Generation Z is known for embracing their independence and having a thirst for travel. StudentUniverse, a Flight Centre Travel Group company and the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace, investigated the thoughts and behaviors of women within this age group, specifically toward solo travel, as the number of females venturing on their own continues to rise.
A survey of Gen Z women found that more than half (58.3%) of respondents are interested in traveling abroad alone. Instilling a sense of empowerment, the appeal of booking a solo adventure is fueled by the experiences of globetrotting females, as an overwhelming majority (83%) stated they have been influenced by the travels of others, whether that be historical figures like Amelia Earhart or their favorite social media influencer. Furthermore, of those who have previously traveled alone, 48% said they would encourage females to plan an individual trip.
This generation of women tend to be more intune with mental health, which attributes to the fact that the top motivators for traveling solo are related to soul searching. A majority (69.7%) of respondents stated that their main reason for scheduling an individual trip is to get out of their comfort zone, while self discovery (62.3%), a sense of freedom (60.3%), self care (57.9%) and boosting their confidence (51.1%) closely follow. These motives attest to the reason that 69.2% of young women prefer solo vacations to be centered around relaxing by the beach or pool. Other top activities include sightseeing (59.4%) and wellness adventures (59%), while only 32.8% of travelers showed interest in nightlife experiences.
When considering the top travel styles and motivators, it is no surprise that Europe ranks as the number one destination of female Gen Z solo travelers. Boasting beautiful beaches, plenty of sightseeing opportunities and the rise in popularity on social media, 68% of respondents expressed interest in visiting the region. The South Pacific and East Asia also appeal to these travelers with 44.1% interested in visiting countries like Australia and New Zealand and 40.8% intrigued by China and Japan.
Despite the appetite and appeal to travel alone, for Gen Z women solo travel still poses concerns. When navigating a foreign country without a companion, the primary reservation, as stated by 71.3% of respondents, is the fear of getting lost or stranded, while general safety concerns and being scammed closely follow at 69.1% and 61.4%, respectively. These areas of concern influence their choice of accommodations as 52.6% of females prefer to stay in hotels as opposed to vacation rentals like Airbnb or hostels (23.2%) where they are more likely to have trusted staff at their disposal. Furthermore, these travelers are more inclined to book reservations at a hostel with a private room (18%) compared to a shared dorm at a hostel (3.4%). The key takeaway here is companies looking to target Gen Z female solo travelers should aim to offer amenities that make their guests feel safe and comfortable.
Launched in 2000, StudentUniverse is a Boston-based tech company that operates the world's largest student and youth travel marketplace. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers exclusive pricing and terms for its members. With operations in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and the Philippines, StudentUniverse empowers students and youth to travel more. Acquired in 2015, StudentUniverse is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world's largest travel companies. For more updates, follow our corporate blog and LinkedIn.