Social Egomania, Going Solo & Road Trip Adventures...Oh My!
The first-time travel intentions of global travellers for 2017
- One in three people (30%) are planning to travel solo for the first time in 2017
- A third (34%) of 18-34 year olds say they travel more because they want to post new pictures on social media
New global research commissioned by Booking.com reveals the intentions of intrepid travellers who plan to widen their first-time travel experiences in 2017.
While first-time travel can seem daunting, most agree (61%) that any nerves felt before they travelled were unnecessary. The fastening of your airplane seatbelt, the turning of your hotel room or apartment key, the view from your bedroom and the taste of a local delicacy – first-time travel moments create memories that stay with us forever and unlocks new and exciting travel adventures.
The research, which questioned over 15,000 people from 20 countries, found that whilst few people (6%) said that their first-ever trip was as a solo traveller - with most experiencing travel for the first time with family (52%), friends (11%) or a school trip (10%) - the confidence that travel gives a person is kicking-off a new trend for first-time solo travel adventures in 2017.
Whilst travelling for the first time can be a scary prospect, two thirds (66%) feel it is worth it to be able to see a new place, and three in five (61%) believe any nerves felt when they travelled somewhere for the first time have usually been unnecessary.
But where are these adventurous solo travellers going? The research reveals that 80% are planning international travel to far-flung destinations that include the sandy beaches of Australia, busy metropolises of the USA, the arts and music of Germany, mountains of Austria and the beauty of Japan.
The top 10 most popular planned international destinations for solo travel are:
And it seems these soon-to-be solo adventurers are in for a treat, as travellers who have already experienced solo travel reported feeling free (27%), excited (20%), happy (12%) and only a handful (11%) feeling nervous about travelling alone. Valuable advice from experienced solo travellers includes:
- Ensure you know some basic phrases in the local language (18%),
- Pack less than you think you need (18%),
- Carry your passport with you (24%),
- Secure accommodation in advance of arrival (30%),
- ...but most of all, relax and enjoy every minute! (40%)
The social ego has landed!
From cobalt blue seas, adventurous roof-down road trips and delicious cuisine – social media feeds are full of the filtered fantasy of our travel dreams. So it’s no wonder the research reveals that social media plays a hugely important role in deciding where to go on a first-time travel experience, especially with 18 to 34 year olds. In fact, nearly half (44%) of millennials confirm they use social media to help select a travel destination, and over half (55%) say social media inspires them to try new travel experiences.
And it’s millennials who are most affected emotionally by what they see on social media with almost half (45%) of 18 to 34 year olds confirm their social media feed makes them feel like everyone is travelling but them, and 44 per cent admit that it makes them feel that they are missing out on new travel experiences. The competitive nature of this generation is also displayed in the findings, with almost half (46%) saying they feel jealous of the travel experiences they see on their social media feed, one in three (34%) say they travel more and try more first-time travel experiences so they can post new pictures on their social media.
In fact, it might be the popularity of social media and the fear of missing out that drives the perception held by nearly three in five (58%) 18 to 34 year olds that they are more adventurous than the generation before them. This is a trend that actually continues through different generations: the feeling of being more adventurous than those before them is a feeling echoed by over half (54%) of 35 to 54 year olds and half (50%) of those aged 55 and over.
Seeking something new
The research reveals how first-time travel ignites the travel bug in many with two in five (43%) confirming their first-time travel experiences inspire them to try a new or different type of travel experience or accommodation the next time they travel. In fact, almost half (45%) are planning to be more adventurous in their travel plans in 2017 with over half (56%) resolving to travel further away from home.
The types of first time experiences people want to try in 2017 is also broadening beyond the traditional beach holidays or city explorations, with road trips proving to be a popular choice for 2017 (44%), followed by eco tours (39%), spiritual adventures (23%) and volunteering based trips (21%) being selected by wanderlust travellers in their travel plans for 2017[i].
[i] According to data collected by Booking.com with 12,781 respondents across 13 markets in September 2016. Respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in 2016 and had to be planning at least one trip for 2017. All respondents had to consider themselves part of their travel decision-making process.