What’s In and Out for Gen Z Travelers, According to StudentUniverse

Hopping on the budding trend of “in and out” lists, StudentUniverse, a travel booking site for students and young adults, looked at the data from its upcoming “The State of Student Travel in 2024” study to identify what’s in and what’s out among Gen Z travelers this year.

Here’s what it found:


Traveling to Improve Mental Health

Gen Z is more candid about mental health issues than any other generation and, this year, they are using the benefits of travel as an opportunity to hit the reset button. A majority (93 percent) of young adults agree that travel experiences can positively impact emotional well-being as travelers return from vacations feeling less anxious and more optimistic.

TikTok Trip-spiration

As the social media platform of choice for this generation, Gen Z will rely on TikTok for travel inspiration in 2024. Video content is proven to be key for young travelers planning a vacation as TikTok ranked No. 1 over other sites like Google and Instagram. With a majority following at least one travel influencer (88 percent), this demographic has been able to expand their horizons and uncover new destinations they were previously unaware of thanks to the social network. 

Softening Carbon Footprints

While the climate crisis is not deterring Gen Z from traveling, young adults are making strides to lighten their carbon footprint by being eco-conscious when planning their 2024 trips. Fifty percent of travelers are prioritizing bookings through companies with strong green credentials, while more than half try to engage with eco-friendly organizations in the destination. 


Partying on Vacation

Drinking 20 percent less than Millennials, Gen Z is a sober-curious generation prioritizing alcohol-free trips in 2024. Most young travelers prefer vacations focused on sightseeing and experiencing new cultures as opposed to clubbing and heavy drinking to make the most of their travels by avoiding debilitating hangovers and using their funds in a more meaningful way. The popularity of mocktails and functional non-alcoholic alternatives have also spurred inspiration for more dry trips among these travelers. 

Domestic Destinations

As Gen Z travelers continue to deepen their perspectives and broaden their horizons, an appetite to travel abroad comes to the forefront. This year, young adults based in the U.S. will be jetsetting beyond the country’s borders to international destinations, with Italy, Japan and Greece being the most sought-after.

Mainstream Itineraries

This new generation of travelers is looking to go beyond mainstream experiences with curated itineraries that showcase activities and points of interest specific to the person visiting. To do this, more than a fifth of Gen Z is using AI for personalized travel recommendations and taking to TikTok to find hidden gems even in the most-visited destinations. 

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