Digital

What Social Media Means for Women Who Want to Travel the World Alone

@SamShankman

Apr 29, 2014 4:30 pm

Skift Take

Much has been written about the impact mobile devices and social media are having on the travel experience, but there are profound implications for female travelers, in particular, who can use the tools to feel safer when on the road alone.

— Samantha Shankman

Report: The Rise of the Silent Traveler

Alexandra Zakharova  / Flickr

A woman looks at her mobile phone as the sun sets behind her in Montenegro. Alexandra Zakharova / Flickr


Women are more interested in traveling alone today than in the past, according to a Booking.com study that found 54 percent of British female solo travelers are now more likely to vacation alone than they were five years ago.

And at least part of the reason could be due to the spread of social media and mobile devices, which gives these travelers the ability to contact friends and family, and access travel information from anywhere.

According to the study of 1,000 British travelers between 25 and 45 years old, 62 percent of women had used social media to keep in touch with home and 75 percent said social media helped them find the best places to eat or best activities to do.

Although the study was done as part of an ad campaign encouraging women to use Booking.com, it highlights a growing trend of independent female travel supported by social media.

Stacy Small, founder of Elite Travel International, says her travel agency books a lot of trips for solo females who are typically looking for relaxation or adventure.

“I have noticed an increasing number of female clients inquiring about ‘safe,’ but adventurous options and once booked, they will typically stay in touch with me and my team via twitter and Facebook and Instagram,” explains Small, who has also experienced the change sparked by social media.

“As a female who has traveled to many countries solo, I can attest to the fact that being able to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, hoteliers, and clients around the world via social media adds a comfort level that did not exist prior to the advent of Twitter and Facebook.”

The sentiment was echoed by travel startup founder Barbara Muckermann, who writes, “I definitely feel that technology has greatly helped women to have the confidence to travel alone because with technology, you never really are alone.”

Much has been written about the impact mobile devices and social media have had on the travel experience, but it’s interesting to see the wide implications for this specific demographic. Women now have access to constant information and communication while enjoying the freedom and relaxation that comes with exploring a culture alone.

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