Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 14th February 2024

No Valentine? It Doesn’t Matter, Solo Travel Is Booming

Photo: Ibrahim Rifath on
Photo: Ibrahim Rifath on
Many couples will be enjoying a romantic Valentine getaway today, however, having a partner isn’t essential when it comes to travel.

Taking a solo holiday, or “soliday”, is the latest travel trend that has been increasing in popularity over recent years.

Not only does Google Trends data show a 336% increase in the term “solo trip” compared to five years ago, but independent travel agency Iglu Cruise has revealed that solo traveller interest has increased by 26.5% in 2023, compared to 2019.

Dave Mills, Chief Commercial Officer at Iglu Cruise said:
“Over the past few years, more travellers, of all ages, are choosing to travel alone, with freedom and independence driving their decision. And, we expect more people to discover solo travel in 2024 and the years to come.

“Singles cruises have been increasing in popularity in recent years, as cruise ships are a great place to meet like-minded travellers and explore some amazing destinations around the world. Single cabins also allow solo passengers to get the best possible price out of their voyage.”

Photo: Ivana Cajina on
Photo: Ivana Cajina on
Data from SoloTravelerWorld 2023 also revealed the main reasons why people are travelling alone:
I want to see the world and don’t want to wait for others (66%)
I want to do what I want when I want (57%)
I like the feeling of freedom and independence (46%)
I want to meet new people (42%)
I have different interests from my friends (40%)
Personal growth (33%)
My partner does not want to travel as much as I do (12%)

Taking a solo trip can be one of the biggest forms of self-love this Valentine’s. Iglu Cruise has teamed up with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and registered counsellor Georgina Sturmer to explain four reasons why solo travel is so good for us and why it should be encouraged.

1. It can improve your mental health
Georgina said: “Travelling can improve our mental wellbeing in so many ways. The act of taking a break from everyday life, undertaking new adventures and experiencing new cultures. And when we travel on our own, there can be some added benefits. When we are on our own, we can make decisions based on what we want and what we need, rather than making compromises to please others or to keep the peace.”

“Many of us - consciously or subconsciously - expend enormous energy in worrying about the judgements of other people. So, when we are going solo, it liberates us from this constant anxiety. It allows us to gain perspective over our worries and to tune into our values and judgements.”

2. It can build your confidence
Georgina said:“Solo travel might take courage, and can feel like a step outside of our comfort zone. If that’s the case, then it’s an opportunity to be brave and build our confidence and resilience.

“Trying new things or speaking to new people, even if we feel awkward or uncomfortable, can greatly improve our confidence. This will help you to feel more confident in everyday life, once you return from your travels.”

Photo: Bluewater Sweden on
Photo: Bluewater Sweden on
3. You can show yourself some self-care
Georgina said:“Sometimes solo travel is a proactive choice, and sometimes it comes as a necessity. Perhaps none of our friends or family are available to join us for a trip. And so, when we book that trip, we are sending ourselves a signal that we are deserving of a holiday or an adventure.

“It is important to be tuned into our own needs and look after ourselves. Taking a solo trip is a great way to show ourselves some self-love and reward ourselves. Being kind to ourselves can only bring more positivity into our lives.”

4. You can learn more about yourself
Georgina said:“When we travel on our own, we have the chance to figure out what we enjoy, and how we want to spend our time. And this can lead to surprising results.

“Maybe we thought that we were introverted, but we are grabbing every chance to chat with new people. Perhaps we thought that we would laze around, but we’re enjoying lacing up our hiking boots. Chances are, we might return home with a set of new hobbies, and perhaps also a new outlook on what we enjoy. And we can implement this into our everyday lives when we return home.”