Friday, December 9th, 2016

Modern World: Why Are Women Traveling Alone More?

The following article was written by Sophie Rogers in partnership with Carnival Group.

In this modern world, hopping around the globe has never been so cheap and accessible. Consequently, we are travelling more, exploring diverse cultures, sampling a completely different way of life. What might surprise you, though, is that women are more inclined than men to take the leap alone. This information was unearthed in a recent study, with a whopping 73% of travel agents noting that women travel alone more than men[1].

Furthermore, it is often the older generation who are the least scared to travel solo; 44% of agents said that many of their clients were over 50. Hotels have adapted their services, offering women-only accommodation and package deals, as well as providing a more luxurious experience for the boom in travelling business women. As noted on usatoday.com.

Changing Currents

The question is – why has this sociological change come about and how? Are women more confident and independent than they were years before? Has our sociological landscaped changed?

The answer is yes, women are more independent and society has shifted. As we have matured into the 2000s, it has become more acceptable for women to step out, be it getting a university education, having a well-paid job, or travelling around the world solo. According to The Sunday Morning Herald Travelling section, half of the women that took part in the survey said that they thought that solo travel was adventurous and exciting, with only a quarter saying that it sounds lonely and scary, preferring to travel with a partner instead.

Young female backpackers

Image: microstockcommunity, via Flickr

Pioneering Over 50s

Women over the age of 50 are often assumed to be travelling alone because they are divorced or retired. This may be true, but let’s not forget that those with partners are also going solo. The Sunday Morning Herald speculated that the latest flick ‘Eat Pray Love’, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel has inspired women of all different ages to ‘find themselves’ in the vast international landscape. [2] Consequently, women are spending more quality time alone; separate from their partners and children.

As a result, there has been an increase in holiday packages for affluent women, focusing on luxury and well-being, such as spiritual retreats and cruise voyages like this one. These offer an indulgent experience for cruise passengers, with shopping, spas, and daytime and evening entertainment.

Conclusion

New found independence for women and cheaper travel has changed our cultural backdrop, and continues to do so. Travel agencies, hotels and hostels have all had to sit up and listen to the gendered demand, trying to attract women with lavish packages and women-only events and accommodation. They will continue to do so, as they try to meet the demand of women going it alone, staking a massive claim on the activity of the travel sector.



[1] Indicated by a 2013 pulse poll by Travel Guide Worldwide, analysed on the Gutsy Traveller’s blog

[2] If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book before, Julia Roberts’ character, Liz, realises that she is unfulfilled by her life, breaking away to finally find the meaning of happiness and love.