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To have and to holiday

Press release   •   Aug 20, 2013 23:00 BST

- Over three million prefer me-cations to holidaying with partners, friends or family
- New study finds men more likely to travel solo than women
- One in five UK citizens in their forties and fifties opt to go it alone

In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, ‘til death do us part, it appears nothing can tear a couple apart... except perhaps a holiday, according to a recent study for Post Office Travel Essentials.

Over the last year, UK celebrities from Joanna Lumley to Cheryl Cole have proved me-cations are the must-have trip while new Post Office research shows that over 3.6 million* of us prefer to holiday alone.

Forget 20-something backpackers leading the charge. When it comes to travelling abroad, the older generation is far more likely to go it alone with over a fifth (21 per cent) of forty and fifty-somethings doing so. In fact, this older age group is 50 per cent more likely to fly solo than those aged 25-35.

The number of UK males who travel by themselves is five per cent higher than their female counterparts, with one in five men preferring to holiday alone compared to 13 per cent of women.

The me-cation isn’t for everybody though with one in eight (13 per cent) preferring to go on holiday with large groups of likeminded people. However for 13 per cent, me-time is so important they prefer to jet off leaving even their families at home.

Adventurous travellers are most likely to come from London or York, with sixteen per cent from both cities going solo compared to fourteen per cent of Cardiff’s inhabitants and one in 10 Edinburgh citizens.

Paul Havenhand, Head of Travel at the Post Office, said: “It’s interesting to see that older age groups are more likely to travel alone and it’s for this reason we’re making every effort to understand the changing needs of our customers.

“Whether you are travelling solo or not, it is important that you take sufficient travel money and the correct type of travel insurance to make sure you are fully covered for your trip. For many it seems travelling alone also removes some of the holiday hassle. We’re advocates of making our customers’ holidays as hassle free as possible with a one-stop shop for all the travel essentials.”

Over 70 different currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online for next day branch or home delivery – so getting away is never a problem.

Euros are available on demand in more than 10,000 Post Office branches, while the most popular other currencies are available on demand in 1,600 branches. Instant Travel Insurance is available online, by phone or in branch, and Post Office is the only official provider of Passport Check and Send services.


The research was conducted by One Poll on 12.07.2013.

* The UK adult population is 50,893,318(source: ONS 2009).

Using Post Office’s travel essentials survey; 7.15 per cent is the proportion of UK adults who prefer to travel alone.

Contact - Gabrielle O’Gara

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit

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