Solo travel is on the rise.

According to a recent Holiday Habits survey, one in six holidaymakers took a holiday solo in the past 12 months. This is double the number that did so in 2012. Similarly, Hitwise, the UK’s largest online behavioural research tool, reported a 143% increase in ‘solo travel’ searches over the past three years.

One of the main reasons for the rise, as found by the Holiday Habits survey, is that people want the opportunity to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without having to consider anyone else.

Most solo travellers who book through Computravel, book group tours, says Computravel owner, Lindsay Quail. On these trips, it’s easy for people to meet up with other like-minded, discerning travellers. The age group is generally under 40, but Computravel does have multiple solo packages for those over 40. “Solo travel can be a bit daunting, particularly when one is visiting countries where they speak a different language,” says Quail. There is also the ‘culture shock’ one experiences when visiting a different destination, she continues.

A concern for many travellers who are wary about travelling on their own is that they won’t be mixing with people of their own age, explains Robin Zell, Director of Market Strategy at Singles Travel International. This is why Singles Travel International caters for singles of 45 years old and older.

“You travel with people your own age and who have similar interests,” she notes. The industry understands that solo travel is all the rage but, honestly, if you’re single, chances are that you already spend a lot of time alone. Why would you want to travel alone too? No one wants to be alone somewhere wonderful and be surrounded by honeymooners and couples, she adds. When you’re travelling with a group of other solo travellers, you get to share experiences. And expenses.”

Group tours for the solo traveller have many advantages, like meeting new people, making lasting friendships and, last but not least, travelling with peace of mind, continues Quail. With all the arrangements handled and hands-on support from a knowledgeable tour guide, solo travellers need only worry about having enough time to explore all of the exciting destinations on their trip.

Going on new adventures is the perfect way to build new relationships, says Zell. “When you conquer that zipline, white water raft or climb a mountain with others, you feel connected.” There are so many destinations out there where you can meet and bond with other singles looking to create outstanding travel memories and possibly meet the man or woman of their dreams.”