Airlines and Aviation
In celebration of International Women’s Day, TripAdvisor surveys women and finds an increasing number are travelling solo. Sometimes it’s by choice. Sometimes logistics make it the only option.
Sunday 8 March 2015 is International Women’s Day. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Make It Happen’.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” Gloria Steinem.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, TripAdvisor surveyed 9,181 female travellers in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, Southeast Asia, and the United States to learn more about their travel habits. The survey was taken in February 2015.
The Southeast Asian countries included were Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, with 431 women in those countries taking part.
According to the results of the survey, the number of Southeast Asian women that have travelled alone rose from 36% in 2014 to 48% this year.
Of those Southeast Asian women that have travelled alone, 79% plan on doing so again – against a global average of 74%.
Fully 60% of Southeast Asian women enjoyed travelling solo because it allowed them to do whatever they wanted.
Travelling alone made 62% of women in Southeast Asia feel more independent and self-reliant.
According to a self-proclaimed feminist active in Hong Kong’s LGBT community, who preferred to remain anonymous, travelling with a few close friends is an unfulfilled fantasy.
It would be fun, but logistics always seem to get in the way.
“I would like to share the common pleasures of unique experiences with others,” she says.
“After a while, enduring them solo becomes tedious. How many beautiful sunsets can you enjoy by yourself until they become banal?”
But travelling alone can have its advantages, she believes.
“One of the advantages of traveling solo is that it opens you up to differing realities,” she says.
“For me, that has been important because it has helped me to realize that I’m not the most important person in the world.”
Travelling with family or friends can cut costs while adding safety, companionship, and shared experiences.
But travelling solo can mean never having to compromise on when to go, where to stay, or what to do.