chapter  12
19 Pages

Midlife Single Men and the Solo Holiday

WithBente Heimtun

This chapter reviews the literature on midlife single men and singles, and solo travel. It examines how midlife single men negotiate solo holidays. The chapter explains the narrative method used to construct the stories. Tourism scholars neglect midlife single men in their research. Few midlife men belong to the category always single; they are rather widowers and divorcees or have experienced co-habitation breakups. E. Goffman’s interactional units “withs” and singles are a way of making sense of marginalization of singles/solo tourists. Solo tourists are often positively motivated by the freedom of choice. Research on women’s solo travel indicates that it is an acquired taste; most of them have to overcome personal barriers and constraints in order to fully enjoy the experience. Solo tourists thus have to deal with solitude. On the one hand, solitude provides travelers with freedom from compromises. On the other hand, it means the absence of sharing the experience with loved ones.