06 February 2019, 14:25

The rise of the solo traveller

  • One in three over 50s have been on a solo holiday or said that they intended to do so within the next two years.
  • The most attractive element of travelling solo was the freedom to do whatever they choose (85%) followed by meeting like-minded people (72%).

To mark singles awareness day, new research released by Saga has revealed that today’s modern solo traveller is no longer defined by their relationship status but instead by the passion for travel and experiences. According to the research of more than 12,000 over 50s people are now choosing to travel alone, leaving their loved ones behind in pursuit of their passions and do what they want, when they want.

The survey found that a third (32%) of people had either been on a solo holiday or said that they intended to do so within the next two years, this is backed up by figures from ABTA which show that there has been a 150% rise in solo travel by British holidaymakers in the past seven years. Whilst for some this is driven by a change in their circumstances it is perhaps also because solo travel allows people to have quality alone time to discover more about themselves as individuals whilst allowing them to immerse themselves in their chosen destination.

There are many reasons why people choose to travel solo. The most attractive elements of solo holidays are the ‘freedom for solo travellers to do whatever they choose’ (85%), followed by ‘meeting likeminded people’ (72%).  Two thirds said the appeal of a solo holiday was that they like time on their own and 44% said that they like the invigoration of solo travel

Female travellers (39%) were more likely than their male counterparts (26%) to have either been on a solo holiday or to have said that they intended to do so and reported that their main motivation to travel alone was to pursue their own passions and not somebody else’s (24%).

Travelling alone creates the opportunity to travel at your own pace and do things that are of interest to you as an individual. People do not appear to consider factors such as local amenities (3%), local representatives (3%) or exchange rates (1%) when considering booking a solo holiday, but instead opt to seek more experiential travel, considering location (42%), places of interest (32%) and cultural experiences (14%) at the top of their list.  60% of people like the ability to get under the skin of the destination during a solo holiday.

Spain (33%) Italy (32%) and France (27%) are the preferred overseas destinations for solo holidays. The use of smartphones and travel apps have made travelling the world alone less intimidating and have potentially encouraged solo travel. Price (46%) was found to be the most important factor when considering solo travel plans, with a third of people saying they felt disadvantaged by choosing to travel alone.

Saga offers a world of choice for those wanting to travel alone, whether that is exploring off track on a captivating escorted tour or sailing along some of the world’s waterways or oceans, Saga has a wide selection of destinations for single travellers to suit all, including a variety of destinations, from Spain to Sri Lanka. Saga provides allocations of singles without supplement (rooms at exactly half the twin rate) at many Spanish, Croatian, Portuguese and Madeira hotels and are unique in the market in having so many singles without supplement contracted available to customers.

Robert Goodwin Director of Product and Purchasing at Saga Holidays said, “More people are choosing to travel alone because they don’t want to compromise on where they go and what they do.  In the past people may have felt self-conscious if they were single or choosing to travel alone, this is thankfully no longer the case with companies, like ourselves, offering some amazing deals and holidays exclusively for solo travellers. In fact, more people are actively choosing not to bring along friends or a spouse instead opting for an immersive experience alone without having to worry about anyone else.”

“At Saga we realise the importance of breaking down the barriers associated with solo travel, which is why we have also increased the range of experiences that are available to our customers that are travelling without partners or families. Including; VIP UK car service, a varied excursion programme and dedicated Saga Hosts, all of which make interacting with other customers so much easier. We have also increased our allocation of single rooms without a supplement”


Contact the Saga Press Office email or call 01303 774716

1Populus interviewed 12,003 adults, all aged 50+ online between 17th December 2018 and 1st January 2019. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk

About Saga

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services.  These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine. 



Alex Brazier