YouGov and Tourlane have partnered to discover the opinions of the UK public on solo travelling in celebration of Women’s Day. Female solo travel has become very popular over the last five years and according to Google Trends, it’s never been searched more than in 2020. Our survey looked at male and female attitudes to highlight the differences in responses and where a gender gap might arise when we think about solo travellers needs.
Where are women travelling? Why are they travelling solo? Were there any barriers to going on a solo holiday? Where do they want to go next? How did this differ to male responses?
Speaking to over 2000 men and women, we focused solely on trips outside of Europe as this was more likely to be an in-depth trip lasting longer than a week, compared to a city break. We thought it was important to find out men’s attitudes to these topics as well. Comparing and contrasting our results we can see where the gender divide happens. Survey respondents were also given the opportunity to select multiple options as answers.
Based on these survey results, Tourlane is offering trips aimed specifically at women who are wary of going on a solo holiday alone. Discover the amazing landscapes of Kenya or Jordan with an all-female travel group, your guides, drivers, and companions will all be women. These trips also focus on the culture of the women in these countries, giving you an opportunity to learn and step into the shoes of women around the world. So, you can experience a comfortable atmosphere for your travelling and adventure at the same time! You’ll find more information about these tours at the bottom of the page.
Excluding Europe, 74% of women have never travelled solo to a continent.
Excluding Europe, 71% of men have never travelled solo to a continent.
46% of women answered that concerns about their safety were the biggest blocker to them travelling alone. Closely following was anxiety about spending time on their own, with 31% of women citing this as the reason why they didn’t embark on a trip.
Interestingly, men didn’t share the same safety concerns that women had about travelling alone, only 20% of men said that their personal safety was a barrier to them going on a solo holiday. Comparatively, men said cost was one of the reasons they didn’t travel alone with 21% of respondents agreeing with the statement ‘the overall cost is more expensive than travelling with another person’.
Differences across ages was another interesting revelation in this survey. While 46% of women answered that safety was the biggest concern when travelling alone this decreased with age. 62% of 18-24 women worried about safety but this decreased to 39% for the 55+ women who answered. This was a similar pattern across all the questions, seemingly showing as women get older they become more independent and less anxious about solo travelling.
We were interested to know the reasons why British people would want to go on a solo holiday. There were two popular answers to this question with ‘the freedom to do whatever I want’ and ‘to do something I haven’t done before’ getting 40% and 41% of the results respectively. 23% of women also agreed that they’d go on holiday to get over a difficult event like a break-up, losing a job, or a bereavement.
Men surveyed shared pretty similar views to women. The only differences were that men were less likely to go on a solo holiday to get over a trauma (18%) and more likely to go on holiday to socialise and meet new people (25%).
Surprisingly, 63% of women would want to embark on a solo trip to another continent other than Europe. North America and Australasia were relatively popular choices with 30% and 28% of the votes respectively.
Men and women shared the same top destinations. 42% of men would love to travel to North America and 35% would be happy taking a solo jaunt to Australasia.
Men and women both clearly share a sense for the off-the-beaten-path with a surprisingly high amount of people saying they’d most like to visit Antarctica. 15% of men would take a trip there and 10% of women would love to discover the isolated island alone.
Length: 10 Days Group Size: Min 4, Max 16 Theme: Expedition
Discover the heart of East Africa and meet local Kenyan women on this amazing tour. Hear inspiring stories from women struggling with gender equality and get local knowledge from Becky, the first female overland driver in East Africa. You’ll start in Nairobi before heading to Mt. Kenya, then onto the Samburu and Masai Mara National Reserve before returning to Nairobi.
On this trip you will:
Get to know some of Kenya’s female wildlife rangers and understand the challenges they face in a male-dominated industry.
Hike to the Mau Mau caves and learn how women played a key role in helping the Mau Mau people win the war against colonial rule.
Visit Kazuri, a ceramic bead making workshop with a large workforce of over 340 women skilled in the crafting of ceramic beads.
Length: 8 Days Group Size: Min 4, Max 12 Theme: Expedition
Experience the authentic Jordan on this exclusive female-only tour. Learn the traditional art of Henna from Bedouin women, discover a female-only beach next to the Dead Sea, before visiting the iconic Petra. Arabic cooking lessons, the history of kohl beauty, and lots of activities that men aren’t actually allowed to take part in - this trip has something for everyone!
Join a local shepherd and learn about her day, trying your hand at milking a goat in the process.
Look behind the closed doors and tents in Wadi Rum and to find a culture usually hidden from the eyes of visitors.
Soak your bones in a hamam with new friends and, as the trip draws to a close, feast on a picnic of Arabic mezze for dinner.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size 2170 adults, of which 1015 were males, 1155 were females. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd - 4th February 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).