Traveling with friends is nothing new but because of the confluence of demographics and economics, it’s a phenomenon that appears to be gaining popularity across all age groups.
The travel industry has responded, too, with a proliferation of promotional offers for girlfriend getaways and mancations—and villas or other rental properties appropriate for stays by multiple couples or multiple families.
There is some data to support the trend. Americans are marrying later (a median of 26.5 years for women and 28.7 for men), which means that adults are traveling as singles or as unmarried friends for a lengthier period of time (finances permitting). Also, the average life span has increased and many healthy widows and widowers are traveling well into their 60s, 70s and 80s.
Regardless of age, the shaky economy has conspired to make traveling with friends more attractive than paying singles supplements, whether those supplements are official ones (such as the ones charged by cruise lines) or unofficial ones (where the cost of a room is the same whether one, two or three unrelated adults sleep there). As a result, more singles are traveling with single friends and more couples are traveling with other couples—saving money in the process.
Read my recent article on LifeGoesStrong.com about this growing vacation trend.