Going it alone: 5 benefits of holidaying solo

Shaun Lamont, Managing Director First Group Hotels and Resorts
Shaun Lamont, Managing Director First Group Hotels and Resorts

Solo trips on the rise as travellers opt for ‘alone-time’

Once considered a strange thing to do, solo travel is now much more socially acceptable than ever before. Having the freedom to explore new places, and enjoy different experiences unhindered, are compelling reasons for travelling alone. But many solivagants cite challenging themselves and pushing their travel limits, as well as avoiding the frustration of fitting in with a partner’s plans, as other key motivators.

While for some the idea of travelling alone may still be too daunting, ABTA’s Holiday Habits report reveals that there’s a definite shift in the solo direction – one in six people (15%) is now choosing to go on holiday by themselves (up from 12% and 6% in the preceding two years). According to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director First Group Hotels and Resorts, First Group has also seen an increase in the number of guests travelling alone.

He adds that it’s not surprising that more and more guests are opting to go it alone. “With so many people now working from home, resulting in longer working hours and being in constant digital contact, it stands to reason that people want to get away from it all. More and more people are treating themselves to solo trips, thereby severing the always-on umbilical cord.”

Here are Shaun’s top five benefits of travelling solo:

1. No compromising: Travelling alone can be incredibly liberating, giving you the freedom to do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. You don’t have to compromise on your destination, itinerary or activities, and there’s no arguing about where to go next! You make all the decisions and can focus on the beauty of the journey, instead of simply rushing to reach your destination.

2. Time out: Relaxation and time to unwind is often the number one motivator for solo leisure travel, as well as getting away from routine. Solo trips mean there’s less pressure to be on-the-go all the time. If you want to spend the day in bed and order room service, there’s nobody to bully you into doing anything else.

3. Spend less, see more: Blowing your budget on activities and experiences that don’t float your boat will frustrate you. Choosing only what you want to do and see, rather than tagging along with the rest, will result in you being able to see more and spend less. If fancy restaurants aren’t your thing, but a picnic on the beach is, then do that. Tick items off your own wanderlist!

4. Get to know yourself a little better: Solo travel is a life-changing experience, ultimately helping you discover who you are. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll get used to doing things on your own, and may even surprise yourself. If things don’t go according to plan, you’ll need to figure it out alone, empowering yourself and increasing your self-confidence.

5. Make new friends: Travelling alone will make it easier to meet new people you may otherwise never have met, as a single person is more approachable than a couple. This is one of the biggest perks of travelling solo.

Shaun concludes, “With social media in our faces 24/7, inundating us with the thoughts and experiences of others, it becomes even more enticing for us to disconnect and experience life from our own point of view. So, take the plunge, travel alone and find yourself.”