One-Third of Americans Would Choose a Solo Trip with Only Their Phone Instead of Taking a Travel Companion

A woman sitting on a bench at the beach
Solo Travel Report

From choosing the perfect destination to tips for mastering your solo itinerary, travel experts from Expedia are revealing all the insights from their newest report

Traveling alone is certainly a one-of-a-kind experience, and it is one of the fastest growing travel categories. When you're traveling alone you are the master of your time, exploring the world on your own terms. Data from Expedia's first Solo Travel Report reveals 60% of travelers plan to take a solo trip within the next two years, proving people want more flexibility, convenience, and autonomy from their vacations. What's even more interesting is how the desire for a digital connection is starting to rival the need of human connection on trips.

Buddymoons and babymoons better step aside, because the “mobilemoon” is the newest travel trend on the scene: When given the ultimatum to choose between their mobile phone or a travel companion to bring on their next trip, one-third (33%) of Americans said they would choose to travel solo with just their device.

Travel expert and frequent solo traveler Courtney Scott comments on the new trend: “Having traveled to over a dozen countries alone I can attest that solo travel gives you the ultimate freedom. It pushes you to explore with no limitations and it's a beautifully introspective adventure too. Mobile devices are an essential resource for travelers, helping us feel more informed and more confident on the road, so it doesn't surprise me that many people would rather travel with their phone than with a friend. Use your travel app to manage your itinerary, research your destination and stay connected to friends and family ─ but don't forget to put your phone away and fully immerse yourself in your surroundings, too!” 

The Expedia mobile app already makes it easy to plan a trip, save money, and explore a destination to the fullest. Plus, the app's helpful in-destination features like trip reminders, itinerary access offline, and Taxi Card, which translates driving directions to your hotel based on local language, truly make it the ultimate travel companion for your next – or first – solo trip.

“We recognize there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to solo travel preferences, but that doesn't mean solo travelers can't have it all in the one device they're most reliant on during their trip,” said Alexis Tiacoh, PR Manager for Brand Expedia. “From exclusive discounts and perks to the ability to book local activities on the go, our app has everything solo travelers need for an epic 'mobilemoon.'”

The Solo Travel Report serves as a resource to discover destinations, helpful planning tips and cool new insights on navigating solo trips from start to finish. Here's a deeper look at the findings:

  • What Drives Solo Travel: Overall, solo travelers most often say they take solo trips to meet new people and explore new places, disconnect from work and life, and improve their independence and confidence. And while the simple desire to get away is the biggest motivator for going it alone over any movie, book or celebrity influencer – it's no surprise that the best-selling novel turned feature film “Eat Pray Love” was the top source of inspiration for the 5% of travelers who said a movie prompted them to take a solo trip.
  • Solo Travel is Becoming the Preferred Travel Category: Two-thirds of respondents agree they prefer the freedom of traveling alone and meeting new people over the desire to have a vacation companion. Younger travelers (83% of Gen Z and 80% of Millennials) are especially likely to agree. Less than 40% of the respondents Expedia surveyed identified themselves as parents, and of those, nearly all of them (82%) agree they too would prefer to travel alone.
  • The Ideal Solo Trip: While some might want to spend their summer backpacking across Europe, the most popular solo trip is the 'Weekend Break' – a quick couple days in a new city or off the grid (30%). Americans are more likely to want to experience an 'Island Getaway' – cruise to a tropical destination or visit a beach (23%), 'Foodie Trip' – eat their way through a region known for delicious cuisine (16%), or 'Event Travel' – visiting a place specifically to attend a music festival or sporting event (14%).
  • Solo Travel Destinations: Domestic travel continues to be the foundation of how most Americans choose to vacation – and solo travel is no exception. US travelers are more likely to choose new or familiar places within their own country, and 69% said their last solo trip was in the USA. When it comes to future solo trips, roughly 3 out of 4 Americans (74%) say their ideal location is in the USA followed by Canada (45%) and Europe (42%).
  • Solo Trip Advice is Practical: When it comes to planning your solo getaway, experienced solo travelers emphasize preparation and a positive attitude. Stick to a budget, know which travel documents you'll need and always have a plan B. Americans mostly feel that it's good to be mindful of fears but to not let them stop you (20%).
  • This Is When Things Get Awkward: Generally, solo travelers feel most uncomfortable when they are lost and need directions (42%), or when they are lost in translation (38%). US travelers also dread having their phone battery die or eating alone (29%).

For even more insights and findings from Expedia's 2019 Solo Travel Report, visit here.

About the Solo Travel Report
CITE Research (www.citeresearch.com), on behalf of Expedia, conducted an online survey among 2,521 respondents – 1516 in the US and 1005 in Mexico. Respondents screened were aged 18 years or older, had taken a trip by themselves in the past or planned to take a one in the future. Expedia defined solo travel as doing any form of travel – taking a flight, boat, train, driving themselves, staying in a hotel or vacation rental, etc. in which the person is by themselves.