The Growing Trend of Solo Travel [2023 Study]

solo travel: new study

The idea of solo travel is catching on.

Exploding Topics data shows the number of global searches for this term is up +111% over the last two years.


At ePassportPhoto, we've decided to poll 850+ Americans who’ve traveled alone and get their take on the matter.

Keep scrolling to see our findings.

Key Takeaways

  • Most people first travel alone between the ages of 22 and 30.
  • Solo travelers usually spend $1,000–2,000 per trip. Most of their budget goes to food (20%), transportation (19%), and lodging (17%).
  • Safety (19%) is Americans’ most important consideration when choosing accommodation for a solo trip.
  • Mountains are the favored option (18%) for solo adventurers.
  • Trip planning (15.47%), higher expenses (13.95%), and having to stay extra cautious (13.49%) are solo travelers’ top concerns.
  • About 91% of Americans who’ve gone solo in the past intend to venture out on their own again in the next 12 months.

Insights into the Age, Destination, and Duration of First Solo Trips

We crave independence.

A chance to explore the world on our terms from the moment we take our first steps.


When do we actually take the leap and engage in solo travel?

Let's have a look at the data:

most people first travel alone between the ages of 22 and 30

It turns out most people (61%) first travel alone between the ages of 22 and 30. A few brave souls start earlier, while others take longer to gain the courage to venture out without friends or family.


As far as a destination is concerned, Americans usually stay domestic (41%) for their first solo trip. Yet, there's still substantial interest in international travel and a combination of the two.

Have a look:

What Was the Destination of Your First Solo Trip?Share

Moving on, we asked respondents how long they stayed at their destination.

The results are in:

7–10 days is the most popular length for a first solo trip

As you can see, 7–10 days is the most popular length for a first solo trip, with 35% of pollees selecting this option.

That should be enough time to take in the sights of one or two places and return with a few good stories.

Most Solo Travelers Spend $1,000–2,000 per Trip

Let's talk numbers:

Based on NerdWallet's Travel Price Index, the total expenses associated with traveling have increased by 9% in the last year.


It's not surprising that the majority of respondents in our study (48%) indicated they usually spend between $1,000 and $2,000 per solo trip:

How Much Money Do You Usually Spend on a Solo Trip?Share
More than $5,0004%

Here's where this money goes:

most people spend their travel budget on food (20%), transportation (19%), and accommodation (17%)

As you can see, most solo travelers spend their budget on food (20%), transportation (19%), and accommodation (17%).

So if you're frugal, try to find more affordable options in these categories.

Hotel Stays Reign Supreme for Solo Travelers

So far, so good.

We've learned that lodging is among solo travelers' biggest expenses. Now let's examine where they usually stay.

See the results below:

Which Lodging Options Do You Typically Choose When Going Solo?Share
Vacation rental11.16%
Mountain lodge10.58%
Guest house10.35%
My own (e.g., a tent)8.26%

The data shows that hotel stays are the top choice for most solo travelers (16.74%). Hostels and vacation rentals follow, with 11.28% and 11.16%, respectively.


Hotels offer an unmatched sense of security (and comfort), which is precisely what solo travelers need, according to our further findings.

Take a look:

most solo travelers (19%) consider safety the most important criterion when searching for accommodation

That wraps up this section.

Mountains Win Solo Adventurers’ Hearts

What would be your preferred destination if you were to travel independently?

A city break in Barcelona? A beach holiday in Bali? An adventure in the Amazon rainforest?

We gave this question to our respondents.

Let's find out what they said:

Which Destinations Do You Prefer for Solo Travel?Share
Iconic cities (e.g., Paris)14.19%
Wilderness areas (e.g., Denali National Park and Preserve)13.84%
Cultural/historical heritage areas (e.g., Acropolis of Athens)13.72%
Sites known for nightlife and entertainment13.26%
Places suitable for sports activities10.58%

The data reveals that mountains are the most popular destination (18.26%) among solo travelers.

That may be because they offer the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation.

Wouldn’t you agree?

The Dark Side of Solo Travel

Like anything else, solo travel has its highs and lows.

When it comes to the biggest challenges of this type of travel, survey respondents pointed to trip planning (15.47%), higher expenses (13.95%), and having to stay extra cautious (13.49%) as their top concerns.

Here's what they’re followed by:

finding suitable accommodation (13.37%), loneliness (12.09%), and repetitive social interactions (11.74%) are some of the challenges of solo travel


Don't forget about safety, which is solo travel's Achilles heel:

What’s Your Biggest Safety Concern When Traveling Solo?Share
Road accidents13.84%
Getting lost11.51%
Dangerous animals or insects10.47%


Regardless of the risks, solo travel gives the ultimate freedom to craft your itinerary, explore uncharted territories, and create unforgettable memories on your own terms.

So it's no wonder that when asked if they plan a solo trip in the next 12 months, 91% of respondents answered "Yes."

91% of Americans who’ve gone solo in the past intend to travel solo again in the next 12 months

That speaks volumes!


We conducted an online survey of 860 US respondents who’d traveled solo at least once via a bespoke online polling tool in March 2023.

The respondents were 77.4% male, 22.2% female, and 0.3% identified as other. 4.3% of respondents were 26 or younger, 64.2% were aged 27–35, 19.1% were 36–42, 11.4% were aged 43–58, and 1% were 59 or older.

This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 3%. Given the gender and age makeup of our sample size, the study’s findings are statistically significant for the population at large.

This study was created through multiple research steps, crowdsourcing, and surveying. Data scientists reviewed all survey participants' responses for quality control. The survey also had an attention-check question.

Fair Use Statement

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