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Tô Là is seen in Paris during her trip alone to Europe. Solo travelling is becoming increasingly popular among young Vietnamese. — Photo courtesy of Tô Là



A young woman from Hanoi, Tô Là, has shared her experiences of a solo visit to four European countries over three weeks on a big fanpage.

“For the first time I put aside the fear of loneliness. I decided to pack my suitcase for a three-week trip wandering around France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Vatican City,” she posted.

The post received thousands of likes and comments, most of them admiring and surprised.

Solo travelling is not rare in western countries, but in Asian countries including Vietnam it is somewhat of an oddity.

Là said that as an introvert she really wanted to travel alone but it was not an easy task.

“Waste of money and time is what people dub solo travelling,” she said.

Nevertheless, it has become increasingly popular among young Vietnamese in recent years.

Là says travelling alone helped her more confident and make friends from all over the world.

Travel booking online platform Agoda says it has seen more people travelling solo this year.

“Going on a solo trip is arguably one of the best gifts one can give oneself. Whether it is to explore new cultures, to make new friends, or to reconnect with those across the globe, going on a trip alone often requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone. But those who set out on an adventure of their own are usually rewarded with the creation of the most special memories,” Vũ Ngọc Lâm, country director, Vietnam, Agoda, says.

In Asia and the Pacific, the top three destinations for single travellers on Singles’ Day on 11 November were Tokyo, Bangkok and Seoul in that order.

For Vietnamese however the order was Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo, Agoda says.

It also reveals the list of foreign and domestic destinations Vietnamese solo travellers will visit between December 23 and 31 based on bookings they made.

They include Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, and Sydney.

The top five domestic destinations are HCM City, Hanoi, Danang, Dalat, and Phu Quoc Island.

Southeast Asian travel platform Traveloka also confirms a surge in search for single travellers.

“Solo travel encompasses a diverse group of individuals, spanning various age groups and genders. It is not limited to a specific demographics but rather attracts a broad spectrum of travellers seeking independent adventures," Caesar Indra, president of Traveloka, tells Việt Nam News about the trend.

“In the third quarter of 2023 we observed a remarkable surge in the search for flights for single people. This surge reflects a growing inclination among solo travellers to explore destinations independently, relying on single-flight bookings to tailor their journeys to personal preferences.”

"On the Traveloka platform, there is a notable interest in solo travel experiences," he says.

"The top tours for which customers buy only one ticket per transaction, mostly outbound, include snorkelling and fishing in the south of Phú Quốc, SUP rowing during sunrise in Nha Trang, Komodo tour packages, Phú Quốc island camping, Hanoi Old Quarter cyclo tours.

“Recognising the significance of this trend, the tourism industry must prioritise specialised and personalised services tailored to the preferences of solo travellers.

“Catering to the needs of solo travellers, who typically value flexibility, entails providing services that align with their distinct preferences. Personalised services can include tailored itineraries, solo-friendly accommodations, and activities that promote a sense of independence.”

In its seven predictions for travel in 2024, said recently: “When things are falling apart back home amid global instability and an ever-hectic world, dishevelled travellers are booking one-track trips that are focused on self-improvement to bring themselves back to the life they truly want again.”

For those who are used to sleeping solo, 62 per cent of Vietnamese travellers said they would be willing to make time for a matchmaking holiday.

On the flip side, frazzled parents are surprisingly seeking solace through completely solo holidays, with the majority of APAC parents (66 per cent ) planning to travel alone without spouses or kids in 2024, said.

The study sought to explore how travel will transport people out of autopilot and into unleashing their best life. polled more than 27,000 travellers in 33 countries and territories, and combined it with its insights as a digital travel platform.

For safe solo travel

One reason preventing people, especially women, from travelling alone, is apprehension about safety.

Seeking advice from people who have travelled solo is also recommended and travel insurance is imperative.

Là suggests looking up and reading various reviews about the destinations you want to visit, not only in Vietnamese but also in English where possible.

“Professional western travellers are more knowledgeable about independent travel than many of us Vietnamese,” Là remarks.

She suggests making detailed and meticulous plans and itineraries, and booking accommodation and transportation to feel confident and at ease.

"Solo travellers must choose hotels with good reviews about location, service and safety and always research and steer clear of areas considered unsafe in cities," she says.

At a time when information is available everywhere, solo travelling is no longer all that difficult.

Many companies offer products designed specifically for solo travellers.

Traveloka says it collaborates closely with local partners to promote destinations for lone travellers, and these have proven effective in driving solo travel interest.

"Travelling teaches you wisdom,” Là says.

By stepping out and experiencing the world, you will gain wisdom, courage and maturity.

Source: VNS