AARP Research

AARP Travel Research: Solo Travel

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Traveling solo is a great way to experience a new destination. It’s a chance to relax and experience activities on your own terms. In this research, reasons for solo travel, top destinations, and more are explored. 

The Solo Traveler demographic is quite active.

  • Among adults age 45+ who have traveled for personal/leisure reasons in the past 2 years and who use at least one online travel website, 37% claim to have taken a solo trip in the past.
  • Solo Travel is for all, regardless of relationship status.
    • Of the 37% who have traveled solo, 53% of travelers are married and 39% are single/divorced.
  • On average, they have taken 4 solo trips. 
  • 81% are likely to take another solo trip in the next 12 months. 

The Solo Traveler

  • Most solo traveling takes place domestically without a tour group.  Many take these trips to experience a destination they have always wanted to visit or to treat oneself. 
  • The Solo Traveler is looking for a laid back and relaxing vacation.  The best part of a solo trip is simply the chance to get out of town and to do something nice for oneself. 
  • Most Solo Travelers choose a destination they have been to before, likely a city/town or beach locale, which is oftentimes a place they have been to with others.  
  • The majority of Solo Travelers are extremely satisfied with their solo trips and most (81%) plan to take another solo trip in the next 12 months.

The Solo Dreamer

  • Those planning to take a solo trip, the Dreamers, are doing so because they want to experience solo travel, and not necessarily because of any significant change in their life.
  • Like the Solo Traveler, the Solo Dreamer desires to visit a destination they have always wanted to see. But, the Solo Dreamer is also considering solo travel as a way to check something off their bucket list.
  • Solo Dreamers look forward to a laid back and relaxing vacation with little concerns about planning their trip. In fact, the majority do not express any concerns with solo travel, including personal safety.  Of the few who express solo travel concerns, budgeting, solo travel fees, and identifying activities at their destination are mentioned. 

A 10-minute online survey was conducted from July 9-27, 2014, among males and females, 45+ who have taken at least one trip 50 miles or more away from home, with a two-night stay, in the past two years. Respondents were identified as either have taken a solo trip in the past or intend to take one in the next 12 months. A total of 1,202 surveys were completed. For more information about the research, contact Allison Kulwicki at akulwiki@aarp.org.


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