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How solo travel has changed (and why it’s time to try it) 

Are all your friends or family busy, but you want to relax on a beach or explore a new city? No problem. The popularity of solo travel is on the rise, and it’s easy to see why.  

It’s an opportunity to break out of your comfort zone, try new things, and make unforgettable memories. So don’t let your fear of loneliness stop you from exploring the globe. Today it is easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family back home, as they are only a video call away. 

Rachel Lalonde, Store Manager at CAA North & East Ontario states, “I have noticed a definite increase in solo travel.” Travelling alone isn’t challenging as it used to be. Today there are more resources and solo tours and fewer companies charging expensive single supplements fees.  

To help you plan your next adventure, here is how solo travel has changed and why it’s time to try it. 

Solo travelling is now trendy

The solo travel has been gaining popularity in recent years. Why? Social media has helped contribute to this trend, with the #solotravel hashtag boasting over 3.5 billion views on TikTok and over 8 million posts on Instagram. 

The stigma of solo travel is long gone. Instead, people are increasingly promoting the benefits of exploring new places by themselves in all the photos in videos they share online. 

But people aren’t only daydreaming about travelling alone, they are making their dreams a reality. According to a 2023 report from Kayak, searches for single-person flights are up 36% for travel in 2023 compared to 2022.  

Skyscanner also reports that one in two Canadians (45%) are considering solo travel in the upcoming year, with one in four opting to travel alone if their family and friends don’t share their travel interests. Interestingly, Skyscanner also found that singles (66%) and divorcees (57%) ranked amongst the highest in their readiness to embark on a solo trip in 2023. 

Rachel Lalonde explains, “we get inquiries all the time from people who used to travel as a couple or as a family and their circumstances have changed, but they still want to travel on their own.” So, these travellers “eagerly wait for solo group packages to become available or request notification when a solo promo comes along for their favourite tour supplier,” she adds.   

Tech makes it easier to navigate and access important information

Female Tourist in Barcelona
AzmanJaka | iStock

Technology has revolutionized how we explore new locations. We can get the information we need thanks to free Wi-Fi being available throughout most cities, attractions and airports. Or, if you want to stay connected throughout your trip, you can now buy affordable internal SIM cards with data to use. 

With a smartphone, you can easily navigate unfamiliar territory with the help of apps like Google Maps that give step-by-step directions on foot, by car or by public transit. Hungry? With a quick search in the app, you can quickly find nearby restaurants, attractions and other points of interest.  

There are countless other apps to make your next trip more accessible. Need help reading a sign? Google Translate offers free live translation of text or spoken languages, and Duolingo can help you learn a new language before or during your departure. 

Or you can skip trying to calculate the price of that souvenir you want in Canadian Dollars. Instead, tools like XE Currency can help you quickly convert prices and exchange rates. 

Gone are the days of feeling lonely

Man vlogging on the beach
MesquitaFMS | iStock

You don’t need to feel lonely while exploring the globe by yourself. Thanks to mobile apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp, staying connected with your loved ones back home is easy. All you need is an internet connection to keep friends and family updated on where you are and share your memories in real-time. 

Another way to overcome loneliness is to join a group or socialize with fellow travellers. For example, consider signing up for a one-day food tour or a walking tour to meet other people who share your interest. 

You can feel safer travelling alone

Before planning a solo trip, you need to research the safety of your destination. The Government of Canada’s travel advisories page is helpful, supplying up-to-date information on destinations worldwide. 

Another excellent resource is the 2022 report by Bounce, which ranks the top safest destinations for women travellers based on gender equality, women’s safety, and female political representation. In addition, the report highlights countries such as Iceland, Denmark, and Canada as the safest destinations for females. This information can be beneficial when planning a solo trip to give you peace of mind as you explore a new destination. 

Furthermore, there has been a greater emphasis on safety in the travel industry in recent years. Some changes include that most hotels now have 24-hour security, and ride-sharing options like Uber are improving safety. 

One important Uber feature is the ability to share your ride status with friends or family, giving you an added layer of security. You can also view the driver’s license plate and rating to ensure you’re getting into the right car. Finally, with Uber’s in-app map, you can track your journey in real-time to confirm your driver follows the right course. Plus, if there is an emergency, you can click a button within the app to call 911, and it will share your location and trip details with the emergency dispatcher. 

A travel consultant can be a valuable resource if you still have questions or concerns about exploring another country alone. For example, they can help you choose a destination for your solo trip based on your preferences and interests. Or they can help you book a group trip so that you can explore with like-minded individuals. 

Say good-bye to high single supplements fees

RossHelen | iStock

Gone are the days of exorbitant single supplement fees that cruise lines and tour companies used to charge. Today, many companies in the travel industry recognize the value of solo travellers and have worked to cut the single supplement cost. 

Cruise lines, for example, have been making strides to accommodate solo explorers. Lalonde states, “many companies like AMA Waterways, Uniworld, Avalon Cruises and Holland America now have great solo traveller rates or even cabins that cater to them; some even offer events for the onboard so that singles can meet up.” 

Land tour companies are now also catering to solo travellers. Lalonde explains, “G Adventures and Exodus Travels don’t charge a high single supplement rate for a guaranteed single room and none at all to those who are willing to share with a like-minded solo traveller (if there is no other single person to share, they do not have to pay the single supplement). 

More cruises and guided tours are offering solo trips

Are you ready to cruise the coast of Italy but don’t want to experience it alone? Now, cruise lines and guided tours are designing specific departures and itineraries to cater to solo travellers, so you can meet like-minded people and explore new destinations together.  

For example, Together. Groups by CAA Travel offers packages created for solo travellers. Together trips focus on small group departures exclusively for people who enjoy independent travel but find safety in numbers. With Together, even as a solo traveller, you can take advantage of group rates and unique excursions led by local guides. 

Ready for your solo adventure?

Contact our CAA Travel Consultants. They can answer your questions and inform you about upcoming solo departures from Together. Groups by CAA Travel. Book an appointment online. 

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