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October 13, 2017 12:18 pm
If you didn't post it on your social media channels, did it even happen? As social media continues to influence the way people travel, the recently released Travelzoo® Fall Travel Trends Survey uncovered that travelers are finding themselves at a crossroads between FOMO (fear of missing out) and the desire for relaxation, torn between their need to share their vacation adventures on social media and a wish to digitally disconnect while away.
FOMO, in fact, appears to be impacting travel decisions, as more than half (53 percent) of respondents said they feel pressure to book unique or exotic vacations, and 40 percent feel pressure to take more adventurous vacations. In fact, adventure is a growing theme among travelers, with one in six respondents feeling compelled to be more adventurous than they really are, while one in three (34 percent) feel a vacation is actually wasted without adventurous experiences. Younger travelers were most likely to say they felt they had wasted time on vacation, with 24 percent of millennials and 29 percent of Gen Xers saying they didn't experience enough at their vacation destination.
Much of this drive for fun is influenced by how vacation photos translate on social media. Nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed agree that social media is driving up the need to experience more on vacation, and almost a third (30 percent) of travelers are booking trips based on whether they think the destination or activity will serve up visually compelling social media content.
Despite the desire to put up a positive and exciting front on social media, there's a growing interest in trips that allow travelers to disconnect even more. In fact, half of respondents said cutting digital ties enhances the appeal of a trip. Rationale for wanting to cut the cord was due to feeling they check email too often (28 percent), are jaded by the news (27 percent), and feel too tied to a phone (22 percent). With the mounting stresses of everyday life, it's not surprising that the top goals of most travelers are still relaxing (56 percent) and enjoying great food (44 percent).
Regardless of age, nearly half of respondents (44 percent) feel an original or meaningful experience is important when booking a vacation. Spiritual benefits or personal growth resonates with a quarter of all respondents, with Gen Zers (58 percent) and millennials (39 percent) placing more emphasis on those outcomes than baby boomers (18 percent) or those born before 1946 (28 percent).
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