Solo travel continues to dominate the travel industry, empowering individuals to embark on personal journeys of self-discovery and exploration. While it has been perceived as a predominantly female pursuit, the world of Solo Male Travel is continuing to develop. This is a growing travel niche that has the problem of being poorly defined. In this blog post, I answer some of the main questions I get asked about the fascinating world of men traveling alone, dispelling myths and shedding light on the experiences and motivations behind our solo adventures. Let’s explore the world of solo male travel together!
1. Do men go on solo trips?
Have no doubt, no matter what you hear, men do indeed embark on solo trips. According to a survey conducted by Booking.com in 2021, around 30% of people were planning solo travel in the coming year. A survey by Statista regarding solo travel intentions in the United States established that 22% of men were planning a solo trip in the coming year (2021/2) while 20% of women were making such plans. It is reasonable to claim that solo travel is not exclusive to women but is also being embraced by men seeking independent exploration.
2. Is it odd for men to travel solo?
No, it is not odd for men to travel solo. Solo travel transcends gender boundaries, and it is perfectly acceptable for both men and women to step out of their comfort zones and embark on transformative journeys. In fact, solo male travel is gradually becoming more socially accepted and celebrated, as social norms come to recognise the value of personal growth and self-discovery that can be achieved through independent exploration.
3. Is it normal for a husband to travel alone?
This question gets asked a lot. And here I should say ‘husband’ stands in for male partners of all kinds, married or not, in all kinds of consenting relationships! Yes, it is normal for husbands to travel alone. Many married guys opt for solo travel as a means to rejuvenate, pursue personal interests, or simply enjoy some time for themselves. One message I really want to get across is that solo travel can enhance personal well-being (and contribute to stronger relationships) by providing individuals with the time and opportunity to recharge and reflect.
4. What kind of travel do men do solo?
Men engage in a wide range of solo travel experiences. From adventurous expeditions, such as hiking, camping, or road tripping, to cultural exploration, city hopping, and immersive experiences in nature, the choices are diverse. Some men also opt for thematic solo trips like culinary tours, photography expeditions, or wellness retreats. There has been a growth in organised group activities for solo travellers, which gives men the chance to see a diverse pre-planned itinerary to fit in with work or other commitments. The options are endless, tailored to individual interests and passions.
5. What age are men who travel alone?
Solo male travelers span various age groups. The desire to travel alone can come at any stage of life and may answer different questions or needs. I know that in my twenties and thirties, I wanted to see as much of the world as possible; I had a hunger to visit a long list of desirable locations. For some older men, solo travel is about enrichment rather than a list of must-sees. In this case, solo travel is a way to discover personal growth goals and new experiences. Of course, neither the desire to see the world, nor the desire for growth are necessarily limited to one age group. Some of us just want to go travel at any age!
6. What is the best age to travel alone?
This might seem like a similar question to #5, but the answer is a little different. Certainly, solo travel is not bound by age, but it is framed by personal circumstances, desire to travel, and a readiness for independent exploration. Whatever age you are, the right time for solo male travel is when you feel prepared and excited to let go and embark on your adventure.
7. Why is so much online content about solo female travel and not about solo male travel?
It can seem that a lot of online content about solo travel is focused on solo female travel. It is, and rightly so: countless excellent female content creators have explored and opened up a world of travel content specific to the needs of solo female travellers. I love to read this content, much of which is helpful to solo travellers of any gender.
It’s my view that the niche of “solo male travel” has been slower to develop and I’ve written about it in the article: the problem with solo male travel. Plus, I think there ARE specific issues that solo male travellers need to be aware about. While I’m talking about previous articles, I’ve highlighted 10 crucial tips that I think solo male travellers could use. I hope you find those useful. In summary, I think there’s a rich seam of information about solo male travel that it’s important to draw out.
To be clear, solo female travel has received due attention because of the unique safety considerations and societal factors that women face while travelling alone. And those factors take on cultural variations when visiting particular parts of the world. At the same time, the visibility of solo male travellers and our experiences has increased, with many men sharing experiences and tips through blogs and social media. Clearly there is room for both as well as the experiences of others, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.
8. Does solo male travel tell us something about sexuality?
No, solo male travel does not necessarily indicate anything about one’s sexuality. The choice to travel alone is rooted in personal preferences, interests, and desire for self-exploration, rather than being indicative of one’s sexual orientation. Solo travel is a journey of self-discovery, independence, and personal growth, which individuals of all sexual orientations can (and should) embrace.
9. How many men travel alone?
It’s challenging to determine an exact number or percentage of men who travel alone, particularly as solo trips might be unannounced hiking adventures, may be city breaks taken after business travel or be part solo/part group. However, most travel studies and surveys suggest Solo Male Travel is increasing. This highlights the significant and growing presence of men in the solo travel community.
10. Is it awkward to travel alone?
Travelling on your own can feel intimidating initially, but it isn’t (or doesn’t need to be) awkward. In reality, solo travel can be an incredibly liberating and rewarding experience. It offers the freedom to set your own pace, make spontaneous decisions, and immerse yourself in your destination without having to make compromises. I would go further: I believe that solo travel encourages self-confidence, independence, and the chance to meet new people and forge meaningful connections.
11. Is travelling alone a great idea?
For sure! Travelling alone can be a great idea for both men and women. It provides an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. Why not embrace new cultures, and learn about the world and yourself. It enables self-reflection, personal growth, and the chance to create lasting memories. Solo travel creates a space in which you can fully immerse yourself in the experience. More, it opens a door to enhanced confidence, resilience and sense of spontaneity.
12. What type of person travels alone?
I don’t think we can pin solo travel to one ‘type’ of person. Solo travellers come from diverse backgrounds and possess a range of personalities. People who embark on solo adventures may be introverted or extroverted, young or older, professionals or students. However, there are some shared characteristics. A common thread among solo travellers is the desire for self-discovery, independence, and the pursuit of unique experiences, without feeling constrained by waiting for a friend or loved one to ‘permit’ the travel.
13. What is the pleasure of solo travel?
The pleasure of solo travel lies in the freedom it offers. Solo travellers have the autonomy to create their itineraries, explore destinations at their own pace, and indulge in activities that align with their interests. It can encourage self-reflection, boost confidence, and allow for a deeper connection with the surroundings. That is, of course, if that’s what you desire! It’s also fine to travel mindlessly if that’s what you need at that moment. However, there’s a rich seam of possibilities that sit at your fingertips as a solo traveller: a sense of empowerment as you work through travel challenges, are entirely the decision-maker and step into the unknown.
14. What are the best countries for solo male travellers?
The best country for solo male travellers might depend on your goals. However, several places stand out as welcoming, setting the ground for good experiences and independent exploration. Countries like Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Thailand, Iceland and Japan offer safety, stunning landscapes and vibrant city culture that set you up for successful solo travel. In my view, these countries have (mostly) a well-developed infrastructure, friendly people, and a range of activities suitable for solo travel.
15. What should I do on a solo trip?
Have no doubt: the possibilities for you as a solo male traveller are limited only by imagination (and, sadly, budget!). Work with your interests to find activities that will suit you on your solo trip. Why not consider hiking in a stunning national park, visiting historical landmarks, delving into regional cuisine, joining a group tour or workshop, or immersing yourself in the local art scene. The options are plentiful. I come back to this idea: you can organise your own itinerary to be weighted towards your own interests, or use a group tour that welcomes solo travellers to provide that itinerary for you. The key is to embrace a blend of things you know you will love and new experiences. Stepping out of your comfort zone is one way to make the most of your solo experiences.
16. What’s it like to visit Europe as a solo male traveller?
Europe is a fantastic continent to explore as a solo male traveler. With such a rich history, diverse cultures, and efficient transportation networks, it offers endless opportunities for exploration. Europe can cater to a wide range of interests, from hill-climbing in the North of Italy, to city breaks in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. There is so much variation (and so much good food to try!). A successful solo European trip starts with embracing local cultures, seeing iconic landmarks, trying the food (and wines), and giving yourself the space to meet other travellers along the way.
Solo Male Travel is a growing segment of travel that caters for guys wanting a fun trip, personal growth or independent experience. The segment reaches from adventurous trips and cultural exploration, across budgets from luxury to budget, ages from young to older as well as into specialised areas of interest that serve our individual interests and passions.
The growth of Solo Male Travel content like this article can, I hope, enrich writing in the Solo Travel community, already well-served by so many super female writers. Sharing our stories and experiences enriches each other and opens new ways to think about exploration. There is a freedom in travelling alone as a man, a sense of crafting our own experiences, indulging in passions that resonate with us and contributing to the cultures we encounter. It’s clear this exciting and transformative travel trend is here to stay. Why not pack your bags, embark on your solo journey, and open yourself up to the wonders that await!
If you have additional questions, or want to share your views, please add a comment to this post.
2 thoughts on “16 Top Questions about Solo Male Travel”
Excellent post! I’ve travelled solo for the past twenty years and for different reasons. Some of these were trips whilst I was a postgraduate student, conducting summer research for my MA or PhD or to attend conferences. In other cases, trips were strictly for leisure. Solo trips for me might be a week discovering Rome in the off-season, an extended long-weekend in New Orleans, New York, Toronto, London or a road trip in Ohio. I’ve also gone off the beaten path, so the speak — travelling solo to Chernobyl and Kyiv, Chisinau and the unrecognized breakaway republic of Transnistria, or to Sarajevo, in Bosnia. In other cases, I found adult-only resorts to enjoy a quiet, comfortable all-inclusive stay in Cuba, Tunisia or Turkey. Sometimes my reason to travel solo is simply the freedom to discover new places at my own pace or to spend time reading and reflecting. I don’t shy away from connecting with people — locals or fellow travellers — on my trips. But I’m also not afraid to spend a few days or a week mostly alone. Being an introvert probably helps. And certainly, I’ve never felt self-conscious or awkward about travelling alone. In fact, it doesn’t really cross my mind at all.
That’s very insightful. Plus there are a few locations that you’ve been to, that I hadn’t considered doing as a solo traveller (particularly Chernobyl and Transnistria). Being solo does open up the chance to take things at your own pace or connect with others, depending on your mood. Glad to hear you’ve not felt awkward in the least – it’s something that does seem to arise before the first trip or two that someone takes – a certain nervousness, but that wears away pretty quickly. Thanks for your thoughts, Patrick