Whether for business, leisure or ‘bleisure’, travellers are going solo

With longer working hours, constant digital contact and increasing obligations, it’s no wonder more people are treating themselves to solo trips to (temporarily) get away from it all! According to a survey by Agoda, one of the world’s fastest-growing online travel agents (OTA), travellers are choosing to go solo to take respite from the stresses of modern living.

Agoda’s ‘Solo Travel Trends 2018’ survey, conducted by YouGov, found that relaxation and time to unwind is the number one motivator for solo leisure travel globally (61 per cent), which compares to 48 per cent when traveling with friends. Solo travellers surveyed also ranked getting away from routine (52 per cent) and exploring new cultures (45 per cent) as top motivators.

Age gap between Asian and Western solo travellers

Interestingly, Asian solo travellers are more likely to be younger — Millennials (41 per cent) and Generation Zers (38 per cent) — while in the West, solo travel is more prevalent among Baby Boomers (39 per cent) and Generation Xers (24 per cent).

Western solo travellers are more likely to indulge in solo travel for longer periods, more often taking trips for 4-7 nights (34 per cent). In addition, Western solo travellers are twice as likely to go on trips of 14 nights or more (20 per cent versus 10 per cent). The Millennial and Generation Z Asian solo traveller tend to take shorter 1-3 night solo trips (46 per cent).

Trend towards more screen time

Unsurprisingly, solo leisure travellers spend more time in front of their laptops and phones than any other traveller type — two hours a day (119 minutes), which compares to 15 per cent more time than when travellers are with friends (100 minutes) and 26 per cent more time than if they are with family (86 minutes).

Asian solo travellers are the most digitally connected and are more than two times as likely to spend four or more hours a day in front of their screens than their Western peers (31 per cent versus 12 per cent).

Cosmopolitan destinations dominate the charts

Whether for business, leisure or ‘bleisure’ (a combination of business and leisure travel), independent solo travellers are all heading to cosmopolitan cities around the world. According to Agoda’s booking data, Bangkok (Thailand) is the top destination for Asian solo travellers this year, while London (United Kingdom) is number one for Western solo travellers. Both cities have a lot of attractions to keep any solo traveller busy, from shopping and nightlife to culture and dining.

Tokyo (Japan) is a popular choice for both Asian and Western travellers, hitting the top three for both groups. With various food, culture and accommodation options, from capsule hotels to homes and luxury 5-star retreats, the city has a lot on offer for every kind of solo traveller.