BY Lindsay Rogers @LNDSRGRS

Thinking a taking a solo trip this year? You’re not alone. My interview in @InsideHook reveals the many benefits of solo travel and why this trend has rapidly gained such popularity. #solotravel #interview #solotrip #rejuvination #mentalhealth

Linday writes, “At the onset of 2022, I correctly predicted that, coming off of a year where destination-style family reunions were all the rage (following two years spent inside with SOs and children), solo travel was gearing up to have a moment. Now, according to a report from Travel Weekly, “bookings for individual travel for 2023 have exceeded expectations.”

In fact, experiential group travel company EF Go Ahead Tours has reportedly seen a 200% increase in solo traveler bookings since the start of the year when compared with the same time period last year, and Intrepid Travel has seen 9,000 more solo travelers booked globally this year than last. Notably, the bulk of the travelers seeking solo trips are women.

It’s not difficult to see the appeal. Group trip planning is a little like having to wrangle a handful of co-eds to work on a powerpoint presentation in college — except that the co-eds are either your family or friends, they have anywhere from zero to four of the same days free for the entire year, and they’re not being graded so they don’t give a fuck. Even traveling as a couple or with one other companion typically involves some degree of finagling and exponentially more planning.

But beyond the lack of hurdles and the cost effectiveness (or, alternatively, the need to adhere to someone else’s budget) associated with traveling solo, there’s also the mental benefits to consider. In 2018, before the pandemic ignited the desire to travel in many, Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology & health at MBS Manchester University, told Vice that — in addition to making people “more resilient” and “raising self-confidence” — solo travel “gives you time to reflect on your life and where you want to go in the future.”

“Solo traveling builds a resistance: it gives you perspective on your current life, where you may want to go, and makes you think more than you normally would, because it gives you that space to do it,” he added.

Of course, while the idea of taking a trip sans your significant other may feel counterintuitive, it’s worth noting that experts believe it can actually be good for your relationship. “The discussion is how much time together, versus how much time apart,” bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter says. “We are accustomed to vacations being taken together as a couple, quality time. Now we are discovering that, in order to reconnect with ourselves and have much more that we can give to our partner, many individuals within a couple are choosing to do a solo trip.”

So, all of that said, if you’re craving a getaway, consider making it a solo one. If the numbers are to be believed, you’ll be far from the only one, and you’ll almost definitely be better for it.