It will come as no surprise to grey nomads who are used to coming across female solo travellers in our caravan parks and camping grounds to learn that Australian women have been found to be among the most independent in the world.
The global Women’s Travel Survey commissioned by TripAdvisor revealed that a massive 81% of Aussie females were planning to travel solo this year. That number is almost 20% higher than women from the US.
The survey polled over 1,800 Australian women and found a 10% increase in those who planned to travel alone this year when compared to last. Some 47% of Australian women are planning two to four solo trips this year.
Although the survey went across all age groups, there is no doubt that solo grey nomads are well represented out on the road.
“Baby boomer women are an adventurous generation – and gender roles changed dramatically over their lifetime,” Professor Jo Lindsay, said the President of The Australian Sociological Association. “I find it quite inspiring that older women are taking these opportunities to travel and meet people.”
Women who may have been widowed or divorced are among those hitting the open road.
“What we find is that often people will pack up and leave after a tremendous upheaval in their life,” said university sociology lecturer, Dr Nick Osbaldiston. “It’s like a quest to find something else, to pursue a new challenge, and to follow that romantic dream.”
Jennie M is in her 70s but had no reservations setting off on the Big Lap alone, and says that if solos are friendly and outgoing, most travellers will respond in the same way.
“The only thing I miss is someone to share some of the journeys and sights with,” she said. “But they’d have to be in their own rig as I have no intention of sharing mine … I enjoy ‘me time’ too much to share!”
The TripAdvisor survey found that the main reason Australian women travelled alone was because it gave them the freedom of doing whatever they want, with 35% liking the independence and challenge of travelling on their own.
* Have you noticed more solo women on the road? Are you a solo woman traveller? Comment below.