Apt for the solo traveller

Mobile generation
Last Updated 25 February 2016, 18:36 IST

The popularity of the solo travelling concept has gained further traction in the virtual world, with specific mobile apps launched to offer people easy connectivity. The closely-knit group of solo travellers can now converse with like-minded people, by accessing travel apps like ‘WeTravelSolo’, ‘Wandermates’ and ‘Bagpackers’.

Whereas travelling apps are plenty, each is trying to carve its own niche. Especially the domain of solo travelling has attracted not only the app visualisers, but also most travellers. These applications have taken solo travelling to a level where it is possible to fuse travelling and socialising. The thrill-seeking solo travellers utilise these apps, in order to fetch like-minded strangers, who could possibly accompany them in their next travel venture.

Skyscanner, a global travel search company providing free search of flights, hotels and car hire did a survey on solo travellers in 2015.

The survey revealed that 70 per cent of Indian women travellers have either gone
on a solo trip or are planning one.

The survey, which studied the travel habits of Indian travellers, highlighted that 37 per cent of Indian women travellers have done a solo trip while 33 per cent are open to the idea of travelling solo.

Priyanka Gera, 33, a real estate professional, has been travelling in solo and in packs since she was 18. Recently she started using apps to fulfil her travelling plans. She used the ‘WeTravelSolo’ app, consecutively five times in the last year.

What ‘WeTravelSolo’ does is sort of not what the name suggests. It is not for people travelling solo, but rather uniting different ‘lonely’ travellers going to one destination.

“It is encouraging to see that Indian women are increasingly breaking stereotypes and travelling alone. The results reveal that Indian women solo travellers prefer domestic destinations as much as overseas ones. At the same time, there is an opportunity to further promote Indian destinations to solo travellers all over the world,” says Kavitha Gnanamurthy, senior marketing manager, Skyscanner India.

This is yet another opportunity in time of virtual connectivity — taking it beyond the social media circle interaction.

The smartphone use has only made it possible for all the travel junkies to connect through the many apps.

“I love travelling, sometimes I just like to do it alone. Through the app, I connected with a guide who on my request helped me craft my tour,” says Priyanka.

She says it was different than travelling completely alone, which has its own perks. “Through these apps you can meet like-minded people. Many times people ask what is like-minded and how’d I know. I figured that these apps are designed in a way that only people who love travelling and share likings to know more about a place, join it. That is the least common attribute you can share with the other solo travellers,” explains Priyanka.

According to her, the adventure and exploration becomes four folds if one meets likeminded people.

“You can meet someone in a party for a night, but you cannot share the same amount of knowledge and experience as you can share while travelling together for two days or more,” she adds.

The guide provided or rather chosen by the clients from ‘WeTravelSolo’, helps
to break the ice amongst the solo travellers such that within a day they are paly
and chatty. Priyanka adds, “At the same time, one can remain completely solo if they prefer so.”

Deepak Sharma, 32, also took a few trips with ‘WeTravelSolo’, which is more prominent in India for the purpose of meeting ‘likeminded people’ to travel with. He says, “They don’t have a strict schedule and also craft your trip in a way that helps you save more money.”
Priyanka, who previously used platforms like ‘MakeMyTrip’ and ‘Yatra’, says, “The itinerary is so rigid unlike the ones designed by the new players in the market. They don’t decide for you, they suggest but you can actually make a much more relaxed and cost-effective trip.”

(Published 25 February 2016, 14:31 IST)

Follow us on