Solo Travel is on the Rise
Solo travel is said to be a trend on the rise and a movement growing for all travel markets regardless of gender, religion or culture.
The US Travel Association has reported that 11% of adult leisure travellers are now women and a 2014 Bookings.com study found that 54% of British female solo travellers are more likely to vacation alone now than they were five years ago. With life as hectic as we all know it to be, exploring the world in their own time and at their own pace is increasingly becoming the preferred option for many women travellers.
On that note, I think it’s safe to say that the solo woman traveller is no longer a trend but a way of travel that is growing and here to stay.
The 2014 Booking.com Solo Travel Report also revealed that women felt more confident when holidaying alone as they have more freedom to be themselves and they are able to be more selfish with their time, without the added guilt. In addition, they felt more energised and refreshed upon returning to their daily lives.
I am sure I am not the only woman (and mother) who can relate…
This report also showed that the solo female experience has gone beyond the ‘spa and beauty’ focus with solo women using these travel opportunities to experience new cultures, partake in active holidays, acquire a new skill or give back to the destination they are visiting.
Of course, social and digital media have become a big part of why women feel connected and safe whilst travelling solo. These platforms empower them to have a richer solo travel experience as they keep in touch with friends and family back home and use these channels to crowd source ideas on where to stay, what to see and where to eat in destination.
Over half of female solo travel fans surveyed for Bookings.com said they plan to travel solo again in the next twelve months.
This past Women's Month we put this theory to test when we invited a few local bloggers and journalists to the Cape Winelands and challenged them to explore Stellenbosch as solo female travellers, providing all six independent women with completely different itineraries. The feedback on their solo experiences was amazing! They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves exploring, relaxing and even eating in their own company. So much of their excitement was around the opportunity of traveling alone, overcoming their own comfort zones and really connecting with the destination and its people.
Stellenbosch does solo and women so well, offering everything from wine tasting and artisanal foods, to a rich history, modern art, fashion, jewellery and various community experiences.
There is no end to the relaxing spa and decadent high tea experiences on offer in the city of oaks, as well as opportunities for outdoor and adventure experiences in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. Shop ‘til you drop in the town centre or make a difference in the surrounding local communities. Sip on delicious bubblies from the region or enjoy a glass of wine – you can even blend your own – paired with a luxurious meal or a down to earth boerebraai toastie. And then there is the chance to do the most unusual pairings you’ll find in the country, like a salt and wine paring… and women are often the more adventurous when it comes to trying out new experiences.
This article first appeared on Tourism Update.