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New Data Reveals an Experience Everyone Must Try in Their Lifetime: Traveling Alone

Released October 12, 2023

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Trending: Americans highly recommend solo travel, citing self-discovery, cultural immersion, and meeting new people.

Bar chart illustrating most recommended experiences to try at least once in your life based on survey data conducted by Scott and Yanling

Experiences you must try at least once in your life are visiting Hawaii, exploring foreign countries, immersing in different cultures, and, most notably, traveling alone. These were Americans’ top travel recommendations based on the latest Nationwide survey of 522 US consumers providing 2088 open-ended responses analyzed and released by Scott and Yanling Sidders.

Out of the people who recommended specific locations, most respondents (68%) suggested visiting places within the US. Hawaii quickly takes the top spot with more than double the frequency as the second spot, the Grand Canyon. Disney World, Las Vegas, New York City, Alaska, and Yellowstone were all relatively close behind.

Bar chart illustrating Americans' most recommended places to visit in the USA based on survey data conducted by Scott and Yanling

Out of people who recommended specific experiences, most respondents (32.45%) recommended experiencing a different culture, 29.79% recommended traveling to foreign countries, and 11.70% recommended traveling alone. Many travelers learned so much more when they traveled to places much different from where they lived.

When Americans were asked where they would go with a $15,000 budget to spend on travel, respondents expressed a strong interest in visiting Italy, Japan, France, Australia, and Greece, topping the list of preferred destinations abroad. Due to proximity, most international travel from the US is to Mexico and Canada. However, given enough budget, the survey results emphasized Americans’ desire to explore distant regions and experience different cultures.

Bar chart illustrating the top 5 foreign countries Americans would go to if they had $15,000 to spend on travel based on survey data conducted by Scott and Yanling

According to Scott Sidders, co-founder of Scott & Yanling Media Inc.: “Traveling alone ranked surprisingly high, with many people saying there’s just something so freeing about going out on your own and not being tied to what other people want to do. Remember, traveling alone isn’t the same as being alone while you travel. While people agreed that traveling with friends and family is great, many found that on their own, they were more inclined to meet new people and immerse themselves in local cultures and that it was an experience everyone should try at least once in their lives.”

According to Yanling Sidders, co-founder of Scott & Yanling Media Inc.: “The solo travel trend lines up with our personal experiences quite well. My husband Scott came to China on his own, and through that trip, our early relationship formed, eventually leading to our marriage and inspiring us to create our travel website, You never know where a solo trip can take you and who you might meet on those adventures.”


We conducted a survey with 522 US consumers nationwide where we asked the four following open-ended questions:

  • What travel experience do you recommend everyone has to try in their life?
  • What’s your best tip for travelers? (It could be about planning, saving money, traveling with kids, or anything you've found that really makes your travels better.)
  • In your opinion, what travel luxuries are absolutely worth the price?
  • If you had $15,000 to spend on travel, where would you go? What kind of trip would it be? And especially, why does this location appeal to you?

We received a total of 2088 long-form responses to analyze. We then categorized and tagged each response to see if anything interesting emerged from the answers. Our insights are based on what jumped out at us the most from the data.

For more information, you can contact us through the form below:

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