The Up And Coming Destinations Inspiring The Next Generation of Solo Female Travelers
The next generation of global travelers, Generation Z (those aged 16-24), are on their way to exploring every corner of the globe. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we recently delved into Gen Z’s travel plans and uncovered that over one in three (36%) female Gen Z travelers plan to travel solo at least once within the next decade*.
Solo travel gives everyone the chance to see what they want, when they want, without compromise - as well as provides a unique opportunity to be taken outside of their comfort zone. So to inspire the next generation of solo female adventurers, Booking.com has tapped into data across its 155,000 destinations in 227 countries and territories across the globe to uncover some of the top emerging destinations for solo female travelers to explore in 2020**.
Aside from being the capital of Western Australia, Perth is best known for its beautiful weather, sandy beaches and wine valleys. It is a place where nature and urban life exist in harmony. It also recently served as host city to four matches of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. With so much to offer it is no wonder that it is fast becoming an emerging destination for female solo travelers. Travelers visiting Perth will also be pleased to know that the city basks in more sunlight hours than any other major Australian city, meaning more sight-seeing or sunbathing on the beaches can be squeezed in every day. 2020 is set to be the year to travel to Perth as more and more restaurants and attractions are opening to the public, such as the new Western Australian Museum which is poised to open later this year.
Where to stay: Away from the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan city is Fremantle, Perth’s character-rich port town, which attracts travelers from around the globe due to its serpentining streets, historic buildings and artsy vibe. A stay at Freemantle Prison YHA is a great spot for female travelers. Situated in the women's division of the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison, this unique hostel offers a mix of private and shared rooms where guests can also choose to sleep in former prison cells.
Miami, Florida, USA
This famous beachside city has something on offer for all kinds of solo female travelers, from soaking up the rays on the beach, to exploring the natural beauty of nearby Everglades National Park or dancing the night away on South Beach. Some of the most popular trip types for global solo female travelers include city trips and beach trips***, making Miami the perfect destination. Those who enjoy retail therapy can splash the cash along hip Lincoln Road and those keen to take in the culture can visit Wynwood’s graffiti and street art. Public transport in Miami is easily navigated for solo travelers looking to get around, but make sure you have the exact change for buses!
Where to stay: Solo female travelers who enjoy the beach will love the location of the Miami Private Bed/Bath. Just a short stroll from the beach, this homestay is set in a mid-century building and offers private queen rooms with a shared living space for guests to enjoy. Travelers on a budget can make the most of the kitchen space available. Additionally, the property’s host is full of local knowledge to help solo travelers source the insider scoop on what’s hot in Miami!
Well-known for its wine offering, this bustling French city is emerging as a top destination for solo female travelers for more than just its grapes. Travelers can soak up traditional French architecture at the Place de la Bourse, stroll through the Jardin Public or splurge on what claims to be Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street, Rue Saint-Catherine. The nearby vineyards are of course also part of the city’s appeal, with tours easily organized for solo travelers keen to sample the wines within a group setting.
Where to stay: Nestled in the city center, this 18th-century property is home to La Maison Fernand guesthouse. Surrounded by Bordeaux’s charming narrow streets, squares and monuments like the big bell, La Maison Fernand is the perfect base for exploring the city. The accommodation is located in the lively Saint Paul neighborhood, ideal to go out and mingle with other wine-lovers.
Utrecht, the Netherlands
This charming Dutch city is proving popular with solo female travelers, with its easily explored compact center built around the iconic Dom Tower, the highest church tower in the Netherlands. The city’s waterways and canals are perfect to meander, lined with a plethora of cafes, shops and bars. For those keen to join a group tour, guides on the water offer canoe tours of the famous canals. Travelers can also visit the neo-gothic De Haar which is the biggest castle in the Netherlands. For science fans, the Sonnenborgh Observatory was founded in the late 19th century and allows visitors to explore the night’s sky with its high-powered telescopes.
Where to stay: Stayokay Utrecht Centrum is perfect for any of the nearly one in five (17%) female Gen Z travelers who want to experience a solo backpacking trip*. This sleek, modern hostel offers bunk beds in shared dormitories as well as private rooms. Ideal for solo travelers who are looking to meet other like-minded individuals, the hostel is located in the center of Utrecht, on the edge of the Neude, a famous square in the city surrounded by restaurants and bars where travelers can enjoy good food and drinks while meeting new people.
Myanmar’s largest city Yangon boasts a mix of British colonial architecture, modern high-rises and gilded Buddhist pagodas. Often considered the gateway of Myanmar, this city serves as an international hub for solo female travelers setting off to explore more of the country. This makes it the ideal spot to mingle with other travelers who are looking to book group trips through one of the many local agencies. While in the city, Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda is a must-visit, having become a symbol of this destination. For solo female travelers looking to explore, local taxis are relatively inexpensive, or many accommodations offer bicycles to rent. The city is home to countless Pagodas to explore, as well as the grandeur of Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the Yeshua Synagogue. For foodie travelers, this destination boasts many flavors to taste - from Mohinga, a rice noodle fish soup, to Laphat Thote, a tea leaf salad.
Where to stay: Ideal for fancier backpackers or “flashpackers”, the boutique hostel Bodhi Nava Boutique Hostel & Café is perfect for solo female travelers keen to backpack, but also not miss out on life’s luxuries. This chic and modern accommodation boasts rooms equipped with a desk, with even some featuring balconies. The boutique hostel is also a short walk from the Shwedagon Pagoda, so travelers will have plenty to see within the neighbourhood.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample size of 21,807 respondents aged 16 or over (25% of whom were aged 16-24) in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 600 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 and16 May 2019. The survey was carried out online. All research and recruitment, unless otherwise stated, was carried out by Vitreous World, with analysis by Ketchum Analytics.
**Trending solo destinations: destinations with the highest relative increase in bookings by solo female travelers between 2018 and 2019. Destinations had to have been booked a minimum of 500 times in 2019 to be included in the list.
***Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of around 2,000 respondents per market, across 12 markets. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have booked online travel at least once in the past 12 months and have an intent to book in the next 12 months. The survey was taken online and took place between September and October 2019.