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%), which compares to 48% when traveling with friends. Solo travelers surveyed also ranked getting away from routine (52%) and exploring new cultures (45%) as top motivators.
Age gap between Asian and Western solo travelers
Interestingly, Asian solo travelers are more likely to be younger – Millennials (41%) and Generation Zers (38%) – while in the West, solo travel is more prevalent among Baby Boomers (39%) and Generation Xers (24%).
Western solo travelers are more likely to indulge in solo travel for longer periods, more often taking trips for 4-7 nights (34%). In addition, Western solo travelers are twice as likely to go on trips of 14 nights or more (20% versus 10%). The Millennial and Generation Z Asian solo traveler tend to take shorter 1-3 night solo trips (46%).
Trend towards more screen time
Unsurprisingly, solo leisure travelers spend more time in front of their laptops and phones than any other traveler type – two hours a day (119 minutes), which compares to 15% more time than when travelers are with friends (100 minutes) and 26% more time than if they are with family (86 minutes).
Asian solo travelers 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% versus 12%).
Cosmopolitan destinations dominate the charts
Whether for business, leisure or ‘bleisure’ (a combination of business and leisure travel), independent solo travelers are all heading to cosmopolitan cities around the world. According to Agoda’s booking data, Bangkok (Thailand) is the top destination for Asian solo travelers this year, while London (United Kingdom) is number one for Western solo travelers. Both cities have a lot of attractions to keep any solo traveler busy, from shopping and nightlife to culture and dining.
Tokyo (Japan) is a popular choice for both Asian and Western travelers, 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 traveler.