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Travel experience as a female traveller.

Travel experience as a female traveller.
Author: Zane Lejniece
1 Commentries
The aim of this discussion paper is to promote knowledge of women travelling abroad. Their experiences, their opportunities and fears and how the world of travel has changed for women over many years.
Women are more fearful of harassment and the need to adapt in order to fit in places that they visit, to blend in and attract less attention from residents. Solo women travellers tend to be aware of the environment and travelling changes their way of every-day life, their hobbies and the choice of their next destination.

Women travel: Past and Now

People choose to travel for many reasons: to escape their every day life, to seek emotional healing, to go on business trips, to meet new people in leisure travel and many others. With the help of technology and the easy access of travelling, many chose to travel. The easy access to travelling means that many choose to travel on their own, especially some women.

Back in the day women were looked at as fixtures of the home, many things have changed over the years. Well over 100 years ago, it was not socially acceptable for women to travel, and certainly not on their own, without family or husband says (Khoo-Lattimore and Wilson, 2017)
Many women have fought for other women and themselves to be able to travel solo and it has taken many years for women to be able to do so. To this day women are now able to travel solo in many countries of the world. A fresh restoration in the publication of women’s travel stories confirms to the fact that women continue to travel and explore the world. Even though places can still have the faded taste of genderism, it is more accepted that there are women solo travellers these days.

The trend for solo holidays has been growing in recent years with more than one in six people (15%) choosing to go on holiday by themselves in the past 12 months, up from 12% in 2017 and almost three times as many as those in 2011 (6%). (ABTA, 2018)
According to Vox (2019) women have traded in marriage and kids for careers. They have more money and more flexibility, and like millennials at large are searching for fulfilling experiences. In the interview below, it will be clear that fulfilment and new experiences is one of the reasons for travelling.

The relationship between travel and experience is the key point of why women choose to travel alone. The goal is not the journey per se, but the involvement and the acquired competences. Solo women travellers seek adventure, social interaction, education and self-understanding (Bond, 1997) which will be revealed in the in-depth interview with a young solo traveller who has a lot of experience of travelling as a young adult.

It is more than clear that many women have achieved a huge improvement into the world of solo women travel. This interview confirmed that motivation goes beyond just travelling leisure and relaxing. There is a sense of fulfilment that is gained during the trips and the change of every-day life regardless the opportunities and some challenged that were experienced.
Even if women face challenges during their trips, it does not stop them from travelling. They have another challenge that they feel like they can overcome and achieve the fulfilment of facing new areas of the world that they would not have been able to visit due to the social aspect of what a woman was and was not allowed to do.

The interview showed that there are diversity into solo travelling and that no travel experience is ever the same. As there are gaps in research, according to Erica Wilson & Donna E. Little (2008) future research should explore this discourse of resistance further and move beyond essentialised notions of women’s solo travel equals fear and danger.


Bond, M. (1997). Women Travellers: A New Growth Market. Singapore: Pacific Asia Travel Association.
Erica Wilson & Donna E. Little (2008) The Solo Female Travel Experience: Exploring the ‘Geography of Women's Fear’, Current Issues in Tourism, 11:2, 167-186
Khoo-Lattimore and Wilson (2017). Women and travel: historical and contemporary perspectives. Toronto: Apple Academic Press Inc.

Shaista Patel Commentary
Author: Shaista Patel
I have selected this paper to comment on as it is under the strand 'understanding gendered and racialized tourism experiences' which is the strand my paper is a part of. The paper has very strong links with my own research on the experience of female solo travellers. The topic of solo female travellers is something that i recognise with on a personal level as i tend to identify myself as a 'solo female traveler'. Moreover the paper discusses the opportunities and fear of solo female travellers and how travel has changed during the years.

The author highlights that solo female travel has changed over the years and now women travel more independently. in the past it travel wasn't encouraged or acceptable for women so those who did travel did not draw attention to it (Shrikant, 2019). The author adds that women have had to fight to be able to travel and this has taken many years. Now it is socially acceptable for women to travel. Suzanne Jonson a writer for the Telegraph who went travelling solo said "in the past the idea of women going on solo adventures was considered 'brave', 'eccentric' or 'risky'. but since then there has been a huge change in attitude (Elliot, 2018).

The author explores the trend in solo holidays and highlights that the trend has been growing in recent years with more people choosing to go on holiday by themselves. The author focuses on the fact that women have traded in marriage and kids for careers. According to Wilson (2004) the trend in crease of solo female travel is linked to changing social and political circumstances for women around the world. The author focuses on careers however Wilson (2004) identifies other factors such as education and earning capabilities through employment which have improved for women. It would be useful for the author to extend the research and discuss other factors which have influenced the increase in solo female travel.

Overall this paper demonstrates that the author has a high level of interest of the solo female travel experience. The research adds to my understanding of solo female travel. The author has shown a understanding of the solo female travel experience and how it has changed over the many years.


Elliott, A. (2018). Why are so many of us now choosing to travel alone?. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/whats-behind-the-rise-in-solo-travel/ [Accessed 7 May 2019].

Shrikant, A. (2019). Women travel alone more than men. Here’s why.. [online] Vox. Available at: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/1/18/18188581/women-travel-alone-men [Accessed 10 May 2019]

Wilson, E. and Little, D. (2011). The Solo Female Travel Experience: Exploring the ‘Geography of Women's Fear’. [online] Taylor & Francis. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2167/cit342.0#aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGFuZGZvbmxpbmUu Y29tL2RvaS9wZGYvMTAuMjE2Ny9jaXQzNDIuMD9uZWVkQWNjZXNzPXRydWVAQEAw [Accessed 10 May 2019]