With the rise of technology, it’s no surprise to hear that the world’s travel habits have changed throughout the years. People are going on more holidays but planning shorter breaks than they used to, as tourists turn their backs on traditional two week holidays in favour of week long trips or weekend breaks.
Visiting different countries and travelling the world are among the most common ways for people to spend their summer holidays, but the summer isn’t the same as it once was. Here’s how our travel habits have changed and evolved over the years.
Holidays Are Getting Shorter
Booking.com recently surveyed 19000 users across 26 countries and found out that 49% of the respondents are planning more weekend trips in 2018 than longer holidays.
The Office for National Statistics [UK] conducted a survey called the International Passenger Survey in 1996 and 2016 to uncover the biggest changes in the travel habits between the 1990s and now – that’s a 20-year study. The results show that Brits are now going on more holidays than before. In 2016 they went on more than 45 million holidays abroad, compared to only 27 million in 1996, an overall rise of 68%. But despite this, holidays are becoming shorter, proving to be one of the biggest changes we’ve seen over the years marking a huge decline of two week holidays. A week-long break is now much more popular than ever before and there’s been an increase in holidays lasting up to 10 nights.
Active Holidays are on Rise
Light adventure travel is on a rise and more people are now taking hiking, walking or cycling trips. As per Booking.com’s readers survey, there is a 100% increase in people planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018 vs 2017. This is not just limited to adventure or hiking trips, but also includes wellness holidays. Ayurveda, Yoga, reiki, body detox, spa and meditation holidays are suddenly on rise.
Party Holidays vs City Breaks
Historically, a couple weeks of sun and sea were the way forward. However, young adults these days are now aware of the image this portrays with only 36% of 18-30 years old stating they enjoy a party holiday compared to 71% who would prefer a city break. It seems as if many people are swapping partying for a much more authentic travel experience.
The Power of Social Media Influencers
Back in the day, going abroad was very different. Barely anybody had access to the internet so you more than likely booked your holiday by physically going into travel agents. Once you had arrived at your destination, you had little if any contact with people back home unless you found an internet cafe or phone box. The difference these days is – thanks to the rise of social media platforms and high-quality cameras – we look to our friends and favourite travel influencers for our holiday inspiration. This brings us to the next point –
Instagram Has “Ruined” the Way We Travel
All it takes is a series of visually appealing photos that can suddenly make a destination trendy. Ironically, that’s what ruins it too. Nat Geo published an article about it in which they talk about how the number of visitors increased in Norway’s Trolltunga from 500 to 40,000 in just 5 years – all thanks to social media. Sadly Trolltunga is one of the many such places, there’s the Rainbow Mountain in Peru, the Doors of Heaven in Bali, Cinque Terre in Italy, Santorini’s blue and white viewpoints, “the Kiss” at Berlin’s East Side Gallery to name a few.
Apart from ruining destinations, Instagram has also changed the way how most of the travelers experience a new place. They spend more energy on capturing the perfect photo instead of breathing in the moment. They look at the place through their camera lens instead of personally enjoying the destination with their own eyes.
Upcoming Travel Destinations
When it comes to our most popular holiday destination, not much has changed with Spain still being a favourite. There’s been an increase in the number of people holidaying in Spain seeing an 87% increase over 20 years, while visits to France have fallen by 9%. according to booking data from Topdeck saying, Iceland and Japan have become some of the most booked destinations of 2018.
While our travel habits have changed over the years, our desire to travel and soak up the sun in various locations has remained consistent and shows no signs of changing anytime soon.