Have you caught the travel bug and have your sight set on exploring the world in the coming year? How do people travel these days? What sort of experiences are they looking for? In a BookYogaRetreats.com survey of over 300 travelers, we've uncovered some travel trends that will definitely continue into 2017 and perhaps beyond. Here's a look at what to expect next year in terms of travel!
1. You will take at least one holiday this year
The idea of time away from work to travel is no longer just for a select few. Taking a break has now become more and more of a norm for individuals regardless of age. Our survey showed that only less than 15% of people aged 26 and under have stated they rarely go on holidays. As a whole, at least 40% of respondents go on one to two holidays in a year. News site Gallup also found similar trends in its study where over 55% of Americans say that they have vacation plans for the summer , and we expect this number to increase in the summer of 2017!
Perhaps the reason for this trend is that more people are becoming aware of the value of rest and relaxation. Breaks have shown to have a positive impact on employees. Taking a break is also directly linked to performance at the office as a study by Project: Time Off found that people who took more days off were more likely to get a pay raise than those who don't!
2. You will want an enriching travel experience
Gone were the days that a holiday automatically meant to travel with the purpose of visiting family and friends. Only 10% of our respondents state this as a reason for their travel. More interestingly, less people are traveling in search of the nightlife. Only 4% of respondents noted that they traveled to party. More people travel as a way to enrich themselves, be it to explore a new destination (29%) or to learn a new skill (32.9%). While on vacation, more than half of our respondents are more interested in immersing themselves in the local culture, opting to blend in and experience the local way of life!
At 12%, quite a fair number of respondents from the UK seek to cultivate new healthy habits on their travels. Under this category, the UK comes as the second highest number, falling behind Spain (16.7%). Respondents from these countries are more interested in going on fitness or wellness holidays such as yoga retreats or martial arts retreats.
3. You will become your own travel agent
With the advancement of technology, we are becoming independent travelers. Our survey showed that only 6.25% respondents say that they will go to travel agencies to book their flights.
Social media is set to be your new travel agent, with travel being named as the biggest social vertical on Facebook! According to the Adweek infographic, 52% of Facebook users said that their friend's photos inspired their travel plans.
The newly launched Google Trips travel app will also potentially rival the likes of Facebook as it combines travel planning with custom itineraries and guides will potentially be your personalised travel agent. Now that's an efficient travel agent!
4. You will prefer to travel solo
Think traveling solo is a good idea? You're not the only one! Half of our respondents thought so too! 51% of our survey respondents stated that they would be traveling solo on their next vacation. Solo traveling has been on the rise in the past year, with holiday companies offering incentives for solo travelers such as Cox & Kings and Caribtours in the UK.
While previously uncommon, many are now advocating for solo travel. According to our survey, 80% of solo travelers come from Germany, followed by the UK at 69% and then Canada at 67%. If you're still on the fence about going solo, Fodor.com stresses that it will make you a better traveler and make your experiences more meaningful, while Wanderlust says that it will boost your self esteem!
5. If you are a woman, chances are, you'll be even more likely to travel alone
More and more women are also now trekking the globe on their own, and in 2017, they will be seeking a solo adventure. A study has shown that there has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in the past six years, no doubt catering to this rise in female travelers. Women are found to be more empowered to travel alone due to the rise of social media and a growing sense of safety.
Supporting this trend, more women are also increasingly interested in women-only themed vacations. Traffic to women-only retreats on www.BookYogaRetreats.com between January and August this year registered at almost 38,000 views, significantly more than visits to men-only retreats, couple retreats and family retreats.
6. You will be ready to disconnect from work
Perhaps the convenience of technology these days have contributed to this trend, but it is apparent that the boundaries between work and personal life is slowly disappearing. According to a Randstad study, 42% of employees in 2014 reported feeling obligated to check their emails during vacation.
The blurring of work and personal lines had come to such great heights that main influential business media outlets have published dozens of articles to help employees to stop checking their emails while on vacation!
We are beginning to see a shift from this perspective. People begin to understand that being connected all the time polluted their personal wellness. Our survey found that over 75% of our respondents are willing to completely unplug from their work life while traveling. However, of this number, only 38% achieves this goal, so it seems we have a fair bit more to go!
7. You will use social media to document your holidays
We are well and truly living in the age of social media! If before, we would document our holidays through carefully curate photos inserted in photo albums or gathered in digital albums, we now share our stories on the go using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat and Periscope. Our survey found almost 80% of our respondents use social media while on holiday, with 25% of respondents checking in daily. Only 10% have said that they would completely unplug from social media while on holiday, while only a mere 7% don't use it at all.
Not surprisingly, Millennials are helming the social media scene. According to The G Brief, 75% of them post on social media while traveling, counting likes, shares and retweets, and at the same time influencing their peers.