2019 Expedia Solo Travel Report

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The Solo Travel ReportUnited States11

IntroductionSolo Travel is one of the fastest growing travel subsets. It offers the chanceto hit the open road, catch a flight to anywhere you please and explore theworld on your own terms. Data from Expedia’s first Solo Travel Reportreveals 60% of travelers plan to take a solo trip in the next year, provingtravelers want more flexibility, convenience, and autonomy from theirvacations.Expedia already makes it easy to plan a trip alone, save money, andexplore a destination to the fullest. The new report serves as an additionalresource for first-timers and experienced solo travelers alike to discoverdestinations, helpful planning tips sourced from experts, and cool newinsights on how to navigate a solo trip from start to finish.2

About Our ResearchMethodologyCITE Research (www.citeresearch.com), on behalf of Expedia, conducted anonline survey among 1,516 US solo travelers. Research was also conductedin Mexico.Screening CriteriaRespondents were screened to be: 18 years or older Have taken a trip by themselves in the past or plan to take a trip bythemselves in the future Solo travel is defined as doing any form of travel – taking a flight, boat,train, road trips, staying in a hotel or vacation rental, etc. – in which thetraveler is by themselves, stays with a host family, joins solo travel groups,or uses social apps to meet up with locals.3

Solo Travel is driven by a desire to explore, learnand get away from ordinary lifeMeeting new peopleOverall meeting new people and exploring new places is a top reason for travelers to take a solotrip, with 24% saying so. Over half (55%) agree they prefer the freedom of traveling alone andmeeting new people over the desire to have a companion.Disconnect from work & lifeDisconnecting from work and life is also a top motivator for going on a solo trip – 25% give this isas a reason. It is particularly salient among Millennials (36%).Exploring new placesWhen it comes to what solo travelers look forward to the most, the most frequently selected activityis exploring a new city (28%).Learning new thingsSecond after exploring a new city, solo travelers are most excited about learning new things (12%).American travelers also look forward to participating in once-in-a-lifetime activities (12%).The desire to get away for awhileWhen it comes to what inspires travelers to take a solo trip, the desire to get away for a while is moreinspirational than any personal goal, event, person, book, etc. About half (45%) say this feelinginspires solo travel.4

Solo travelers pay close attention to costs anddestination safety when planning a tripTime of year:SummerSolo travelers are most likely to plan trips for summer (46%).Important Factorsin Destination:Cost & SafetyTravelers rate cost (32%) and safety (31%) as the two mostimportant factors in choosing a destination.Top factor inbooking flights:CostCost is a key decision factor for twice as many travelers than anyother factor when it comes to booking flights (66%). Flights arealso the top area travelers will look to save money (87% try tosave here).Top factors inbooking lodging:Location & CostWhen it comes to booking lodging, the cost (52%) and location(46%) are the key factors. A good deal is also relatively important toAmericans (32%).5

The ideal solo trip is affordable and not too longThe Ideal LocationThe Ideal FlightAmericans want tostay in the US(74%), go to Canada(45%) or visitEurope (42%).The perfect flight is afull-service airline,non-stop, 0-6 hours,basic economy, andless than 500 aticket.The Ideal LengthThe Ideal LodgingHalf of travelers(52%) would pick ashort trip of 3-6 days– more than anyother length.The ideal lodging is ahotel, in the city forless than 100 a night.TheThe IdealIdeal TripTrip TypeTypeOverall travelers are most interested (30%) in a weekend break (spending a couple days in anew city or off the grid). An island getaway (23%), foodie trip (16%), and event travel (14%)are the other solo travel trip types Americans would most like to experience.6

To stay safe, travelersstay aware of theirsurroundings (58%), sharetheir itinerary (51%) andregularly check-in withfamily/friends (50%).Women are more likely tofeel uncomfortable invarious situations and toworry about safety.The benefits of solo travel outweigh any fearsor discomfort48%35%24%Plan to take a solotrip in the next yearFeel refreshed after asolo tripNothing would deterthem from a solo trip44%36%Feel uncomfortable whenthey are lost and needdirections during solotravelFeel uncomfortable whenthey are lost in translationor experience a languagebarrier36%39%Think solo travel isdangerous, especially forwomenAre concerned aboutbeing safe7

The ultimate travel app should giverecommendations, directions and assistanceTravelers currently use theirphone during solo travel to: Take photos and videos (45%) Directions/GPS to get around (42%) Text/call (36%) Look for things to do (33%) Check travel details (28%)Travelers want a travel app tohave: Built-in navigation (53%) Real-time trip reminders (41%) Suggestions for localactivities/restaurants (47%)Recommendations on cool placesto go (40%)24/7 customer service (31%)Buddymoons and babymoonsbetter step aside, becausethe ‘mobilemoon’ is thenewest travel trend on thescene: When given theultimatum to choose betweentheir mobile phone or a travelcompanion to bring on theirnext trip, one-third (33%) ofAmericans said they wouldchoose to travel solo withjust their device.8

Millennials are especiallylikely to want todisconnect (36%) whileGen Zers are more likelyto be motivated by selfdiscovery (34%) andmeeting new people(32%).Solo travelers hope to get away for a whileand disconnectMotivation for Trip25%Disconnect from work and lifeMeet new people and explore new places24%Self-discovery and reflection24%17%Improve my independence and confidenceSources of InspirationThe desire to get away for awhileA personal goal (ex: visit a certain number ofcountries, see a monument, interact withnature, volunteer, conquer a fear)45%11%9

Travelers look forward to exploring and learningon their solo trip28%12%Exploring a new cityLearning new things12%10%Participating in a once- Relaxing with coffee orin-a-lifetime activity an alcoholic beverageGen Xers (33%) andBoomers (30%) lookforward to exploring anew city more than theiryounger counterparts. 10

Younger travelers are morelikely to be certain of theirsolo travel plans: 62% ofGen Zers and 57% ofMillennials plan to take atrip in the next year.Travelers are most likely to plan a solo trip forsummerNearly Half of Americans are Planning a Solo Trip in Next YearGen Zers plan their tripsaround summer break,with 70% planning theirnext solo trip for summer.48%said yes46%27%18%9%SpringSummerFallWinter11

Solo travelers often are completely aloneduring their tripTypes of Solo Trips45%I am completely alone during my tripI join solo travel groups that allow you thefreedom of traveling alone, but the safety ofhaving a few buddies when you need them11%I travel and do most of my day-to-day activitiesalone, however I stay with a host familyI use my time and energy to help others whileexploring a different country and cultureI travel alone then use social apps, such asCouchsurfing or Meetup to meet localsGen Zers are more likelyto join solo travel groups(22%), stay with a hostfamily (20%) and usesocial apps (12%).10%6%4%12

Gen Zers (77%) andMillennials (71%) are mostlikely to agree they preferthe freedom of travelingalone.Travelers like the freedom of traveling alone55%said I prefer the freedom of traveling alone and meetingnew people over the desire to have a travelcompanionLast Solo Trip Destination5%Canada18%United States8%Europe13

Feeling lost makes travelers feeluncomfortableFeeling Uncomfortable During Solo Travel36%44%When I’m lost intranslation or experiencinga language barrierWhen I’m lost and needdirections32%During an activity thatrequires at least twopeopleFears about Traveling Alone39%Being safe15%Getting sick17%I do not have any fearsabout solo travelFemales are more likely tofeel uncomfortable invarious situations and farmore worried about beingsafe (51% of females saythis is a fear compared to21% of males).14

Travelers take precautions to alleviate safetyconcernsSafety Precautions for Solo Trips58%I’m always aware ofmy surroundings andpotential dangersDespite some negativeperceptions associatedwith solo travel, 24% ofAmericans say nothingwould deter them fromtraveling alone.51%I share my itinerary withfriends and family50%I regularly check-inwith friends andfamily so they knowI’m safe15

Travelers hope to return home with newmemories & feel refreshed and satisfied post-trip35% Refreshed23% Independent28% SatisfiedFeelingAfter SoloTrip41% New memories23% Satisfaction fromcompleting the trip26% Amazing picturesReturningHome withGen Zers hope to returnhome with independence(21%). Females hope toreturn with self-confidence(26%) and a renewedperspective on life (24%).16

Having a positive attitude is important tosuccessful solo travel23%22%22%19%Solo trip advice is practical –know the important documentsyou'll need and know yourbudget. Yet, travelers also sayit is important to have apositive attitude and a plan B.Know the important documentsyou’ll need in advance if you’retraveling to a foreign countryKnow your budget and don’t runout of moneyHave a positive attitudeHave a Plan B17

American travelers want to travel domestically74%United StatesMillennials Top 3 Destinations75%United States40%Canada40%Europe45%42%CanadaEuropeGen Z Top 3 Destinations47%Europe42%United States38%CaribbeanFor most American travelers,their next solo trip would be inthe US. This is particularlytrue among Boomers (85%,compared to 76% of Gen X,78% of Millennials and 28% ofGen Z).18

Older and youngertravelers would like totravel longer: 23% ofBoomers and 31% of GenZers want to take a longtrip.The ideal length of a solo trip is between 3-13days52%22%15%6%5%OvernightMicrobreak (1-2days)Short trip (3-6days)Long trip (7-13days)Extended Stay(More than 2weeks)19

The ideal lodging is a hotel in the cityIdeal Lodging Situation59%40%50%HotelIn the cityLess than 100 a night30%WEEKEND BREAK: Spend a couple days in anew city or off the gridsaid 20

These are the top Solo Travel Trip TypesAmericans Would Most Like to ExperienceIdeal Type of Solo TravelWeekend Break: Spend a couple days in a newcity or off the grid30%23%Island Getaway: Visit a tropical destinationFoodie Trip: Eat your way through a regionknown for delicious foodEvent Travel: Travel to a destination specificallyto attend an event such as the sporting event ora music festival16%14%21

ConclusionMore resources:Solo Travel Tips and TricksThe Best Solo Travel DestinationsBest places for solo travelFor more information about the survey,please contact Alexis Tiacoh, PR Managerfor Brand Expedia; press@expedia.com.22

train, road trips, staying in a hotel or vacation rental, etc. – in which the traveler is by themselves, stays with a host family, joins solo travel groups, . The ultimate travel app should give recommendations, directions and assistance Buddymoons and babymoons better step aside, because the ‘mobilemoon’ is the

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