Wander Woman: Rise of the Solo Female Traveller

Travelzoo, the world’s leading online travel deals company, revealed today that over 60% of women in the UK would be happy to head off on holiday alone, and that the destinations British women perceive as the world’s safest are France, Spain, Canada, Italy and the United States. In spite of recent events, Paris and Sydney topped the world’s safest cities list, followed by New York. At House of Coco we are a team made up of 90% females and we can definitely relate to these findings.

Egypt, Kenya, The Gambia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa ranked as the destinations women would feel the least safe travelling to alone. Southeast Asian destinations Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia also featured prominently in the list of destinations perceived as unsafe.

The independent study polled over 2000 UK women over the age of 18 and looked at attitudes within different age groups towards the notion of taking a solo trip. Women in London and Northern Ireland expressed the greatest interest in travelling alone, while the least enthusiastic respondents hailed from Yorkshire, the West Midlands and Wales.

Age does not limit the desire to travel alone — women over 55 expressed similar levels of interest in solo travel to younger women in their late teens and early 20s.

Travelzoo also explored the reasons why women are keen to travel alone and found that the motivations shift as women age. Women in their mid-30s to mid-40s said they were inspired to travel on their own in order to “find themselves” and “find some space”. Older respondents, however, chose “not having someone to travel with” and “having the freedom to do whatever they want” as the key motivators.

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Louise Hodges, head of communications at Travelzoo said, “Increasing numbers of women are venturing out on their own to explore the world and experience the incredible freedom that spending time alone in a different culture and environment can bring.

“With the growing pressure on women to juggle careers and a family, plus the expectations society puts upon women today, it’s no surprise that females in the their mid-30s and early 40s in particular find the idea of solo travel appealing on many levels.”

Many of Travelzoo’s 2000 clients are reporting a surge in demand for city breaks for solo travel, as well as group tours to more exotic locations. In the case of some firms specialising in solo travel, over 70% of their customers booking group tours to long-haul destinations such as India, China and Peru are female.

Travelzoo’s study also revealed that women can make basic preparations to better safeguard themselves when travelling alone. Over 40% of women do not take simple measures such as taking emergency cash with them; a quarter are failing to check their phone works in the country they are heading to; and a third of women do only preliminary research on a destination. The study also found that women are hesitant to ask for local advice once in a destination.

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Louise Hodges concluded, “We were surprised to find that only one fifth of women would think to ask a local where the safe or no-go areas are in the place they are visiting. Over 70% of women are relying on the internet and travel guides for this information – we would urge women to take advantage of the knowledge and insight local tourism offices and locals have, not just to be safe, but also to have a more enriching and authentic experience on their travels.”

For further information, to request an interview or for the complete data from the Travelzoo Wander Woman Study please contact Laura Higgins on lhiggins@travelzoo.com or Louise Hodges on lhodges@travelzoo.com.

* This survey was conducted by independent third party, 4mediarelations, who polled 2000 UK adult women in February 2015.

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