RICHMOND, VA, DECEMBER 11, 2018 — Despite much buzz around the solo travel trend, 30.4 percent of Americans say they have never traveled alone. And those who have are more than five times as likely to travel domestically than internationally, according to a new survey* conducted by Allianz Global Assistance. More than a quarter (27.5 percent) of Americans have traveled alone for business domestically and 21 percent for leisure, while only 3.2 percent have solo traveled internationally for business and 4.8 percent for leisure.
Women are ten percent less likely to travel alone than men, with 35.2 percent noting they have never traveled alone, compared to 25.2 percent of men. Gender also appears to impact solo travelers’ perception of safety, with 76.6 percent of men saying they have never felt unsafe while traveling alone, while 60.3 percent of women say the same.
Almost 40 percent of women (38.9 percent) have been catcalled while traveling alone, compared to 11.6 percent of men. However, solo male travelers seem more susceptible to theft, with almost ten percent (9.7 percent) reporting having been mugged or pickpocketed (versus 6.1 percent of women). More than a quarter of Americans (25.6 percent) say they have been overcharged or ripped off while traveling alone.
The security and safety of accommodations is top-of-mind for all solo travelers, with 26.6 percent of Americans listing it as the factor they are most concerned about when traveling alone. The remaining factors of concern vary significantly between male and female respondents. The next most pressing concerns for male travelers include: violence/terrorism (17.8 percent), a natural disaster (17.8 percent), being out after dark (14.8 percent), riding public transportation (10 percent), security/safety of drivers (6.9 percent) and visiting a restaurant/bar (also 6.9 percent). Being out after dark is the second most concern for women (26.3 percent), followed by violence/terrorism (15.7 percent), natural disaster (9.6 percent percent) riding public transportation (9.4 percent), security/safety of drivers (7.8 percent) and visiting a restaurant/bar (3.7 percent).
Nearly sixty percent (59.9 percent) of women avoid walking at night to keep themselves safe while traveling alone, while 47 percent inform others of their location. Avoiding conversations with strangers (32.8 percent), dressing in a way that won’t draw attention (30 percent), moderating alcohol consumption (27 percent) and steering clear of busy tourist areas (14 percent) are other methods used for safety, while the survey found that 18.9 percent of women use none of these.
Over a third (34.1 percent) of male solo travelers don’t use any of these tactics, while 34.9 percent avoid walking at night, 22 percent inform others of their location, 16.9 percent dress in a way that won’t draw attention, 16.7 percent avoid talking to strangers, 16.1 percent moderate alcohol consumption and 8.4 percent avoid busy tourist areas.
In addition to these tactics, Allianz Global Assistance suggests following these safety tips when traveling alone:
- Save your emergency contact in your phone under “ICE” (In Case of Emergency).
- List your emergency contact or next of kin on all travel documents.
- Keep your passport in your hotel safe, and leave copies of it with a friend or family member at home.
- Bring the following to store in your hotel safe:
- If possible, arrive at your destination while it is still daylight and pre-plan your ground transportation to your accommodations.
- Bring band aids, antibiotic ointments, antidiarrheal and analgesic medications with you
- Keep your belongings close to you at all times. If using a purse, make sure that the strap is worn across your body, so it can’t be grabbed off your shoulder.
Many Americans also research safety advisories before traveling alone; as many as 34.8 percent say they do so regularly while 29.3 percent do sometimes. Women are more likely to do so (40.6 percent) than men (28.7 percent).
Check out a video highlighting the findings and recommended safety measures for solo travelers.
“Solo travel represents a significant part of the tourism industry, with nearly 70 percent of Americans having traveled alone, for business or leisure,” said Dan Durazo, director of marketing & communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We always recommend that travelers remain alert and aware, and this is especially important for those on their own. Having the right insurance policy, with a 24-hour assistance and protection hotline, can provide peace of mind. The right policy may also help protect travelers in case of violence, terrorism or natural disaster, all concerns for the solo traveler.”
|What factor are you most concerned about when traveling alone?|
|Security/safety of my accommodations||25.7%||27.4%|
|Security/safety of my drivers||6.9%||7.8%|
|Riding public transportation||10%||9.4%|
|Visiting a restaurant/bar||6.9%||3.7%|
|Being out after dark||14.8%||26.3%|
|Which of the following methods have you used to keep yourself safe while traveling alone?|
|Avoid walking at night||34.9%||59.9%|
|Moderate alcohol consumption||16.1%||27%|
|Inform others of your location||22%||47%|
|Dress in a way that won’t draw attention||16.9%||30%|
|Avoid speaking to strangers||16.7%||32.8%|
|Avoid busy tourist destinations/areas||8.4%||14%|
|None of the above||34.1%||18.9%|
|Have you ever been catcalled when traveling alone?|
|Have you ever been mugged or pickpocketed while traveling alone in a foreign country?|
Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com.
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*Methodology: The 2018 10-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from 10/19/18 – 10/20/18, receiving 1,501 responses. The methodology is explained here and a snapshot of survey findings are listed below:
1. Have you ever traveled alone?
2. Have you ever felt unsafe while traveling alone?
3. What factor are you most concerned about when traveling alone?
4. Which of the following methods have you used to keep yourself safe while traveling alone? Check all that apply.
5. Do you feel safer traveling alone in domestic or international destinations?
6. Would you feel safer traveling alone if you had a travel insurance policy in case of an injury or emergency?
7. Do you research travel advisories, warnings and alerts before going on a trip?
8. Have you ever been catcalled when traveling alone?
9.. Have you ever been mugged or pickpocketed while traveling alone in a foreign country?
10. Have you ever been overcharged or ripped off (taxi driver, shopping, etc.) while traveling alone?
Allianz Global Assistance USA>
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. Allianz Global Assistance USA serves more than 35 million customers and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, race registration protection, event ticket protection and unique assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
**Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A‐" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101‐C series or 101‐P series, each rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., depending on state of residence. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, a brand of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Noninsurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.