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Research Reveals Why Solo Travel Is Beneficial to Senior Travellers’ Health

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Solo travelling has become more than just a fleeting trend. New data from Planet Cruise reveals a striking 36% surge in adults contemplating solo holidays within the next year, and searches for ‘solo travel for over 60s’ have increased by +55% in the past 12 months.

The allure of adventure and self-exploration has enticed many to venture alone. Planet Cruise has curated an in-depth travel index revealing the best destination for solo travellers, factoring in safety, group activities, local hospitalities, and cost-effectiveness. 

Planet Cruise also spoke to health expert Carolina Goncalves from Pharmica, about the health benefits solo travelling can have on people over 60. 

Top 10 destinations for solo travel for retired 60 travellers

Tokyo takes the top spot, giving solo travellers a blend of rich culture, advanced technology, and a vast array of attractions but also feel safe navigating its streets. Prague, renowned for its historic beauty and vibrant nightlife, clinches the second spot, while Beijing takes third place. 

Asia leads the pack. Tokyo has impressive safety levels, over 10,000 attractions, and a vast array of 1,000 group tours. Other prominent Asian cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Bangkok also make the list, offering a blend of history, culture, and modernity.

European gems. Prague, renowned for its fairy-tale ambience, boasts a friendliness index of 62 and offers travellers 4,000 attractions to explore. Other European favourites include Budapest, Vienna, and the romantic city of Rome.

Safety first. Munich in Germany claims the highest safety rate of 79.2, closely followed by Hong Kong at 78.3. Safety remains a pivotal concern for solo travellers, and these destinations deliver with their world-class standards.

Budget-friendly options. Pattaya in Thailand offers a tantalising hotel average of just $30 per night for those watching their wallets. Kolkata in India provides an affordable stay with hotels averaging $53 and over 600 attractions to explore.

Diverse attractions. Cities like Paris and London top the charts with 8,000 attractions each, ensuring solo travellers never run out of exciting ventures.

Planet Cruise’s global supply director, Dave Mills, comments: “Solo journeys present an unmatched opportunity for personal growth. Choosing the right destination can elevate the entire experience. Safety, cultural richness, and budget-friendly options are key factors solo travellers appreciate, and these cities offer just that.” 

Why solo travel is great for over 60’s health and well-being 

Health expert Carolina Goncalves from Pharmica comments on why solo travel is great for those over 60’s health and well-being. 

  • Navigating unfamiliar destinations and engaging with diverse cultures provide robust stimulation for the brain. As retirees immerse themselves in new environments, their cognitive faculties are actively engaged. This consistent mental activity promotes neural connectivity and brain plasticity, potentially attenuating age-related cognitive decline.
  • Travel offers the elderly an invaluable opportunity for physical exertion. The inherent movement involved – be it through guided tours, trekking diverse terrains, or urban exploration – facilitates cardiovascular health.
  •  Solo travel bestows a sense of autonomy, promoting psychological well-being and reducing stress-related physiological markers, such as cortisol, thereby improving sleep quality and overall mood.
  • Diverse travel environments expose the body to a range of microorganisms. Such exposures, when non-pathogenic, can strengthen the immune system’s defences, enhancing its ability to combat future potential pathogens. However, travellers must exercise caution; not every exposure augments immune health. Before travel, it’s prudent to consult healthcare professionals, stay updated on vaccinations, and adhere to region-specific health guidelines. 

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