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Solo travelers 45+ are satisfied with their solo experience and eager to do it again

AARP research found that among those 45+ who travel for leisure on a routine basis, 37 percent have vacationed or explored solo travel with an average of four solo trips. An overwhelming 97 percent of solo travelers were satisfied with their solo experience, with 81 percent saying they plan on taking another solo trip in the next 12 months.

WASHINGTON – AARP Travel, a valuable resource for America’s 76 million baby boomers who spend over $120 billion annually in leisure travel, announced new research related to SOLO TRAVEL. Traveling solo has become a transformative way for people 45+ to get away and have the freedom to set their own schedules. Travel Channel host and AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown and AARP Travel offer some valuable tips and even some discounts on solo vacations at aarp.org/solotravel.

AARP research found that among those 45+ who travel for leisure on a routine basis, 37 percent have vacationed or explored solo travel with an average of four solo trips. An overwhelming 97 percent of solo travelers were satisfied with their solo experience, with 81 percent saying they plan on taking another solo trip in the next 12 months. And, solo travel isn’t just for singles. Research found even married travelers are enjoying solo vacations as a way to go somewhere they always wanted to go, to treat themselves, or to explore a hobby.

“Most solo travel takes place domestically and we found that it gives people 45+ the opportunity to get out of town and enjoy new experiences without the restrictions that come when traveling with others,” said Stephanie Miles, Vice President, Member Value, AARP. “Our research found that the vast majority of travelers were satisfied with their solo experience and plan on taking another solo trip in the next 12 months.”

AARP Travel has been leading the field of travel for people 50 or older and their families since 1958 and identifies emerging trends that influence how people 50+ dream, plan, book and enjoy vacations. The number one reason that people 45+ enjoy taking solo trips is to simply get out of town. AARP Research shows that 45+ solo travelers have found that their solo trips have allowed for them to treat themselves (62 percent), reach a personal goal (11 percent), or check a destination or activity off their travel bucket list (7 percent).

Key Benefits Americans 45+ Experience While Traveling Solo

  • There are a variety of reasons why people 45+ choose to travel solo including the following:
  • Just getting out of town (46 percent)
  • Seeing something new (31 percent)
  • The food (25 percent)
  • Meeting new people (22 percent)
  • Being somewhere new (22 percent)
  • Learning something new (20 percent)

AARP’s recent research also revealed some challenges while planning solo travel vacations, including sticking to a budget (12 percent), budgeting for the trip (8 percent), and coordinating ground transportation (7 percent). The AARP Travel website (http://travel.aarp.org) has booking tools and expert tips to make this planning process simpler. AARP Travel’s Trip Finder tool features exciting destinations around the world and ideas for itineraries and highlight some discounts.

AARP Travel’s range of travel tools and features include:

  • Trip Finder – a fun, smart and visual series of questions to deliver ideas and recommendations for destinations – including some unexpected ones;
  • Map Explorer – a detailed street-level interactive map that includes attractions, restaurants, hotels, local color and reviews for each destination;
  • My Trips – a personal page where users can save and organize trip ideas, itineraries and related articles in one place and add to or edit them over multiple visits;
  • Articles and Destinations — travel tips from AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown, articles specifically geared toward the 50+ traveler and information about hundreds of domestic and international locations; and
  • Book Trips – booking tools provided through AARP’s relationships with Expedia and Liberty Travel and directly to hotels, and rental cars

More AARP Travel Solo Travel Vacation Research Findings
The new AARP Travel research also indicates a vast majority of Solo Travel Vacations taken in the last two years were taken in the U.S. with the top destinations being:

Top Solo Travel Destinations for Americans 45+:

  • 68 percent of the respondents took Solo Travel vacations in the U.S. as opposed to international destinations. Over the last two years the top domestic destinations were:
    – California
    – Florida
    – Las Vegas
    – New York
    – Texas
  • 18 percent of respondents chose international destinations. Over the last two years the top international destinations were:
    – Caribbean
    – Puerto Rico
    – Mexico

While most solo travelers do not express having many issues planning their trip, some challenges such as budgeting top the list.

Top ten hardships in planning a solo trip include:

  • Sticking to budget (12 percent)
  • Budgeting for the trip (8 percent)
  • Coordinating ground transportation (7 percent)
  • Identifying activities at the destination (7 percent)
  • Dealing with solo fees (5 percent)
  • Booking airfare (5 percent)
  • Developing an itinerary (5 percent)
  • Sharing and capturing moments (5 percent)
  • Choosing the best time to travel (4 percent)
  • Nothing seems to be a hardship (56 percent)
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