47 % Indian women travel solo: British Airways

British Airways

With word on the runway from British Airways’ cabin crew that there had been a rise in the number of independent female passengers, the airline has released the Global Solo Travel Study into the who, what and why of the trend across the world, and to understand which locations are the most tempting for true escapism.

The BA Global Solo Travel Study of almost 9,000 18-64-year olds across UK, US, France, India, Germany, Italy, Brazil and China found that over 50 per cent of women have taken a holiday by themselves, with 75 per cent of women planning a solo trip in the next few years.

Almost 47 percent of Indian women said that they have travelled alone, for atleast 2 – 5 times and 30 percent of Indian travellers intend to travel in the next 2-3 months. Maximum number of solo travellers in India are between the age of 18 – 25. According to the survey, Indian travellers hopped/skipped continents the most with 37 percent have travelled solo to Europe and 33 per cent exploring the UAE and Middle East

The British Airways Solo Travel Study also unpacked the reasons why passengers were choosing to head out alone. More than half of our global respondents (55 per cent) choose to travel alone due to the feeling of freedom and independence, being able to choose your destination, what you eat and what you do. Holidaymakers from India are the most open, with over 50 per cent also prioritising meeting new people and having unique experiences.

Travel blogger and organise of solo travel trips for single female traveller Zanna Van Dijk comments “It is undoubtable that modern travel has changed. What women are looking for with time to themselves is to explore, discover and uncover. We are no longer bound by traditional family holiday concepts or stigma around heading out alone. I organise trips for solo travellers who are looking to push themselves. Meet like-minded individuals that they wouldn’t otherwise. I love nothing more than heading to Kenya, Thailand and Bali where travel is easy and yet there is still so much to be explored.”  

The most adventurous? Italy 63 per cent of women 18-65 have explored another country alone, followed by Germany at 60 per cent. The least inclined to venture overseas with only 16 per cent, were women from the US. However, this looks to change with 62 per cent currently planning their getaway in the next few years.

Most choosing to head into the sunset alone for new experiences do so for one week, with over 50 per cent globally choosing a short haul trip overseas. However over 30.5million women in surveyed markets have headed off on long trips of over 6 months, equipped with nothing but a rucksack and an open mind. German travellers go solo the most often, with one in 5 having treated themselves to a solo trip over 10 times. The nation most willing to travel long distance is China, with almost 50 per cent flying over 11 hours for their last international experience.

In the spirit of the short haul pick-me-up, 67 per cent of solo travellers globally choose to explore the wonders of their own continent.

Over 51 per cent of the travellers in both the US and China had also toured Europe ‘toute seule’. Those looking to part from the crowd for an original solo holiday can fly on British Airways routes to Dubai, as other than Indian voyagers, the UAE and Middle East is the path least explored for solo journeys, with under 10 per cent having visited.

British Airways’ Managing Director for BA Holidays, said: “At British Airways our 16,000 incredible cabin crew operate more than 800 flights a day to over 200 destinations. They are travel experts, they often spot new trends and most importantly they understand the needs of our customers. What kept coming back to us through the research we’ve done and anecdotally from our crew was the rise in so many adventurous female passengers choosing to experience long and short haul destinations on their own terms” said Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays. With our extensive global route network, and with new destinations launching all the time, we hope that together with the information and tips included in our BA Global Solo Travel Study we can enable and inspire adventurous solo travellers to continue exploring without limit.” 

Other findings: 

  • More British men and women were over 50 on their first solo trip compared to any other country
  • The US has the lowest number of female solo travellers, with only 17 per cent having taken a solo holiday, compared to 46 per cent of US men, however those that do travel are the most likely to travel for over six months
  • In China, more women than men have made a solo trip abroad over 10 times


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