Interest Pieces Travel Tips

The Rise of British Solo Travellers – 10 Year High

Solo travellers made up a whopping 58% of foreign leisure air travel in 2022, a significant leap from the 47% in 2015. The percentage of foreign solo air travel has increased every year since 2015. New research conducted by Ski Vertigo presents a decade-long trend of increasing foreign solo air travel among Brits.

Foreign Sole Travel Surge in the UK

Year Solo Travel (%)
2022 58
2019 56
2018 53
2017 50
2016 51
2015 47
2014 48
2013 47
2012 49
Ski Vertigo’s illuminating data showcases a ten-year climb in the realm of solo travel. Drawing from the CAA Passenger Survey Reports for Gatwick & Heathrow – the juggernauts of UK aviation.
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Why are Brits Choosing to Travel Alone?

 Motivation <55 Age  55+ age
 I want to see the world, and I  don’t want to wait for others 84% 64%
 I  want to do what I want when I want 68% 57%
 I like the feeling of freedom and  independence 57% 47%
 I  want to meet new people 41% 43%
 Personal growth 42% 30%
 I  have different interests than my friends 43% 37%
 My partner does not want to travel  as much as I do 9% 13%
Diving deep into the psyche of the British traveller, Ski Vertigo sought to decode the motivations behind this solo streak. Unsurprisingly, the reasons differ, painting a vivid picture of a generation embracing its wanderlust and another recapturing its spirit of adventure.
For the adventurous souls under 55, a commanding 84% resonate with the call of the world, refusing to wait for companionship.
Their senior counterparts, aged 55 and above, aren’t far behind, with 64% echoing the same sentiment.
The allure of freedom, autonomy, and self-discovery bridges the age divide. It’s evident, though, that the younger lot has an edge when it comes to meeting new people and personal growth.
A spokesperson for Ski Vertigo observed, “Solo travel isn’t just a passing trend; it’s a profound reflection of individual empowerment. Whether younger travellers seeking their own path or those above 55 rediscovering the world on their terms, solo travel has clearly articulated the innate human desire for freedom and exploration.”

Top Solo Travel Destinations for Brits

Leveraging insights from the UK’s Google search trends, Ski Vertigo identified the crème de la crème of solo travel destinations for British adventurers.
Taking the number one spot, Japan entices solo travellers with its blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity. It’s not just the sushi or cherry blossoms; it’s the promise of safety, immaculate public transport, and immersive experiences that seal the deal.
Holding the number two position, from the mysterious allure of the outback to the vibrant rhythms of its urban heartlands. The added advantage of a shared language and the quintessential Aussie friendliness only sweetens the deal.
At number three, Thailand offers a sensory overload, whether it’s the cacophony of Bangkok streets or the tranquil lull of its pristine beaches. The affordability factor, combined with rich traditions, positions it as a solo traveller’s dream.
Gracing the fourth position, Italy’s rich history, art, and cuisine are a calling for solo travellers. From the alleys of Venice to the ruins of Rome, the allure of untold tales calls.
Rounding out the top five is Bali, an enchanting island in Indonesia, known as a spiritual retreat with serene beaches, sacred temples, and a community that wears its heart on its sleeve.

5 Tips for Planning Your Own Solo Travel Journey

With solo travel becoming an increasingly popular choice for Brits, preparation is key to ensuring a seamless and enriching journey. Venturing out alone offers a unique sense of freedom, but it’s essential to equip oneself with the right knowledge and tools.
Here are Ski Vertigo’s top five tips tailored for solo British adventurers, ensuring they’re well-prepared for their upcoming personal journey:
1. Research Before You Leap
Dive into the customs, language, and safety considerations of your chosen destination. Familiarizing yourself with cultural nuances can enhance your travel experience and prevent potential faux pas, ensuring you immerse in the local lifestyle with respect and understanding.
2. Pack Smart
Limit luggage to essentials, ensuring mobility and comfort during your journey. Remember that less is often more: prioritising multi-functional clothing and essential gadgets can save you from overpacking while maintaining preparedness for various travel situations.
3. Stay Connected
Invest in local SIM cards or global roaming plans to ensure safety and easy navigation. Beyond just keeping in touch with loved ones, having reliable communication tools aids in finding accommodations, navigating public transport, and accessing real-time information during your travels.
4. Engage in Local Activities
Join group tours, classes, or workshops to mingle with locals and fellow travellers. This not only enriches your cultural experience but also provides opportunities to form connections and friendships, turning solo journeys into memorable shared adventures.
5. Always Have a Backup Plan
Ensure you have digital and physical copies of essential documents and a list of emergency contacts. It’s crucial to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances, from misplaced passports to sudden travel itinerary changes. Having backup plans and contacts on hand ensures peace of mind.
Ski Vertigo’s spokesperson added, “Travelling solo offers unparalleled freedom, but it also demands meticulous planning. With a rise in solo British travellers, it becomes paramount to strike the right balance between the joy of spontaneity and the reassurance of well-laid plans.”

– Group size of terminating air travellers at Gatwick & Heathrow airport from 2012 to 2019, and 2022. CAA Passenger Survey Reports
– Solo Travel 2022 Reader Survey
– SEMRush Google Keyword data