The unprecedented rise of solo female travel

Solo female travel – possibly one of the biggest travel trends for 2017.

A simple Google trends search of ‘female solo travel’ shows the dramatic increase in the interest of women going it alone over the past 5 years, peaking with over 100,000,000 searches at the beginning of 2017.

Pinterest also noted the 350% increase in women pinning solo travel ideas since 2014. It’s evident this trend is no lie.

So the real question is - why are all these women choosing to travel solo?

Jumping on the female solo travel bandwagon, 2016 was the year I embarked on my first solo trip. Having spent the past 24 years of my life travelling with friends, family and partners, it’s fair to say I was a little apprehensive about jetting off on a new adventure all by myself. Who would I speak to? Who would I share my meals with? And most importantly who would take those oh so crucial insta shots?

Approximately 34 hours after touching down in Bali I knew solo travelling was one of the best decisions of my life.

Today’s female travelers are independent, unafraid, and looking to explore new and authentic destinations their own way. So for anyone considering joining the sisterhood of solo travel or for those who may need a little reminder – here are a few reasons why it’s absolutely the best idea…

No constraints

Sure it can be a heap of fun travelling with a companion but it can also be hard work. Clashing views on where to go, stay, eat, what trips you want to do, who you want to hang out with – so many compromises. When you travel solo you can do what the hell you want! Go to that spa your boyfriend wouldn’t want to be seen anywhere near. Take a whole day shopping, because why not? Be spontaneous and go off track with your new travel buddy. You’ve got nothing stopping you, so be as selfish as you damn well want.

Increased feeling of safety

With WiFi just about everywhere you go, it’s so easy to still feel connected. Despite being anywhere in the world, you can just pick up the phone and Facetime or WhatsApp your nearest and dearest whenever you’re feeling a little homesick or on edge. PLUS there are so many other women in the exact same position.

One of the main things I noticed while I was away was how many more girls than guys there were travelling alone. And all these lovely ladies really looked out for each other, giving a great sense of safety.

More female friendly destinations

The prime factor holding women back from traveling solo is the safety issue. But with so many welcoming neighbourhoods dotted all over the place this really shouldn’t be an issue. So whether it’s the low crime rates in Croatia, the charming town of Salzburg or the simplicity and safety of venturing around Melbourne on the tram – there are so many great female friendly destinations where you can feel completely safe on your own. AND there are even more trips designed just for girls – a 230% increase to be exact. Walking Women, Sisterhood Camp, Nature Travels, Wave Sisters & Ski Goddess are just a few of the female only trips and travel brands responding to what women want.

Girl sitting on rock in Florence Falls

Increased sense of female empowerment

Savvy business women, inspiring actresses, unstoppable musicians and powerful politicians – more than ever us ladies are realising we can achieve anything we set our minds to.

We’re surrounded by strong, determined, independent women, and what better way to fulfil that independence then to travel solo?

The empowering feeling of having the ability to do what you want, when you want whilst exploring the world, because who rules the world?

Strong relationships

This has got to be the best thing about traveling solo. When you’re with someone else you don’t feel the need to meet new people. But when you’re traveling alone you’re forced to make friends everywhere you go. And these are the people you share so many epic experiences and create life long memories with. Nothing beats the travel bond, especially between solo female travellers. Having the comfort of another girl in the same situation as you gives you the support system you need.

girls sitting on floor chatting

You take on a new challenge

Okay, so this is the part where I tell you it’s not all fun and games traveling solo. You’re out of your comfort zone so of course at times this can be a massive challenge. I’ll admit there were one or two moments when I just wanted to see a familiar face. But WAIT IT OUT. You need the low times to appreciate how incredibly amazing the high times are. Yes it may be a challenge at times but its bloody good character building and so rewarding. And with such an incredible increase in solo female travellers, it’s clear to see that women are taking this challenge head on.

SO for all you girls considering solo travel, I would 100% recommend you going for it. Who knows when you’ll have the chance to do this again, if ever. Solo travel was absolutely the best decision I’ve ever made – challenging at times, but oh so rewarding.

Tempted by solo female travel? These are the trips we at Contiki recommend:

READ MORE