From romantic getaways to family reunions, weddings, stag and hen weekends, travel has long been considered a group activity. But travel trends are changing: in recent years, more people have embraced solo travel to satisfy desire for alone time. To investigate this growing phenomenon, Klook, a world-leading travel activities and services booking platform, commissioned a Solo Travel study conducted by YouGov, which found that the vast majority of travelers are interested in hitting the road alone – regardless of age, gender, or nationality.
Klook’s Solo Travel study polled close to 21,000 respondents across 16 markets and found that 76% of them have either traveled alone or are considering it. When comparing generational preferences, 80% of Generation Z (18 to 24-year-olds) respondents and 79% of Millennials (25-39) said they have already traveled alone or would be keen to plan a trip. Though one might expect younger travelers to be more adventurous, Klook’s data also reveals similar trends amongst the older generations. Roughly 73% of Generation X (40-54) and 71% of Baby Boomers (55+) said they were interested in traveling alone. There is also little difference between genders, with 74% of women and 78% of men saying they have either already experienced or would be interested to pursue solo travel.
And while there has been an uptick in interest globally, the data shows that solo travelers in Asia are leading the charge by a large margin. Between 69% and 93% of travelers from Asia have either traveled solo in the past or say they are open to the idea. In western countries, by comparison, that number hovers between 60 and 69%. When asked about their reasons for flying solo, half of the respondents said they wanted to enjoy uninterrupted ‘me time’ or reward themselves, which suggests that travelers value their independence more than ever.
Of course, not everyone is ready to explore alone. Klook’s survey also uncovered a love-hate relationship with solo travel: many people said they are interested in hitting the road alone, but simultaneously had reservations about potentially feeling lonely. In fact, half of the survey participants who wanted to solo travel said a ‘fear of loneliness’ has been the biggest hurdle. This concern was prevalent across all generations, with Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers all ranking loneliness at their top concern. Additionally, 48% said safety was their biggest worry; and 30%, planning and booking the itinerary oni their own.
“It is exciting to see such a strong desire for solo travel across so many demographics. Interestingly, we have observed a surprising contrast where travelers are seeking more me-time and yet are worried about being lonely, resulting in a love-hate relationship with solo travel,” says Eric Gnock Fah, COO & Co-Founder of Klook. “But solo travel does not have to be lonely. At Klook, we’re thrilled to empower solo travelers to explore new places independently and relish their time alone with confidence. Through connecting solo travelers with others during unforgettable experiences, from surf camps in Bali to wine-tasting in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley, we hope more travelers realize that it is okay to explore alone – in fact, it is easier than ever and incredibly rewarding.”
So how can solo travelers overcome their fears? Klook helps travelers tap into the many joys of solo travel through interactive, memorable and affordable activities that can be enjoyed in a group or alone. By joining a Klook experience, travelers instantly tap into a global community of like-minded travelers from more than 180 countries and counting. Despite hailing from all over the world, Klook users have a lot in common. For instance, solo travelers booking with Klook say they crave new cultural experiences that immerse them in the destination. More than 50% of travelers say they love to visit cultural attractions and try local cuisines, while just over half enjoy wandering the city without an itinerary, and a third hope to meet locals and make new friends.
Offering more than 100,000 activities, services and experiences on its ever-growing travel platform, Klook has something for every type of solo traveler. Outdoorsy types can celebrate the natural beauty of a destination with Klook’s scenic hikes, river cruises, sandboarding adventures, and countryside cycling tours. Meanwhile, foodies can get hands-on in a pizza-making workshop, learn the art of a Chinese tea ceremony, or break the ice with fellow travelers over a bottle of pinot noir. And if they really just need some uninterrupted ‘me-time’, travelers can press reset with a wide selection of relaxing spa, meditation and yoga experiences.