Travel Solo DaySource = Justine Waddington Solo stints set to soarAn Australian solo travel aficionado is stamping her mark on the travel industry, announcing the inaugural National Travel Solo Day on 15 July.The awareness day is set to shine an overdue spotlight on solo travellers and deflect from the traditional focus on couples and families portrayed in holiday offers.Justine Waddington, author of The Solo Traveller’s Compass, How To Travel Solo But Not Alone hopes the day will shift the attention to solo travellers.“Not everyone adopts an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ approach to solo travel, wanting to travel independently. There is no reason for ‘solo’ to mean travelling alone,” said Ms Waddington, founder of solo travel specialist company, Encounter Travel.Before starting her travel business, Ms Waddington escorted two tour groups across South America and found only a few singles in each group. “The lack of single travellers got me thinking about why there weren’t more on the tour,” said Ms Waddington.“Anyone worried about not having a travel buddy should be encouraged to seek out a tour or cruise group,” said the Aussie entrepreneur. Latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of one-person households increased from 15.7% of the population in 1976 to 24.4% in 2006.It’s predicted to jump a further 30% or more, excluding single parent households, by 2026. “Solo travellers represent a significant potential market share, yet beliefs and attitudes towards solo travel have a long way to go,” said Ms Waddington.“Advertising images of family travel scenes and couples touring, could be enough to alienate anyone without a travel buddy, from joining a group.”Clinical psychologist Tracey Feltham said solo travel and meeting new people as an adult, can provoke anxiety, especially if you’ve spent many years on your own.“For a lot of people there can be a real sadness that they’ve reached a point in their life where they have the opportunity to travel, but they don’t have someone like a partner to share that experience with,” said Ms Feltham.Ms Waddington said, dining alone, the cost of the single supplement, and not having a friend to share their journey are just some of the mental roadblocks holding people back.“A lot of people don’t even consider solo travel an option. Some encouragement and support, armed with savvy travel tips can go a long way towards shifting the mindset around solo travel.” said Ms Waddington.No snoring partners, no cranky jet lagged partners, shop when you like, drop when you like, see what you want to see and visit places you actually want to see. Just some of the reasons to give solo travel a road test.An awareness campaign on social media marks National Travel Solo Day. Solo travellers are sharing their favourite snaps, and adding the hashtag #NationalTravelSoloDay.