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The way in which we travel is constantly evolving, and each year new trends hit our Instagram feeds. Solo travel, however, stands out from the rest. Intrepid explorers have long been going on adventures around the world, but something about it is changing. The independent traveller scene has seen significant growth in recent years. According to the Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA) 2018 holiday habits report, the percentage of people who travelled on their own in 2018 was around 15%, a figure which has more than doubled since 2011. This new generation of travellers all have different motives and reasons behind the dramatic increase. Here we take a look at the new wave of solo travel and the excitement that lies with it.

Man taking a photo of birds in an orange sunset.

Why Travel Solo?

The newest generation of young travellers represents a broad shift in the way people are valuing their lives and time. It is often cited that millennials are less focused on material objects, instead opting for experiences and sharing them on social media; something that seems to have spread across the generations. Such influence also means that people are infinitely more conscious of the world around them and are aware of how rapidly it is changing. A motive that appears amongst explorers is wanting to see the world before it has changed beyond the way we know it. But travel is time-consuming and expensive and, in a time-strapped society, many people report that they have no one to travel with. This is no longer a reason not to explore the world the ABTA report states that the most common reason for travelling alone, is to allow people to do exactly what they want when they want. People want to enjoy hard-earned me time in complete and utter freedom without compromise.

Travel Technology

Another very good reason for the rise in companionless travel is the evolution of technology, making it easier to stay connected as well as use the wealth of travel apps now available. Not only does this help solo travellers feel safer and save money, but it also provides them with a platform to easily navigate the world. From booking to busses, some of the most useful travel apps include:
- Translation apps
- Booking apps for hostels, hotels and homestays
- GPRS maps
- Apps that can help you to connect with other travellers
- Apps that can help you to find quality restaurants

View of a water from a town with tree in top left hand corner.

The Benefits of Solo Travel

Whether it’s a lengthy backpacking adventure or a short but sweet excursion, there are endless benefits to travelling alone.

Meeting New People

As a solo traveller, you are much more likely to meet and discover new friendly faces, both among locals and other travellers. The opportunity for something unexpected to happen is around every corner, and the freedom you have to make your own decisions can open you out to more of an experience. It’s important to remember that when meeting other solo travellers, you are all in the same boat. Although it might seem daunting at first, by opening up and reaching out to others, you are building bridges that could last a lifetime.


While the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends is rife, independent travel does, inevitably, involve spending time on your own. This represents an excellent opportunity to connect with yourself and your emotions mindfully. You will also be relying heavily on yourself to make decisions, further strengthening your character.

Woman's silhouette stood in sunset.


It’s not very often that we get to make decisions based entirely on what we want to do. Solo travel gives you the opportunity to experience freedom like no other. Don’t want to visit that place? There is nobody there to tell you you must do otherwise, unlike travelling in a pair or group.

Many of our guests on Balance Holidays retreats choose to travel alone. Our lifestyle and yoga retreat holidays are designed to provide an enriching experience to allow you to connect with yourself and others. Your experience will be handled personally on a case by case basis, allowing us to offer you support and guidance throughout your journey. Contact us for more details and if you would like to read more from our journal, take a look at What to Expect on a Mindfulness Retreat.