One in five older people will travel alone this year, new research suggests. And of those who have done so in the past 47% travelling in a group with otherr solos say they have struck up long term friendships, while 11% made a romantic connection. The research comes from over-50s specialist tour operator Saga, which reports a 23% increase in customers booking solo trips this year. Of these the vast majority (91%) are already used to doing so, while the remaining 9% are holidaying alone for the first time. But there’s a significant gender imbalance, with women making up 28% of its solo customers against 12% of men – and women over 80 are most inclined to go it alone. Sadly, just over one in three of all solos cite the death of a partner as the reason but of those who have taken the plunge, 58% of women and 44% of men say it made them feel proud of themselves.