BOSTON, April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- After a long hiatus, older U.S. travelers are more than ready to start traveling the world again. It is especially true for mature women who prefer to travel solo. That's the message based on bookings with Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), the leader in personalized small group travel and solo travel. O.A.T. currently has 71,000 travelers who have reserved travel for 2021 and 2022 – 38,000 of them women who will be traveling solo.
Today there are approximately 30 million women aged 65 and older, compared to 24 million men, according to the US Census Bureau 2020 National Demographic Analysis.
"There is a very wide range of women who decide to travel as solos," said O.A.T. Vice Chairman Harriet Lewis. "Some are single by choice, some are widowed. We are introverts and extroverts, career women and homemakers. Many of us are married, but we occasionally travel without our spouses."
In the 2020 Solo Traveler survey, presented with the support of O.A.T, nearly 3,000 respondents shared their views regarding solo travel and COVID-19. Forty-six percent (46%) responded that they would travel more, both domestically and internationally.
Support for Solo Travel Nearly half of all O.A.T. travelers are women over 50 traveling solo.
Most importantly, O.A.T supports solo travelers by offering Free Single Supplements on 92% of its 30,000 single spaces, which can save a traveler several hundred dollars.
Ready, Set, Go Laura Dankner, who has traveled solo several times with O.A.T., has plans for Greece and Turkey this fall. Her sister, a COVID survivor, will be joining her on this trip. "As a 'mature' traveler, we aren't going to get any younger and I feel that our time to travel in the future may be limited. So as soon as we can travel again, I'm in!" said Dankner.
Judy Falconer Steele has traveled 32 times with O.A.T. and Grand Circle -- half of them solo. She is planning to take O.A.T.'s Northern Italy: The Alps, Dolomites & Lombardy this fall. "My advice for fellow travelers includes respect for each other with social distancing, wearing our masks, and being kind and considerate to all. Don't let the pandemic keep us from experiencing the wonderful trip we are on," Steele said. "I will continue to enjoy my fellow travelers, meeting the local people, and soaking in everything happening in the community surrounding me."
Debbie Morris, a 9-time O.A.T., solo traveler, is planning two trips. Her first includes traveling to London then on to Dublin and the northern part of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"With regards to the pandemic, I can only say that each person must decide when it is right for them. No one else can make that decision for you," said Morris. "I have no problem wearing a mask and taking whatever public safety precautions are required both for air travel and in the destination country. I will make sure to provide my emergency contact person all my medical information prior to departure in case there are any issues while I'm traveling."
For those pondering a solo trip, Morris speaks from experience. "If you want to go but you don't have someone to go with, just do it on your own. My first solo trip was 15 years ago. I was so scared, but it couldn't have turned out better and I was hooked on solo travel. I've made 14 solo trips since then and I have four booked for 2022. I can't wait to go again!"
O.A.T. Risk-Free Booking To help travelers feel confident and comfortable making future travel plans as the world opens up, OAT has extended its Risk-Free Booking Policy through December 31, 2021. When travelers book a new 2021, 2022, or 2023 reservation of any O.A.T. adventure by December 31, 2021, they can transfer to another departure date for any reason—up until 24 hours prior to their original departure—and any change fees will be waived.
ABOUT OVERSEAS ADVENTURE TRAVEL Established in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.) is part of Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation's family of travel companies, which also include Grand Circle Cruise Line and Grand Circle Travel. In 1992, owners Alan and Harriet Lewis established the nonprofit Grand Circle Foundation to support communities in which Grand Circle works and travels, including some 300 humanitarian, cultural, and educational endeavors worldwide—among them, 100 schools, in 50 countries. The Foundation is an entity of the Lewis Family Foundation, which has pledged or donated more than $200 million since 1981.