3 In 10 Brits Have Booked A Solo Trip For 2023 - With 37% Preferring To Travel Alone
One travel trend that has shown huge strides in popularity in recent years is solo travel. The self-imposed isolation of COVID-19 left many individuals more comfortable with their own company. It’s this re-shuffle in priorities that means far more are willing to see the world alone rather than not see it at all.
Here, MoneyTransfers.com has collated data from leading travel reports for 2023 to find out why solo travel is growing in popularity. Plus, we've surveyed what countries provide the safest environment for lone travellers.
Why is solo travel gaining popularity?
According to SkyScanner’s 2023 UK Travel Trends report, 52% of those considering a solo trip were doing so because their friends and family don’t share the same travel interests.
The same study also found that over half of UK travellers found solo travel to be important for their mental health. It’s no secret that the importance of mental health and wellbeing has been given more focus in the past few years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently called on all countries to “deepen the value given to mental health by individuals” and “better protect mental health and prevent mental health conditions”.
The sudden increase in popularity of solo travel is also addressed in a survey from Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). Amongst those surveyed who had booked a solo trip for 2023, a third (33%) did so to ‘rediscover themselves’. 20% opted to travel alone to have more time to explore. A further 18% liked the idea of not having to put up with annoying habits such as snoring from their fellow travellers.
Preference vs necessity
An interesting finding from the report is that more than one in three (37%) people surveyed actually prefer solo travel to travelling with friends and family.
Solo travel is not just a necessity for people without a partner or friends with equal free time- it’s actually a preference.
“It’s clear that the many benefits of travelling alone are being enjoyed by more and more people in 2023. In our post-pandemic society, seeing the world has become a top priority for many individuals. More people are now willing to go it alone than depend on the availability of others.”Jonathan Merry, CEO of MoneyTransfers.com
Safest countries for solo trips
Solo travel has many perks, from more free time to the ability to do exactly what you want to do. Yet, there are understandably a few risks, too. Travelling alone can make you more vulnerable to the common dangers of travelling abroad - from pickpockets and petty theft to more serious crimes.
Travellers looking for a solo trip where they can feel safe may like to look at the most countries ranked as the safest countries for citizens and tourists alike. According to the Global Peace Index, the following 10 countries are ranked as the safest in the world. We’ve added a little information specific to solo travellers.
Iceland is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. It was ranked as the number one safest country in the Global Peace Index 2022. What's more, it's frequently in the top 5 countries for lowest crime rates and standard of living. Iceland's natural beauty is one of its biggest draws for travellers, with stunning landscapes that include waterfalls, glaciers, hot springs, and volcanoes.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand ranks as the second safest country according to the Global Peace Index. It’s well-known to be a safe and welcoming country for tourists, and solo travellers will find this country easy to navigate with friendly locals and plenty of other solo travellers to make new memories with on your travels.
Ireland is known for its friendly locals, easy going attitudes, and beautiful scenery. Solo travellers will find this country easy to navigate and are guaranteed to meet other like minded people on their travels. What’s more, if you’re from the UK, Ireland is a nice short (and cheap) flight away.
Solo travel to Denmark can be a fantastic experience for those seeking a blend of Scandinavian culture and stunning natural beauty. Highlights include exploring the historic streets of Copenhagen and discovering the idyllic countryside of Jutland.
Austria is a wonderful destination for solo travel. It offers a rich mix of history, art, and natural beauty, from exploring the charming streets of Vienna and Salzburg to hiking in the Alps.
Portugal is a great option for solo travellers, with a vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and fascinating history, from exploring the charming streets of Lisbon and Porto to surfing in the Algarve and discovering the ancient castles and monasteries of Sintra.
Slovenia is another ideal destination for solo travel. The country features stunning natural beauty, charming towns, and rich culture. Highlights include exploring the historic streets of Ljubljana, hiking in the Julian Alps, and discovering the idyllic countryside of the Karst region.
8. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a perfect destination for solo travel, with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Highlights include exploring the historic streets of Prague, hiking in the Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland National Park, and discovering the charming towns and villages of the Czech countryside.
Offering a unique blend of Asian and Western cultures, stunning architecture, and world-class cuisine, Singapore is a great destination for solo travellers. Highlights include exploring the futuristic Gardens by the Bay, shopping on Orchard Road, and sampling the diverse street food scene.
Solo travellers here will love exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, discovering ancient temples in Kyoto, and hiking in the picturesque Japanese Alps. The country also offers unique experiences such as soaking in hot springs, enjoying the famous cherry blossom season, and sampling the delicious local cuisine.
Solo Travel & Money
All travellers need to be wary of keeping their money safe while travelling, but this is even more true for solo travellers. Finding yourself in a position where you have had your travel cards stolen or your account drained can be scary - but there are things you can do to keep your money safe while abroad.
Here are a few tips from our experts:
Consider using a travel card with an account separate from your main savings account. If you separate your travel account from your main account, you can only lose the (small) amount of money you deposit for your travels, a few days at a time.
Use a mobile wallet for cheaper, faster money transfers. Many money transfer companies provide the option to deposit money into a mobile wallet, giving you instant access to your foreign currency via your phone. If you have lost your cards or had them stolen, this is a quick way to transfer funds to yourself.
Use a cash pick service to access funds fast. Being in a foreign country with no access to your money can be a frightening experience. In an emergency, you can arrange for a family member or friend to transfer funds to a provider near you in cash.
Find out the cheapest, fastest, and most effective way to send money to and from each country listed above and more with MoneyTransfers.com - we provide a real-time breakdown of the best providers available to you every day.