While there has been a great deal of discussion about the rising popularity of solo travel, not everybody has caught the bug – according to a new survey conducted by Allianz Global Assistance, 30.4 per cent of US travellers have never been on a trip alone. Those who have, meanwhile, are five times more likely to make a domestic trip than an international one.
The survey found that 27.5 per cent of Americans have travelled alone domestically for business purposes, while 21 per cent have travelled alone for leisure. Only 3.2 per cent have travelled internationally for business, and only 4.8 per cent have travelled internationally for leisure.
Looking at the demographics involved, the survey found that women are 10 per cent less likely to travel alone than men, with 35 per cent of women saying that they had never travelled alone, compared with 25 per cent of men. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the gender of a respondent seemed to have an impact on their perception of safety, with 76 per cent of men saying they have never felt unsafe while travelling alone, compared with 60 per cent of women who felt the same. This was reflected in the precautions that women said they took while travelling along, with just under 60 per cent saying that they avoided walking at night, 47 per cent saying they would always keep someone else informed of their location, 32 per cent saying they would avoid talking to a stranger, 30 per cent saying they would avoid dressing in a way that could attract attention, 27 per cent saying they would moderate their alcohol consumption and 14 per cent saying that they would steer clear of busy tourist areas.
And while 40 per cent of women reported being catcalled while travelling solo, compared with only 11 per cent of men, solo male travellers were much more likely to be the victims of theft, with just under 10 per cent saying they had been mugged or pickpocketed while on a solo trip, compared with six per cent of women.
“Solo travel represents a significant part of the tourism industry, with nearly 70 per cent of Americans having travelled alone, for business or leisure,” said Dan Durazo, Director of Marketing and Communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We always recommend that travellers remain alert and aware, and this is especially important for those on their own. Having the right insurance policy, with a 24-hour assistance and protection hotline, can provide peace of mind. The right policy may also help protect travellers in case of violence, terrorism or natural disaster, all concerns for the solo traveller.”