How Solo Travel Enriches Your Soul And Saves Your Wallet?

When traveling solo, if you want a budget trip, it's very important to create a budget and stick to it. Also, you must have a contingency fund for unexpected expenses or emergencies.
Solo Travel Enriches Your Soul And Saves Your Wallet
Solo Travel Enriches Your Soul And Saves Your Wallet

In 2022, Meghna Basu, 37, an entrepreneur from Kolkata did a solo trip to Leh, Ladakh. Though she is married, her husband only sent her for the trip with a women-only small travel group based out of North Bengal, which she always wanted to do. And from the look of her photos on her social media feed, it was clear that she had the time of her life there. “It’s a very beautiful place. I can’t describe in words what an enriching experience it was exploring such heavenly mountains on my own. I could feel my spirit soaring. And it was a budget trip too which I planned,” says Basu.

Before the trip, Basu sat down with a notebook and chalked out a plan for all her expenses. The fact that the package offered to her from her travel group was already a budget one, largely helped her. For her more personal expenses, like her travel from Kolkata to Delhi, which she was doing on her own, and shopping, eating, etc., she jotted down a plan. She kept aside emergency funds for sudden expenses. Moreover, whenever she could she was planning to carry her food in a small tiffin box, to save costs from eating at restaurants or hotels on the way from one place to another. “I was very meticulous about my trip costs. This is my nature, and it makes me feel good. So, I not only did what I wanted to do on that trip, along with that, I could also save some money from my estimated costs, which I put in the piggy bank for my next trip,” adds Basu.

As the number of solo travellers continues to rise in India, it’s important to find out the factors behind it and what led to such cultural shifts. Also, such trips need to be cost-effective for many people to be interested in them. Says Rikant Pittie, co-founder, EaseMyTrip, an online travel platform: “Women are the primary drivers of this growth, who now comprise around 72 per cent of solo travellers in the country. Along with that, there are millennials and Gen Z, who are also major contributors, who planned 76 per cent of solo trips, in the year 2024 alone. Among the varied factors leading to this growth, there are travelers seeking self-discovery and personal growth. Flexibility is also on the agenda of many solo travelers. Moreover, there is also a trend of mindful travel stressing personal wellness and introspection, that is gaining traction. For solo adventurers, India’s diverse landscapes and rich culture make it an ideal destination. The more popular tourist places include places like Himachal Pradesh with its majestic mountains. Rajasthan with its grand palaces, Goa with its party-vibe and pristine beaches, Kerala with its lush greenery and appealing backwaters.”

According to experts, in recent years, solo travel has really picked up in Asia, owing to more exposure and globalization. Earlier in traditional societies like India, and the rest of Asia, travel or vacation has mostly been considered as a shared activity with family and friends, unlike Western individualistic cultures. “What we have seen is that there is a rise in travel agencies specializing in group tours catered more for solo travelers. This increase in demand, proven by a 20 per cent rise in inquiries from our partners specializing in such bookings, shows a shift towards solo traveling. Such curated group tours cater to diverse needs and interests. They offer offbeat destinations, adventurous trips, treks, and hikes, mostly designed for specific age groups. Interestingly, we have seen a rise in senior solo travellers too who aren’t just looking for complete solitude. They in fact value the company and shared experiences with fellow travelers, that group travel offers, while still enjoying the flexibility and freedom that comes with it. This trend reflects exciting opportunities for travel agencies catering to the niche market for solo traveling,” says Chirag Agrawal, co-founder, TravClan, a B2B travel platform.

Yes, we have observed a spike in the number of solo travelers. Factors such as a growing desire for personal exploration and self-discovery, coupled with the flexibility and freedom that solo travel offers, are driving this trend. Additionally, increased visibility on digital platforms and social media has made it easier for individuals to plan and execute solo trips with confidence.

Moreover, people are also willing to do more solo travels, as they are inspired by eye-catching and beautiful pictures of solo travelers on their social media feeds. “We have seen women more willing to do solo traveling. There is a significant increase in solo travel for women propelled by greater financial independence better employment opportunities, and a willingness to explore the unknown and have more unique and personal experiences, as compared to five years ago. Women travellers constitute around 30 per cent of our leisure customers, with solo travel demand increasing by 25-30 per cent since the pandemic,” says Rajeev Kale, president, and country head, holidays, MICE, visa- Thomas Cook India, an omnichannel travel company.

Things To Keep In Mind:

According to experts, while traveling solo, it’s most important to keep yourself safe and manage your finances strategically and smartly for a stress-free adventure. Among other considerations, you must be aware of the currency exchange bit for foreign travel. “For safety purposes, try to keep a money belt or hidden pockets for cash and important documents. Try to avoid wearing very expensive or flashy items. Keep track of your expenses all the time, and save receipts. Try to store digital copies of important documents securely online. Try to seek advice from local people for affordable places and negotiate wisely in markets. When you are financially savvy, you can enjoy solo travel without any unnecessary stress,” says Pittie.

To a lot of people, traveling solo can seem daunting. But with careful research, this could be an experience of a lifetime. “Hence, when you are traveling solo, do your homework well. Try out the local food trails to avail of the best deals. Mostly, plan for exclusive experiences that are also light on your pocket,” adds Daniel D’Souza, president & country head - holidays, SOTC Travel, a travel and tourism company.

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