Solo traveling was once a taboo thing. To venture off to a foreign country alone usually meant you were an adventure seeker and a risk taker.
I once looked at solo travelers as a type of superhero. They were people who weren’t afraid to cross borders, travel to a country where they didn’t speak the language, and were fearless in their quest to know the world.
However, that perception has been dismantled for myself and many others. Solo traveling is no longer a rare activity. It’s trending. And while some trends, such as selfie sticks and cheesy travel poses, seem to come and go, solo travel is a trend that is here to stay.
According to Google Trends, solo travel has risen 761.15%. Here’s why solo traveling is dominating the travel industry.
Freedom and independence
Nearly half of female solo travelers surveyed said that they decided to travel solo because of the freedom and independence it gives them.
There is a rush of pride and a sense of accomplishment when any traveler plans to go somewhere and books their ticket. When the rest of the world is busy making excuses not to use their paid time off, solo travelers are stepping away from the mundane and into the excitement.
I’ve been traveling solo for years. I’ve been to Cuba, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Panama, Colombia, and many more places all on my own. I say this not to brag but as an example of what’s possible. If the previously mentioned countries are on your bucket list, know it’s okay to go alone.
Every time I reach my destination, this wave of emotion comes over me. A feeling of joy knowing that something that was once a thought, a simple idea, has become a reality. A wanderlust feeling comes upon me as I walk amongst unfamiliar streets and venture into the unknown.
In addition to the rush of endorphins traveling brings, another perk of solo traveling is choosing exactly what I want to do on a trip. There’s no pressure to follow the group or do activities I’m not enthusiastic about. I can be completely independent and do what truly makes me happy.
People are tired of waiting
Another reason solo travel is so popular is that people are tired of waiting on others to travel with them. Many travelers have experienced similar disappointment when planning a group trip.
Everyone is excited in the beginning. The group chat is started, and destination ideas are shared. However, when it comes time to book the plane ticket and accommodations, the excuses start to roll in. People start saying they can’t go, or they say nothing at all.
Solo traveling eliminates all the unnecessary back and forth of waiting for people to reply if they are going.
Social media has influenced the image of solo traveling
Solo traveling seems less scary, thanks to Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Following the hashtag #solotravel, there will be pictures and videos of people sitting peacefully in front of a serene beach or a lush mountainside.
Social media also showcases the glamorous side of solo travel, sipping champagne by the pool or enjoying a delicious meal. Solo travel isn’t just for those who want to rough through the Amazon. It’s for those who want to enjoy culture, wine, and beauty.
There are different ways to travel solo
Solo traveling has become so popular that even tour companies offer group experiences for those who want to solo travel. These solo travel tours —offer private accommodations and flexibility in the list of activities.
Solo travelers can also choose different experiences like working or volunteering abroad. And with more people working from their laptops, why work from your home office when you can work from anywhere in the world?
Where are people solo traveling to
The world is vast, yet some countries attract solo travelers more than others. Travel + Leisure says some popular destinations, including England, Scotland, Croatia, and Germany. According to U.S. Travel News, popular destinations in Asia include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Now, all that is left is deciding where you will solo travel to.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com