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The Rise of Solo Travel


As Americans increasingly prioritize quality of life at every stage, travel trends reveal a profound shift towards self-care and personal fulfillment. The latest survey results highlight the growing popularity of solo travel, particularly among older and middle-aged travelers, as well as the enduring appeal of bringing pets along for the adventure. This is an interesting trend which I love!

Solo travel is rapidly emerging as a favored way for Americans to invest in themselves. This year’s survey shows a significant increase in solo trips among those aged 55 and older, rising six points to 23%. This age group is breaking free from traditional travel expectations and embracing the freedom and self-discovery that come with traveling alone.

For those aged 35-54, who often juggle family responsibilities, there is a noticeable four-point increase to 35% in solo travel plans. This demographic is seeking more personal time, stepping away from family duties to recharge and explore on their terms. Meanwhile, younger travelers, those aged 18-34, remain steadfast in their commitment to solo adventures, with 42% continuing to prefer traveling alone.

For travelers who prefer not to go solo, pets are increasingly becoming the companions of choice. The survey highlights a significant uptick in pet travel, with a quarter (24%) of senior travelers now bringing their four-legged friends along, marking a four-point increase from last year. Among 34- to 54-year-olds, 41% now travel with pets, up five points, while 40% of 18- to 34-year-olds continue to prioritize their pets on trips, down just one point from 2023.

Americans are continuing to travel as a commitment to wellness and self-care. Young travelers are particularly dedicated to this trend, with more than half (54%) emphasizing wellness in their travels. The 35-54 age group also shows a slight increase to 42%, while those aged 55 and older experienced a minor decrease to 24%.

Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at Allianz Partners USA, notes, “Trends first identified in last year’s Vacation Confidence Index—from traveling alone or with a pet to a focus on self-care—are validated in this year’s findings. Wellness has emerged as a vital part of our everyday health and happiness, often incorporated in our travels, and Americans are finding value in social media through inspirational travel experiences.”

The “pay-cation,” a trend where travelers work from vacation destinations, continues to gain traction, particularly among those aged 35-54. This group saw a nine-point jump to 35% planning pay-cations this year. Flexible remote work policies developed during the pandemic have enabled this trend. Young travelers, aged 18-34, lead the way with 40% planning pay-cations, though this is down two points from last year. For the 55+ group, the trend is less popular, with a modest increase of two points to 14% in 2024.

New this year, the survey explored the influence of social media on travel plans. Young travelers significantly lead in this area, with nearly four in ten (39%) seeking inspiration through their social channels. Those aged 34-54 follow at 24%, while just 5% of travelers aged 55 and older use social media for travel inspiration.

The Vacation Confidence Index, conducted annually since 2009 by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Partners USA, underscores the evolving landscape of American travel. As individuals seek greater fulfillment and balance in their lives, solo travel and pet companionship have become prominent trends. Wellness and self-care remain at the forefront, while the flexibility of remote work continues to shape travel behaviors. Social media’s role in influencing travel decisions is particularly notable among younger generations, highlighting a digital shift in how we plan and experience our journeys. As these travel trends continue to evolve, they reflect a broader cultural shift towards valuing personal well-being, flexibility, and the joy of discovery, whether alone or with a beloved pet by one’s side.


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