Real Talk

This is the #1 reason people gave when asked why they travel

Why do you travel? Is it in pursuit of the great unknown? To take a killer (but sweaty) selfie after hiking the Inca Trail? Maybe it’s to eat the best macarons in the world? Or perhaps you just really want to lie in crystal blue waters off some isolated beach with your pals? There is no wrong answer. However, most of you will fall into this one category when asked why you want to travel…

There’s hundreds of reasons to book that flight outta town, in fact maybe more than one, but coming in at #2 and #3 for the top reasons to travel are to explore new cultures and to get some R&R. What’s #1 then we hear you ask? The number one reason people travel is to try new experiences.

The Contiki No Regrets survey found 71% of people see experiences as the most important thing in their lives. No longer is travel about the destination, it’s now about ticking off bucket list items and focusing on the time spent in a location (rather than the location itself). It’s not enough to simply say, “Oh I’ve been to Paris”, people want to know what you did there and how it enriched your life. And guess what, you want it too.

The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation also found that young travelers are not as interested in “the traditional sun, sea and sand holidays” like their parents were, preferring to spend their time exploring places off the beaten track instead. The desire to challenge yourself has become the trip worth having, and interestingly, this is more common amongst women.


A study by Cheapflights found that 26% of women list “adventure and exploration” as their primary reason for travel, while the majority of men said “rest and relaxation”.

The drive behind chasing experiences is not only to challenge yourself, but to find a more authentic self. Anyone’s Instagram hashtags will tell you that, but Contiki’s research backed it up. It found that the two most motivating reasons young people want to, for example, cross the globe to hang out in a glacier in Iceland is to learn about other cultures and appreciate natural beauty. Tick, tick!


So the question is, do you agree? Why do YOU travel? Vote below ?

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