Gone are the days when you could pigeonhole solo travelers simply as student backpackers going it alone to see what they could of the world.

Enter the growing number of Americans ages 45 and older who say they want a solo vacation without any distractions. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found 81% of travelers ages 45 and older plan who took a solo trip this year plan on traveling alone again in 2015, based on research released this month that was conducted in July.

“According to our report, 57% of people decide to travel solo because they couldn’t find someone available to travel on a trip they wanted to take,” said Stephanie Miles, a spokesperson for AARP.

“Solo travel has always been a part of the travel landscape, but the popularity, safety and appeal may not have been where it is today. In addition to feeding a culture of empowerment, solo travel has been advanced by technology, which has given travelers the tools to stay virtually connected, preview a destination with ease and enhance their safety.”

About 37% of these solo travelers said they’d traveled alone in the past, taking an average of four solo trips. Solo travelers wearing wedding bands outnumber those who don’t, 53% compared to 39% who are single or divorced.

They’re also staying domestic (68%) and flocking to iconic destinations for solo travelers: California, Florida, Las Vegas, New York, and Texas.

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Tags: solo, tourism
Photo Credit: A traveler hiking in the Grand Canyon. Moyan Brenn / Flickr