Meet the woman who loves to travel solo, as quarter of UK adults want to take a trip alone

Christina Patel, pictured left, regularly enjoys solo travel. (Christina Patel/SWNS/Getty Images)
Christina Patel, pictured left, regularly enjoys solo travel. (Christina Patel/SWNS/Getty Images)

Forget holidaying with friends or your other half, a quarter of adults are keen to take a solo travel trip in the next three years.

Turns out many of us want to get away from their friends, family and colleagues by hopping on a plane on their lonesome.

Recent research, of 2,000 holidaymakers uncovering the UK's top travel trends, found those aged 18-24 are the most eager to explore the world alone, with 40% citing being keen.

Self-discovery is a big thing for 20% of those polled, while 42% want more independence, and 46% are looking for more flexibility.

The study, commissioned by Hilton is part of its global 2024 Trends Report, also found 16% have already experienced the joys of a solo trip.

One such intrepid adventurer is Christina Patel, 30, a recruiter from Ware, Hertfordshire who has already been on seven holidays without her partner this year.

While she does take trips with her other half, due to his teaching job, Patel also leaves her partner at home while she jets off around the world.

Read more: 'Workcation' allows woman a week's holiday in Spain without taking any annual leave (Yahoo Life UK, 5-min read)

Patel takes in the scenery on a solo trip to Indonesia. (Christina Patel/SWNS)
Christina Patel has been on seven holidays without her partner this year and says there are many benefits to solo travel. (Christina Patel/SWNS)

"I love the feeling of freedom and having different adventures everyday," she says of solo travelling. "I love meeting new people and trying new foods - it is a combination of those things.

"It is very different from being at home, waking up, going to work, then sleeping. I like the spontaneous lifestyle."

Many people have asked Patel if she feels guilty about travelling alone, but she says the arrangement works for them.

"I am very lucky," she says of her partner. "When I tell him I am going away he is like 'ok fair enough' he will come back from work and I will tell him how I will be going away next week.

"He is used to it," she adds.

Watch: Woman plans overseas daytrip for best friend's birthday - for less than a train ticket to London

Health benefits of solo travel

While many may assume wanting to travel on your own is selfish, according to Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist and coach at taking a solo trip has many benefits for your health and your relationship.

"Solo travel can be a huge confidence booster and can help with resilience," she explains. "Being away in a new environment means we have to solve problems and make plans on our own, which can remind us of what we're capable of and even push us out of our comfort zones."

Being out of your comfort zone and seeing yourself survive and even thrive is also what builds confidence.

"We can learn to make decisions ourselves, which is particularly important if we struggle with this and often revert to our partner to make decisions," Brotheridge continues.

"We also have the space to be a bit selfish and put ourselves and our wants first which is vital particularly as women who are often people pleasers and find it hard to do things just for us."

Read more: 'We flew to Milan for an 18-hour spa trip for just £102 — We were home in time for the school run' (Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read)

There are many benefits to solo travel. (Getty Images)
There are many benefits to solo travel. (Getty Images)

And taking time on your own can have some plus points for the relationship too.

"When partners have time and space for themselves and for the things they love, they can return to the relationship feeling as though they have filled their own cup and therefore have more to give," Brotheridge adds.

Ditto having some time out from parenthood.

"The monotony of the daily grind as a parent can be very stressful," Brotheridge continues. "Solo travel could be the perfect way to recharge batteries so that parents have more love and energy to give their children.

"We can lose our identity as parents and having new experiences and stories to share from our travels, as well as a renewed confidence, could be a big boost to a relationship."

Read more: I bagged a brilliant European city break for less than £250 (The Telegraph, 5-min read)

Solo travel is a growing trend. (Getty Images)
Solo travel is a growing trend. (Getty Images)

For those worrying they might feel lonely while travelling alone, life coach Roberta Mussato, author of Universe I Trust You: A Month in Sri Lanka says that is a common misconception.

"When you are on your own it is so much easier to meet other people," she explains. "From sharing taxi rides, to striking up a conversation while eating alone, these are all things that might not happen if you were travelling with a partner."

Mussato says it is these experiences that can make the trip more adventurous, which can lead to you learning a lot about yourself.

"It’s a constant discovery because you’re meeting people with a completely different culture, and end up in situations that are so different from your every day reality," she explains.

More selfishly, it means you can do exactly what you want, when you want and don't have to compromise.

"Your experience is not going to be tamed by other people’s moods or tastes or preferences. There’s just you. It’s total freedom," she adds.

Additional reporting SWNS.