Solo Travel Empowers Women Over 55

Research shows that solo travel is empowering female travelers over the age of 55.

Riviera Travel surveyed 2,000 UK residents and the results combined proprietary insights and data revealed how women feel about traveling alone and who is embarking on solo journeys.

The research revealed that there has been a rise in female solo travelers. In fact, traveling alone gives women a chance to challenge themselves and feel more confident.

Thirty-nine percent of over-55s have solo traveled and a further 31 percent said that they would consider a solo trip.

On Riviera Travel’s solo dedicated holidays, 77 percent of the passengers are women, while female solo travel has increased by 142 percent over the last five years.

“At Riviera Travel, we are seeing a huge increase in women travelling solo,” said Rachel Pillsbury, head of insight at Riviera Travel. “There are a growing number of female solo travelers, and solo travel is also now taking up a much larger share of overall bookings–11 percent of our 2019 bookings were female solo travelers, up from 6 percent in 2015.

The study showed that 41 percent of women travel alone enjoy their own company and a further 57 percent of women feel independent rather than anxious when solo traveling.

Thirty-three percent use the opportunity to challenge themselves to do something new, and 29 percent solo travel to give them a chance to put their needs and wants first.

Twenty-nine percent of the women surveyed also said that they enjoy meeting new people when traveling on their own.

In general, people perceive solo travelers as member of younger generations. In fact, 20 percent of those surveyed indicated that they thought men age 18-25 were most likely to travel alone, and 15 percent thought the same of women 18-25.

Only 4 percent of those surveyed thought women aged 56-65 were most likely to solo travel, while just 1 percent said women 66-75.

Traveling alone makes a big impact. Fifty-seven percent of women over 55 reported feeling independent when traveling solo. Forty-four percent said it made them feel free. Thirty-four percent said it made them feel adventurous, while 30 percent reported feeling happy. Twenty-nine percent said they felt confident and 26 percent said traveling alone gave them a feeling of empowerment.

Women who had not yet traveled solo said that the reasons why they do not include safety concerns (73 percent) and social anxieties (31 percent). Twelve percent of women over 55 said they held back because they felt anxious when traveling alone.

“With International Women’s Day coming up in March, these figures made us want to take a closer look at the reasons why women are solo traveling, and what female solo travelers are looking for in a destination,” added Pillsbury. “Women over 55 are quite rightly looking to put their own wants and needs first, and it came as no surprise to us that they are adventurous with their traveling choices. Women over 55 are looking for a break from the mundane: they want to challenge themselves, see new things, visit unusual destinations and experience new cultures–which solo travel is the perfect opportunity for.”

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