You are amazing! We received 1340 responses to our 2019 Reader Survey.
That's a huge number!
There were 30 questions on this year's survey and almost 1,000 of you stuck with it to the very end.
Your dedication is so appreciated.
We are a small team of three and we have to use our time wisely. With your feedback, we can.
Based on feedback in previous years, we have identified our three priorities as:
We try to make sure that every decision we make, every post we publish, and every project we take on serves at least one of these priorities. This year's Reader Survey will help us fine tune our work in an effort to deliver what you need.
#1 Priority for Solo Traveler in 2020
Based on your feedback, our first priority for 2020 is the revamp of our Deals page.
While it may look like a simple thing from the traveler's perspective, building a page that includes a useful search tool is actually technically complicated. We're currently looking to hire a freelancer with the right skills to take us through this process and hope to have it functional for you to test by February.
In addition, as you can see from the graph below, you gave us a clear go-ahead to send you special emails on occasion if we have a really great deal to promote.
What Solo Travelers Really Want
We are constantly trying to educate the travel industry about the needs and wants of solo travelers. The graph below is really interesting. It tells us that the top three things you want as solo travelers are:
- Tours and cruises with no single supplement. (No surprise there.)
- Hotels with single rooms. (I'm assuming that you want these rooms to be bigger than the average closet. Wouldn't that be nice?)
- Transparency in pricing so you can really see whether you're paying a single supplement. (I love this one. It's one of the criteria on which the nominees in the Solo Travel Awards is judged.)
Other things we'll communicate to the travel industry based on your responses are:
- While spring and fall are the most popular seasons for solo travelers, in the end, 55% said they would travel whenever it is the shoulder season.
- 45% of our respondents plan to take three or more trips next year. (20% plan to take four or more trips.)
- 55% of our readers take group trips at least some of the time and 71% travel independently some of the time.
- The number one reason people travel with a tour is: I can travel to destinations that I wouldn’t be confident to go by myself.
What You Told Us About Solo Traveler in the Reader Survey
We asked a number of questions to get your guidance on how we develop Solo Traveler. Here's what you had to say:
Regarding our question about a Solo Traveler Meetup. This question was quite vague: no dates, no location, and no cost. Not surprisingly, the Yes response was only at 18%. But, add to the 18% the 62% that said maybe, and we have 80% of respondents who have some interest in a Solo Traveler meetup. Planning this is a big deal. We may be able to pull it off in 2020 but it may have to wait until 2021.
The kind of articles you want more of. This was the first year that all categories of articles received close to the same rating. Hence, we'll keep trying to serve up a wide variety of articles in these categories.
- How-to advice
- Inspirational stories
- Money-wise advice
- Safety advice
What else we could do for you. These are all ideas that we will try to act on soon.
- More stories by other solo travelers. Watch for the Friday posts as these are either a photo by a reader or a post about their travels to a specific destination.
- Find a good travel agent for solo travelers. We've been on the lookout for one. Hopefully soon.
- Organize a meetup. Well isn't that interesting. That was one of the questions on this survey. I think we'll dig into this project after we get the Deals page reorganized as mentioned above.
- There is a lot of information in your emails; sometimes too much. Could we select by “cruise,” “resort,” or “road trip” by country? That's part of our project to reorganize our Deals page and Advisory of Deals.
- Interested in travel only in US. Would like info on river cruises, not ocean cruises. We are having trouble getting tour companies to promote North American destinations but we'll keep on this.
In addition to those above we had a number of responses asking for more budget tour companies and for more luxury tour companies. We try to get as great a variety as possible.
Your Kind Words about Solo Traveler
Sometimes we're helpful to you. Just as often, perhaps more often, it's members of the Solo Traveler community that deliver the information and inspiration you need. Either way, we're happy you have been helped.
Here are a few of your many kind words.
- Thank you for your dedication to encouraging solo travelers. I now don't travel on trips that require me to room with a stranger or require me to pay a solo fee. I so very much appreciate your weekly email newsletter.
- I really appreciate the information about cruises offering singles discounts for rooms that we don't have to share. That's the main thing that has kept me from taking a cruise so I watch those posts closely. Thanks for all the great research and information!
- I notice you post older Solo Traveler stories to the Solo Travel Society on Facebook sometimes – and I love that! Sometimes I missed them the first time, or maybe they weren't relevant to me when I first saw them, but were when they were reposted.
- Keep it coming.
Oh, we will!
And one comment that dealt with a question that was not asked in the Reader Survey:
- You did not ask about why we might not choose a tour group. Mainly, I am concerned about guides talking constantly and moving to see everything. I like to take life in and feel it deeply. I will not remember facts about the Taj Mahal but I will remember a story I may be involved in first hand!
From all of us at Solo Traveler – Tracey, Simon, and Janice – our heartfelt thanks for joining us on this journey.