Across the globe travel has been on the backburner. But now hope fills the air as would-be travelers are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the roll-out of vaccines and the development of other break-through medical advances in the battle against COVID-19. In fact, Our research shows that two thirds of global travelers (66%) feel more hopeful about traveling in 2021. And that means many are keen to start planning for when it’s safe to travel again.
That first trip will see many stepping out alone – with research revealing that the solo travel trend is gathering momentum. Our data pre-pandemic saw only 17% of travelers were planning a trip on their own, whilst nearly double (30%) now say they will be planning a solo trip in the future.
So for those intrepid adventurers, we have gathered insights and tips to help travelers to make the most of that solo escape, sharing destination inspiration based on our travelers endorsement for solo travel essentials, from friendly faces to convenient public transport.
Eat like the locals
To really get a taste of a destination, it’s all about experiencing it like a local. And that’s definitely true of local delicacies and immersing yourself by way of what you eat! For 77%**** of global travelers local food/cuisine is a top decision factor when picking a destination. For solo-foodies those not wanting to be too adventurous while dining alone in a restaurant, street food is a great option to sample a number of local specialties in a relaxed setting. Take Bangkok in Thailand, its streets are bustling with food vendors and markets, perfect for all foodie travelers. It’s no surprise Bangkok features as one of the top endorsed destinations globally for local food by our travelers. Visitors can try local specialties including spicy papaya salad or famous pad Thai noodles.
Top Tip: Wherever the destination, be sure to look up its local delicacy before you set off to start planning your foodie schedule and get an idea of which places (whether a street food stall or fine-dining restaurant) really are a must-eat!
Get off the beaten track
Going solo means there’s no debate or compromise necessary when it comes to where to go and what to do. So when it’s safe to travel and plan your trip, why not think about roads less-travelled? Over half of global travelers (56%***) will seek out more rural, off the beaten path experiences. These less-travelled destinations offer the chance to meet fellow minded travelers searching for similar travel experience and when traveling off-piste, friendly faces will be welcomed. For that reason, Chajari, Argentina should be top of your list. This hidden gem of a destination in the north east of Entre Ríos is highly endorsed by Booking.com travelers for its friendly locals – who better to show you around. Visitors here can experience rural Argentina, and perhaps even organize a farm stay.
Top Tip: Ask your accommodation owner or host for tips on the must-see things to do or places to visit. It might sound obvious, but friendly local intel can ensure you don’t miss the hidden gem your chosen destination has to offer!
Seek out solo options for cityseekers
Not all solo trips need to be about finding yourself on a mountain top – a short city escape can be just as rewarding and reenergizing! Enjoy the hustle and bustle of a new destination, when it’s safe to do so, and explore a new metropolis. Porto, Portugal might be the perfect getaway for those stepping out solo. The country’s second city offers a hub of culture and entertainment located on the coast and famous for its Port wine production. It’s also highly endorsed by our travelers for its friendly people, so lots of welcoming faces and new friends to be made as you stroll along the Douro River or explore the old town.
Top Tip: Explore the city on foot to better get your bearings and experience what a new city has to offer. At many destinations you could join a guided walking tour to see all sides of the city too while also learning about the local history and culture.
Picking a shoppers’paradise
A solo getaway is the perfect opportunity to indulge in your favorite pastimes and hobbies. Over half (54%****) of global travelers are keen to pick out a destination based on its shopping credentials, so for fashion fans and shopaholics, a solo shopping trip might be just the ticket. Leisurely browsing with no interruptions! As one of the fashion capitals of the world, and a top destination endorsed by Booking.com travelers for its shopping, New YorkCity is a no-brainer. Visitors can live out their Manhattan dreams, exploring the iconic stores and uncovering new brands and trends by searching out pop-up stores and sample sales.
Top Tip: Timing is key – whether you want to hit the sale season or avoid it, make sure you know when it starts at your destination before booking