Heading out on a solo adventure can be one of the most rewarding travel experiences, but it also comes with its own challenges. While a new survey has found that one in three travellers have felt disadvantaged by choosing to travel alone, there’s also plenty of advice on how to over the obstacles that come with the uncharted territory of travelling alone.
Solo travellers face higher costs than those travelling with friends and family – spending an average of 20% more on travel insurance and more than 50% extra on accommodation – and also experience a poorer level of service in places like bars, restaurants or on organized excursions, according to a new survey by Lonely Planet. These obstacles were uncovered in the survey of more than 4000 members of its international community of travellers. However, while a third of respondents felt disadvantaged, that hasn’t discouraged adventurers from going solo, as more than four in five of those surveyed have taken or plan to take a solo trip in the future.
While many people imagine travelling alone to be the domain of students backpacking around Europe, recent research by ABTA actually found that over-65s are the most likely age group to travel on their own – but Lonely Planet found that Europe is still considered the best continent to travel solo. Despite the desire for solo travel, some companies do put up additional barriers that affect those travelling alone, like single person supplements. Naturally, paying extra for being alone was not looked on favourably by the respondents, who said they would look for companies that don’t charge such a fee.
One of the biggest issues for solo travellers is visiting restaurants, as people on their own reported getting poor service, being seated in the worst places and even being refused bookings. But it’s not all bad news for anyone considering entering the exciting community of solo travellers – nearly half of respondents said the best thing about a solo trip is being in charge of your own schedule, while 21% said it encouraged them to meet new people.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your solo adventure, a new Lonely Planet hub, Explore Every Day, is providing advice and tips on meeting people, staying safe, and travel sustainably while on the road, or check out The Solo Travel Handbook.