How to Reach Female Solo Travelers, the Biggest Market in the US

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Women are the most powerful consumers in the world. They influence all kinds of markets, especially the travel industry.

Spend time learning from them, what they do, and how they do it, to generate a satisfying emotional response with your software product.

This webinar should give you a good start.

We decided to conduct research to understand how Female Solo Travelers (FST) plan and book their trips. We interviewed seven American female travelers ranging from 25 to 40 years old who went on at least three solo journeys a year.

You Will Learn to,

  • Understand FST behaviors and patterns
  • Identify gaps and pains in their planning and booking process
  • Create successful experiences based on KAYAK use cases

 

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Participants

Paulette Fernandez

UX Designer at Nearsoft

Alkistis Mavroeidi

UX Designer at KAYAK

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How to Reach Female Solo Travelers, the Biggest Market in the US

Women are the most powerful consumers in the world. They influence all kinds of markets, especially the travel industry.

Spend time learning from them, what they do, and how they do it, to generate a satisfying emotional response with your software product.

This webinar should give you a good start.

We decided to conduct research to understand how Female Solo Travelers (FST) plan and book their trips. We interviewed seven American female travelers ranging from 25 to 40 years old who went on at least three solo journeys a year.

You Will Learn to,

  • Understand FST behaviors and patterns
  • Identify gaps and pains in their planning and booking process
  • Create successful experiences based on KAYAK use cases

 

Participants

Paulette Fernandez

UX Designer at Nearsoft

Alkistis Mavroeidi

UX Designer at KAYAK

WEBINAR SUMMARY

American Women Represent 65% of Solo Journeys

This text is extracted from minute 6:14

Women are the most powerful consumers in the world.  They influence all kinds of markets, especially the travel industry. American women represent 65% of solo journeys.

According to a booking.com survey American women ranked first in frequent solo travel in comparison to other countries surveyed. They are most likely to take three trips or more in a given year.

How Do Female Solo Travelers Plan Their Getaways ?

This text is extracted from minute 6:43

We were intrigued by how the industry is shifting towards female solo travelers (FST).

We conducted research to understand how they plan and book trips. We interviewed seven American female travelers ranging from 25 to 40 years old who went on at least three solo journeys a year.

Female Solo Travelers Journey Map

This text is extracted from minute 7:15

Our challenge was to identify gaps and pains in the journey of their planning process, from inspiration, through planning, and the actual trip.

We broke it down into three stages,

We found a relationship of how FST manage their free time and work schedule to get the best of their time off. We created two personas to understand it better,

  • Travelers who have to plan around their work schedule tend to take a combination of days off and weekends to create “extended long weekends.” Typically a four-to-five day getaway,
  • Travelers who have flexible jobs, usually women working remotely or by contract, are the most likely to go on international trips for a two to three weeks at a time. Some also work for three to four months and then take an equal amount of time off.

How Female Solo travelers Select a Destination

This text is extracted from minute 8:53

FST narrow down their options based on three main variables,

  1. Weather: Some destinations are a better fit depending on the season. Like the Caribbean that is best to visit from December to April, when it’s slightly cooler, or going on a hike in Peru might be more enjoyable during autumn.
  2. Personal Activities: This is a big drive for FST. Choosing between hiking, yoga retreat, or food related comes from a personal passion.
  3. Cost: FST funnel down their options and finally decide on a destination based on flight prices at the time, and the booking stage starts. This is the major tide breaker, the final decision.

Kayak Tools to Help Travelers Look for the Best Prices

This text is extracted from minute 10:40

KAYAK recognizes Traveler’s needs and in order to help them find what they are looking for, offers different tools according to the use scenario.

Explore is a tool that helps travelers see all the places they can go within their budget. When users first login, they see the cheapest options of dates we can find for locations all around the world. They can narrow that down, from a season to specific dates, to find the best options for their budget and dates. We also organize the destinations by categories.

For example, if a certain activity is important to someone, we have categories like Ski Slopes, Hiking Hotspots, etc.

Travel Hacker Guides is an interactive resource full of data-driven travel insights for the upcoming year. It includes a collection of information on top destinations that helps people identify when the best time to go to their dream destinations is.

Hacker Guides include weather information for those who are defining their time and place of travel by weather. https://www.kayak.com/travelhacker/2018/trending/Athens-8

When Is the Right Time to Book a Flight?

This text is extracted from minute 14:50

Trying to predict the right time to book a flight is crucial.

This is a big challenge for FST as well.

90% of FST use tools like kayak.com and Google Flights to compare prices with multiple flight options and different airlines, setting up alerts to be aware when the time comes.

10% use a combination of other tools, like comparing previous flights to current prices. They also complement their research with other providers like OTAs.

KAYAK has a Price Forecast tool to help users understand whether to book now or wait. The main UX challenges of such a tool are,

  • Showing a clear message – if the message is that the prices are going to drop, does this refer to any flight? If not, is this a flight they liked or the cheapest flight that could be 48 hours long?
  • Inspire trust in the message – how do you ensure trust in a prompt to buy? A user could believe it is an urgent message that only intends to make them convert.
  • Inspire trust in the content – a lot of users believe that e-commerce sites raise prices if users don’t search in incognito mode. One of the KAYAK strategies to help disperse this mistrust, is to portray the meta search as a value proposition.

What Is the Best Option for Lodging?

This text is extracted from minute 19:50

We found that younger women feel comfortable staying at hostels because they get to socialize, meet new people, and can ask for directions.

Older women find Airbnb more appealing because of low pricing and safety.

FST stated that when traveling for leisure they are comfortable staying at an Airbnb, but if they are traveling for work and the company is taking care of payment they will choose a hotel over another type of accommodation.

How Do Female Solo Travelers Plan Their Budget?

This text is extracted from minute 21:38

FST don’t really do budgeting, it depends on each traveler’s priorities. It’s all about the experience.

Starting with the inspiration stage, they balance their options according to their preferences.

They are satisfied as long as they have a general idea of how much money they are spending. Their priorities change on the go.

How much anticipation and structure a plan has depends on how much knowledge and familiarity the traveler holds towards a place or destination.

How Female Solo Travelers Plan a Trip

This text is extracted from minute 23:30

Part of the planning process is research, learning about the place, and it comes at the end of their planning process.

For research they use primarily google search and tripadvisor to learn about what each city has to offer, and then decide what they want to do the most.

They mostly keep it on their phones, on a google sheet or even track down the places they wanna visit on a google maps.

Women traveling solo prefer to get recommendations directly from family and friends who have been in the place and rely on tripadvisor and lonelyplanet for reviews.

“I like to get recommendations directly from people I know.”

Women traveling solo prefer to get recommendations directly from family and friends who have been in the place.

and rely on tripadvisor and lonelyplanet for reviews.

“I like to get recommendations directly from people I know.”

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