Solo traveller standing on mountain

This Experience originally appeared in WHO 100 Best Travel. Purchase your own copy here!

Let’s face it ... we’re busier than ever, so it’s never been a better time to pack your bags and head off on a holiday, right? Whether it’s an adventure-packed getaway, or a ‘flop-and-drop’ mini break, the chance to get away from it all soothes the soul and revitalises the mind. And it seems going it alone is now one of the biggest travel trends.

The 2018 Pinterest Travel Trend Report, which gives an insight into what people are searching for in relation to travel, shows a staggering 593 per cent increase in interest in solo adventures, while Intrepid Travel reports a 30 per cent increase in readers’ engagement with its solo travel content in the past two years. Tess Willcox, CEO of World Resorts of Distinction, which has the Insta-worthy Soneva properties among its portfolio, told WHO she has seen a definite spike in the number of solo travellers in the past 12 to 18 months.

Solo traveller standing in city

“We’ve seen resorts really upping the ante when it comes to ensuring they provide services to attract all kinds of guests, including solo travellers. Some examples include all-inclusive rates, around-the-clock reception and concierge services, guided tours of local towns and natural attractions, and dedicated ‘experience coordinators,’ ” says Willcox. “Whatever your jam, there’s likely to be a resort or travel company catering specifically to it, which is exciting for solo travellers. When you go somewhere on your own, you’re open to all kinds of encounters, conversations and opportunities,” adds Sofie Templeton, whose Soul & Surf retreats cater for solo travellers. “There’s this liberating feeling when you’re by yourself that everything can be done on your time – you call the shots, and you create your own story. Travelling alone helps you to grow as an individual, by putting yourself out there, thinking more for yourself, and it can completely shift your perspective on life. There’s this magical feeling too, that literally anything could happen!”

Mum-cations are also on the rise, with an increasing number of mothers taking a night or two out from the daily grind and heading off on child-free adventures with their girlfriends – or solo – to recharge. And apparently these kid-free trips are just what the doctor ordered. Psychology professor Dr Nava Silton told Fox5NY that taking a break from the rigours of family life and practising some self-love is imperative for women’s health. “Motherhood can be very stressful.”

Two women on mountain

Dr Silton said “I think it’s really important for mothers to be rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s very important for kids to see that balance that ideally needs to be achieved in a family situation.”

Queensland mum Elysia Van Vliet, couldn’t agree more. The mother of Willow, 8, and Laila, 6, said she and her group of girlfriends leave the kids with their husbands and take off to the Byron Bay hinterland for three days each year to rest, eat, drink and rejuvenate.

“It’s so good for the soul,” she told WHO. “There’s always a lot of laughs, a lot of talking, and we sit down to a nice dinner each night and get to finish our conversation and our meal uninterrupted!

What’s not to love about that?”

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