Whenever a friend starts describing her upcoming vacation plans—say, the adorable beach bungalow she rented or markets she’s planning to explore—it’s hard not to feel a twinge of envy. That is, until she asks, “Wanna come?”
That’s become a common refrain among many globetrotting 20- and 30-somethings, who are treating their travels like open houses: Here’s where I’ll be all week—feel free to join!
Take Sara, a friend of a friend and frequent traveler who decided to go to Paris over Thanksgiving week last year. She booked her flights first, then mentioned it to a handful of friends. By the end of the week, three other women had opted to tag along.
It’s a refreshing alternative to the Big Group TripTM, which requires syncing up everyone’s schedules, finding an Airbnb big enough to house a dozen people and fighting over the bathroom every morning. (Looking at you, destination bachelorette parties.) Solo travel, particularly among women, is on the rise, but that comes with its own set of challenges, from shouldering lodging costs on your own (particularly if your dirt-cheap hostel days are behind you) to more serious concerns about safety.