Solo travel is quickly gaining in popularity, with more people choosing to explore the world on their own. Approximately one in four people travel solo, and the majority of them are women: in fact, 72% of American women are taking solo journeys, a study found.
More people are realizing they don't need a significant other, best friend or children with them to see the world. Don't put the items on your bucket list on hold, you can make them happen now (but make sure to be safe as a solo traveler).
Why do people travel solo?
Some of the reasons people choose to travel solo are because they want to see the world but have no one to go with, they want to do things on their own schedule during a trip, or they have different interests from friends and family, according to Solo Traveler. Traveling alone can also be empowering, enlightening, and rejuvenating.
The independence you have when traveling alone is second to none. You aren't tied to someone else's schedule, interests, or budget— you can explore at your own pace and only do the things that interest you! Because you're by yourself, you're also more likely to get to know the locals and be open to meeting new people, which is a great way to learn about the local culture and have an authentic experience.
Frankly, solo travel can be a challenge— but that's not a bad thing! The experience of traveling alone, problem solving, learning new skills can stretch you as a person. You'll learn you're capable of more than you imagined and gain self-confidence and pride as you navigate a different culture on your own.
Is traveling solo dangerous?
For some, heading into the unknown without a travel companion can be nerve-wracking. Worries may loom about having your passport stolen, getting lost, or finding yourself alone in an unsafe situation.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of guides to safe solo travel on the internet, including many location-specific guides. You can learn about the safest neighborhoods in your destination and find specific safety tips to keep in mind. By doing your research, staying alert, and staying in public, you can enjoy a safe trip by yourself.
You won't necessarily get lonely while traveling solo either! HomeExchangers have a knack for making friends around the world, and you can even find a friend to meet up with through our Facebook groups. Your exchange hosts may be able to introduce you to their friends or neighbors, who can give tips on the area or answer questions. Sites like Your Travel Mates and TourBar help you find local travel buddies worldwide if you want some company during your trip.
Where to travel solo
When you're ready to plan a solo vacation, the sky's the limit! You can travel the globe while working remotely like HomeExchanger Carolyn. You can head to a cozy cabin in the US to write, explore nature, and have a digital detox. Maybe you'll get to visit the National Parks, discover off-the-beaten-path destinations in France, or have an adventure in Bali.
You don't have to travel across the world for your first solo trip— consider starting small, with a weekend in a neighboring state, to get used to being alone. Before you know it, you'll be jetting around, checking countries from Iceland to Italy off your bucket list.
For things to do in any destination, check out our collection of locals’ recommendations from all around the world. Our members give their insider tips so you can find hidden gems wherever you go.
Try solo travel with HomeExchange
There's no better way to travel on your own than with HomeExchange. HomeExchange is the world leader in home swap vacations, making traveling solo safe, affordable, and authentic. With more than 450,000 homes in 187 countries, there are options in almost any destination you can dream of. 16% of HomeExchangers travel solo, so you're in good company!
When you travel solo with HomeExchange, you aren't staying in a stranger's house, but with a trusted member of the community. Members often get to know each other before swapping houses, exchanging video calls or asking questions. You can get tips from a local about what to see in a city and how to stay safe, and travel with peace of mind knowing you're staying in a real home, fully equipped with everything you might need.
Solo travelers don't like to have to stick to someone else's schedule or restraints when making plans, and HomeExchange makes it easy to plan last-minute trips, extended trips, or multiple getaways back to back. With a year's membership, you can enjoy an unlimited number of exchanges, our helpful member support team at your fingertips, and assistance in case of cancellation. HomeExchange's excellent customer support has you covered no matter what happens during your journey.