

Ms Wolfe indicated in the article violence could be directly related to the rise in female solo travel abroad.

“A number of experts tell me that it is possible that violence is on the rise in part because more women than ever are traveling alone, and are venturing ever farther off the beaten path,” she writes.

Townsville resident Alexandra O’Toole recently began a seven-month round the world trip, starting in Morocco.

“While I was planning my trip I was always keeping in mind the risks involved with travelling alone,” Ms O’Toole says.

“You can’t not see the world and explore new cultures just because you’re afraid that something might happen to you.”

“I feel confident that I will be able to have a good time and remain safe while I make the most of my travel opportunity.”

If you’re thinking about travelling overseas alone, the Australian Government’s Smartraveller has some top tips:

  • Register, subscribe, insure and know the exclusions of your insurance policy
  • Check the validity of your travel documents
  • Don’t ever purchase, carry or consume drugs
  • Know your alcohol limits
  • Choose safe transport options
  • Know the law and respect local customs
  • Take care of your mates
  • Phone home regularly