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Mature Women Solo: The Rise of Women Solo Travelling in Caravans

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Mature Women Solo: The Rise of Women Solo Travelling in Caravans

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Solo caravan travel, a thrilling venture into freedom and exploration, is increasingly being embraced by mature women, marking a significant trend in adventure tourism. Often finding themselves at a life stage of empty nesting or retirement, these women are stepping into caravans to embark on journeys of solitude and discovery. Whether they’re rolling solo due to a partner’s lack of interest, health issues, or a desire for independence, the allure of the open road calls. Notably, a community aspect thrives among these grey nomad women, with social media groups like Women Caravanning, Camping And Travelling Solo Australia – started in November 2015 and swelling to an impressive 28,500 members – highlighting the magnetic appeal of this lifestyle choice.

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Embracing the open road in increasing numbers, mature women solo travelling in caravans are increasingly steering their caravans toward adventure and autonomy. Events like Stuck in the Middle, tailored for female travellers aged between 40 and 85, have seen a surge in popularity, highlighting the evolving landscape of mature women solo and solo travellers alike. These gatherings, fostered by the online community Rolling Solo Australia, not only celebrate the courage and zest for life of these intrepid women but also provide a much-needed support network, illustrating the shift towards more inclusive and empowering travel experiences

This movement aligns with a broader global shift towards solo female travel, where more women are choosing adventure on their terms, highlighted by the rapidly expanding market for adventure tourism for women. These mature women solo travellers are not just seeking caravan escapades but are also carving out a niche within the rolling solo movement, which resonates with the rising demand for women-led tour groups. The narrative of these grey nomad women is one of resilience, empowerment, and a tenacious quest for connectivity and self-discovery, making their stories an essential chapter in the evolving landscape of solo travel for women.

The Changing Landscape of Solo Travel for Women

The landscape of solo travel for mature women has undergone a remarkable transformation, driven by a confluence of societal, economic, and technological shifts.

The surge in solo travel popularity is unmistakable, with Instagram alone showcasing millions of #SoloTravel posts, illustrating a global trend towards individual adventure. Notably, older women, particularly those over 65, have shown the most significant uptick in solo travel, with their numbers increasing from 4% in 2019 to a remarkable 18% in 2022. This demographic shift underscores a growing desire among mature women for independence and exploration.

Here’s a closer look at how these changes are shaping the experiences of solo female travellers, particularly those embracing the open road in their caravans:

Societal Shifts

  • Many mature women are embarking on solo journeys, propelled by significant changes in traditional roles and an increased sense of autonomy. This shift is underscored by their desire for freedom, flexibility, and self-discovery.
  • The growing acceptance and encouragement of women travelling alone have contributed to a more inclusive and supportive travel community. Online platforms and social media play a pivotal role in this, offering spaces where women can share experiences and advice, and find companionship.

Economic Independence

  • Financial independence has been a game-changer, empowering women to make travel decisions without needing permission. This autonomy has led to a surge in experiential travel, including adventure sports and cultural immersions, which are increasingly favoured over traditional sightseeing.
  • The surge in solo female travel is also reflected in the market, with considerable growth expected over the next decade. This growth signals a significant opportunity for the industry to cater more effectively to this demographic.

Safety and Community

  • While safety remains a concern, many women are finding peace of mind through initially dipping their toes in the water with organised tours and travelling to destinations known for their safety.
  • Building a community has become integral to the solo travel experience.Groups and events tailored to female travellers not only offer support and shared experience, but also foster connections, making the journey as rewarding as the destination.

Choosing the Right Caravan for Solo Journeys

Embarking on a solo journey in a caravan offers a unique blend of freedom, comfort, and the opportunity to explore at your own pace. However, choosing and buying the right caravan is paramount to ensure your travels are both enjoyable and safe.

Here’s a brief guide to help you navigate the options:

Motorhomes are often favoured for their ease of use and safety, eliminating the need for hitching. They’re an excellent choice for those prioritising convenience.

For added flexibility, consider an A-frame caravan towing setup, allowing you to tow a compact vehicle for local explorations, bearing in mind that caravans range from 2 berth Tear Drops and Pop-Tops through to double-axled mobile homes complete with ensuite and laundry.

Camper Vans – also known as Class B RV’s – can strike a balance between drivability and living space, making them a top pick for solo travellers. Living space is augmented by outdoor awnings.

These often high-end, wheeled home away-from-home vehicles provide more room but require more skill to manoeuvre.

Renting different types through sites like Camplify, before making a purchase, can help you identify what best suits your solo travel lifestyle.

Other Considerations:

Facilities

Consider whether you will need:

  • indoor or outdoor kitchen,
  • ensuite and/or laundry facilities,
  • air-conditioning and heating
  • solar panels
  • water storage

It can be very tempting to choose a larger rig, but bear in mind the primary factors are:

  • ease of driving
  • maneuverability
  • turning circle
  • parking
  • ease of set-up 
  • Camping Fee’s
  • Maintenance
  • Insurance

Building a Supportive Community on the Go

In the world of mature women solo travelling in caravan adventures, building a supportive community is not just beneficial; it’s necessary and can even be transformative! 

Here are some practical ways to cultivate connections on the go:

Online Communities

Ladies Camping Australia

This Group welcomes all ladies travelling, whether solo or with a partner to share experiences, advice and encouragement.

Women Caravanning, Camping And Travelling Solo Australia

A group dedicated to women inspiring women with their shared travel tales and questions.

The Grey Nomads

Aimed at Baby Boomers and mature-age travellers, men and women alike, the Grey Nomads are a great source of news, events and encouragement.

Rolling Solo

A community of solo women travellers from around Australia with a passion for adventure.

Events

Stuck In the Middle

Starting out as a Big Girls Weekend, Stuck in the Middle has evolved into an annual week-long event for caravannning and camping ladies of Australia. 

Camps Australia Wide

A compilation of events around Australia, Camps Australia Wide is a great way to fill your adventure events calendar.

Safety Tips & Tricks

Select Your Destination Carefully

Australia offers a diverse range of camping spots, ranging from vibrant rainforests to dry deserts. Take the time to research and choose a location that suits your interests, preferences, and level of comfort. Whether it’s national parks, coastal campgrounds, or established camping areas, there are plenty of options to cater to solo campers with different experiences in mind.

Prioritise Safety

When you’re solo travelling, keeping yourself safe should be your number one concern. Here are some important tips to ensure your safety:

Make sure to share your camping itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Always have a fully charged mobile phone and a power bank with you. Take the time to learn basic first aid and carry a well-stocked first aid kit. Get familiar with the local wildlife and potential dangers in the area. Stay updated on weather conditions and any fire restrictions that may be in place.

  • Make sure to share your camping itinerary with a trusted friend or family member.
  • Always have a fully charged mobile phone and a power bank with you.
  • Take the time to learn basic first aid and carry a well-stocked first aid kit. Get familiar with the local wildlife and potential dangers in the area.
  • Stay updated on weather conditions and any fire restrictions that may be in place.
  • Be aware of the location of evacuation centres

Explore Responsibly

Australia is home to vast spaces and varied landscapes and it’s our responsiblity to ensure they are just as magnificent and pristine for the next traveller:

  • Stay on pathways and designated trails
  • Follow the ‘Leave no trace’ principle – avoid leaving any trace of your occupation of the site or having passed through.  Use designated campfires, remove rubbish and where possible, use biodegrable products
  • Capture the native flora and fauna with a camera, but leave it where it is.  Give animals space and resist the urge to touch.
  • Capture the native flora and fauna with a camera, but leave it where it is.  Give animals space and resist the urge to touch.

Trust Your Instincts

If a particular situation has you feeling at all uncomfortable, trust your gut.  You can relocate or ask for help from fellow travellers, rangers, campground managers, or the authorities.

Take Courses

Prior planning is an integral part of what goes into embarking on an amazing journey and there are a number of courses available that may help you lay the foundations for your new free-wheeling lifestyle:

RACQ

Offers Caravan Workshops designed to teach you the basics of, and practice at, manoeuvres with a caravan in their towing course

Caravanning Queensland

Has a Tow-Ed QLD course designed to teach you towing skills needed for on and off-road adventures. 

Learn & Pass

Three-hour Caravan/Trailer Towing courses teaching the basics of reversing and towing, the legislation around towing and the specifics you need to safely tow your specific vehicle.

Caravan Towing Tuition

Tailored to you, your vehicle and your specific needs, the half day Caravan/Trailer Towing and Reversing Course for two people at a time, so you can bring along your co-captain as well.

Learn 2 Tow

A certified driver trainer and first aider, Andrew offers his Caravan Towing Course, Gold Coast, designed to have you parking your caravan with ease.

Last Words

Choosing the right caravan and prioritising safety are essential for a successful solo journey, and responsible exploration is crucial to preserving the natural beauty of the landscapes. Trusting instincts and taking courses can also contribute to a fulfilling and empowering travel experience.

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