When a woman wants to travel alone in India, convincing family members can take longer than the actual trip. But it seems, slowly but surely, times are changing.
A recent report published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation shows that more than half of all single-member overnight trips in the country were made by women, despite issues of safety and the prevalent notion that women are more vulnerable on their own.
The report shows that Punjab tops the list as the state where the highest number of single woman travellers go to in all of India — 66 percent of single-member trips to Punjab were made by women. Next on the list is Telangana.
Out of the 11 lakh people who made overnight trips to Telangana during the survey period, 60 percent were single women travellers.
The survey, titled "Key Indicators of Domestic Tourism in India" was conducted from July 2014 to June 2015 by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO).
With the exception of Karnataka, the NSSO survey revealed that women in the southern states travelled extensively. Following Telangana, most women travelers take overnight trips to Kerala (58 percent), Tamil Nadu (55 percent) and Andhra Pradesh (53 percent).
Only 17 percent of the trips completed in the last 365 days by solo women travelers were for shopping.
"We have observed that families in other parts of the country are more conservative about sending women out for solo trips. In southern states such as Telangana, families are open to the idea of single woman travelling alone," Hetal Doshi, founder of the Wander Girls, a women's only travel company, told the Times Of India.
There's another statistic in the report that shatters stereotypes. Only 17 percent of the trips completed in the last 365 days by solo women travelers were for shopping. Most trips were made for reasons of health or leisure.
Meanwhile, only two percent of single member business trips were made by women.
Whether the trips are being inspired by Kangana Ranaut's 'Queen', or a listicle that said '35 things to do before you turn 35', or just plain wanderlust, women are definitely winning this one.