Stats: Americans Seek Vacation Experiences to Impress Social Followers

Perception and appearance are key motivators for Americans when it comes to planning and booking travel experiences in 2019, according to a study from travel, media and entertainment startup Culture Trip. The Cultural Mindset study explores people’s global outlooks, attitudes towards culture and new experiences and their motivations for travel. 

Travelers Are Risktakers

When it comes to travel, Americans are willing to push boundaries. An overwhelming 72 percent of Americans think it’s worth taking risks to have an adventure and more than half (56 percent) want to be the first to go to new places and try new things. This trend is even more pronounced when it comes to younger travelers: 69 percent of 18- to 34-year-old respondents say they want to be the first to go to new places and try new things.

Americans Seek Affirmation

While Americans are keen on exploration and adventure, perception is also a crucial part of travel. Seventy-one percent of Americans choose travel experiences that will give them a good story to tell, and a surprising 40 percent of Americans confess they want people to be impressed by their holidays.

Millennials and Gen Z travelers are even more likely to care about the opinions of others with 75 percent of them saying it’s important to be seen as someone with a wide experience of the world and over half (53 percent) admitting they care that their experiences look good on social media.

Perhaps surprisingly, men are more likely to be motivated by appearances, with 43 percent of male respondents admitting they want people to be impressed by their experiences, compared to 32 percent among female respondents. Overall, men (37 percent) are also more likely than women (27 percent) to care that their travel experiences look good on social media.

According to the study, men are far more likely to see themselves as travel trendsetters: 44 percent of men globally make this claim compared to just 36 percent of women. Travel FOMO (fear of missing out) in men is higher too: 43 percent of men want to go to the same places their friends have been compared to 34 percent of women. This trend is particularly evident amongst Gen Z, with 59 percent of those under 25 wanting to travel to the same locations as their friends so they won’t feel left behind or out of touch.  

Vacation Essentials

When it comes to travel, the U.S. is a tech-addicted nation. Twenty-eight percent say we can't live without our phones on vacation, and one in five consider good Wi-Fi as essential. One in five Americans (21 percent) won't travel without a camera. 

The most important essential is our partners, with 39 percent of respondents confessing they can’t live without our other halves when we travel. However, while partners are important, alone time is necessary as 18 percent say having some time to ourselves on vacation is non-negotiable.

Break Travel Stereotypes

The stereotype of the insular "American Abroad" may be no longer, with the vast majority (82 percent) feeling the only way to truly understand a place is to experience it like a local.

The hostel era may also be coming to an end. Gen Z travelers are more likely to book a vacation rental (27 percent) or budget hotel (34 percent) over a hostel (23 percent). Younger generations are interested in learning when they travel, with one in five of those under 35 having taken an educational trip in the last five years, making them 40 percent more likely than the general population. In fact, seven in 10 Millennials are not afraid to immerse themselves completely in a new culture, reflecting a deep-rooted desire to engage fully in order to learn.

The full findings from the Cultural Mindset study will be released soon. The findings are based on in-depth interviews with 150 consumers and a survey of 10,500 respondents in the U.S. and U.K.

Source: Culture Trip

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