Study Shows UK Solo Travellers Spent £11.6 billion on Holidays in 2023

Study Shows UK Solo Travellers Spent £11.6 billion on Holidays in 2023

According to a recent study, solo travellers spent an estimated £11.6 billion on holidays in 2023.¹ The travel trend saw a surge in spending of 80% from the previous year, leading to a financial boom for the travel and tourism industry. New research suggests this £5.1 billion increase can be attributed to solo breaks becoming more popular among travellers.

Solo travel is taking the UK by storm, as nearly two-thirds (63%) of Brits say they would consider jetting off alone.[3] In fact, 16% of travellers went on holiday alone in 2023 – a 5% rise from 2022.[2]

The study by Go.Compare looked at the growing popularity of solo travel and compared the results to UK travel spending in 2023 to uncover how much single jet-setters contribute to the industry.

Young adults are the most interested in solo travel, with 67% of Brits aged 18 to 24 keen to go it alone.[3] Despite this, solo travellers within this age group spent an estimated £811 million on solo travel in 2023 – just 7% of the total travel spend.[4]

Adults who spent the most on travel were aged between 34 and 44, making up 19% of the total yearly spend. Yet, only 16% of this age group claimed to be interested in solo travel, suggesting a lack of means or funds among those most drawn to lone adventures.[2]

According to the insurance comparison site, a third (32%) of travellers who typically fly on budget airlines for their holidays would consider a solo travel holiday, making this the most likely travel method for future solo breaks.[2]

Road trips may also become a popular solo travel method, as 31% of those who usually use their own car for a holiday say they would also consider a solo getaway.

Unsurprisingly, air travel had the largest contribution to the industry last year, with flyers spending over £62.6 billion on holidays in 2023. This suggests that more than £10bn was spent on flights last year for solo travel trips alone.[5]


¹ The total amount spent on travel was calculated using the ONS Travel trends estimates: UK residents‘ visits abroad data for 2022 and 2023. The all-length of stay spending in 2022 was £58.5bn and £72.4bn in 2023.

[2] The percentage of solo travellers in 2023 (16%) and 2022 (11%) was taken from the ABTA’s annual holiday habits research. The total solo travel spend was estimated using 16% of the total amount spent on travel in 2023 (£11.6bn) compared to 11% of the total for 2022 (£6.4bn). This equals a YoY of £5.1bn.

[3] The solo travel preferences were taken from a survey of 2,000 UK residents via YouGov. The survey was run on 29 March 2024, and all responses were selected at random.

[4] The age group stats on travel spending were sourced from ONS Travel Trends data. 7% of the total spend on travel worldwide was by 16-24 year-olds (£4.8bn). To estimate the amount spent on solo travel by 18-24-year-olds, we then calculated 7% of our solo travel spend estimate (£11.6bn) to get a final figure of £811.2 million.

[5] According to ONS Travel Trends data, air travel spending on holidays totalled £67.6bn in 2023. To calculate the estimated spend on solo air travel, we calculated 16% of this total to get £10.8bn.

Study Shows UK Solo Travellers Spent £11.6 billion on Holidays in 2023 2

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