It is one of the most daunting, but rewarding, types of travel … setting off entirely on your own on a long holiday without friends.
Solo travelling has been growing ever more popular, particularly on routes like Spain’s Camino pilgrimage trail and it was on that long walk that American Troy Elmes spotted what he thought was a gap in the holiday market. He said: “I noticed there were a lot of like-minded solo travellers out there not having someone to share life’s moments with. I also noticed how difficult it was to meet new people within my age range and there was an incredibly large and diverse group of travellers out there that were looking for the same connection, information and new experiences.”
Out of that was born SoloTraveller, an app that connects like-minded people, who might be from the same country or speak the same language, but share in common a love of travel. The app, available on Android and Apple, does not require any new log-in or account and can be accessed simply via Facebook. It then tells you what other people are travelling wherever you happen to be and you can choose to meet for coffee, dinner, or whatever is convenient. The results can be filtered by age, gender, location or left more general dependent on the company you want to keep.
The app does also have a practical side as travellers can connect to share costs for taxis, tours, or anything else, which gets cheaper in a large group. SoloTraveller said there are four main advantages to travelling solo, the main one being the ability to set your own itinerary and not get tied down with a companion who wants to do too much, or worse, too little. They said it also forced people out of their comfort zone in making new friends, gives a sense of accomplishment and best of all, offers plenty of time for trippers to reflect on their own lives.