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Ditch the travel cliches, says new GEN Z survey

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Posting pictures with cliché captions, recreating ‘popular’ travel poses and sharing selfies that show off tan lines are Gen Z’s pet hates when it comes to travel snaps shared on social media.

LONDON - With last month marking a year since we went into national lockdown, a new study from Topdeck Travel reveals that young Britons are looking to change how they travel once restrictions are lifted. After months spent at home, the past year has certainly been a time for reflection, and as we get closer to being able to travel once more, young people’s attitudes to travel are expected to change as new post-covid behaviours start to emerge.

Top 5 social media pet hates for 18-25-year-olds

  1. Posting pictures with cliché captions (42%)
  1. ‘Copy and paste’ popular tourist images (35%)
  1. Selfies to show off tan lines (26%)
  1. Overly loving couple holiday snaps  (25%)
  1. Posting images jumping on the beach (23%)

With the summer holiday season just around the corner, the research reveals that Gen Z is looking to switch up how they portray their next travel adventure on social media. 42% of young people stated that social media posts, including cliché captions such as ‘catch flights, not feelings’ and ‘my Monday is better than yours’ were the worst to share and would not be replicated on their next travels.

Recreating those artfully staged ‘popular’ tourist travel poses (35%) like the Leaning Tower of Pisa pose, and posting selfies that show off tan lines (26%) also topped the list of biggest travel pet hates, with overly loving couple snaps (25%), posting images of the hotel room (23%) and posting photos jumping on the beach (23%) following closely behind.

With the pandemic having taken its toll on young Britons’ lifestyles, 39% said that they can’t wait to log off from Zoom calls once restrictions are lifted. The survey also found that Gen Z will happily say goodbye to increased screen time (36%), eating in (23%) and being in close proximity to the fridge – meaning constant snacking! – (20%) when life begins out of lockdown.

The research has been commissioned by youth travel provider Topdeck Travel to find out more about how the pandemic has made Generation Z reconsider what is important to them when it comes to travel. According to the findings, optimism is in the air for young travellers with 93% already planning their future travel.

Top 5 future travel plans for 18-25-year-olds after lockdown

  1. Visiting a dream destination that is further away from home (32%)
  1. Ticking off bucket list activities (29%)
  1. Exploring nature and the outdoors (26%)
  1. Seeking out local culture (26%)
  1. Spending time recuperating and relaxing (25%)

It is clear that new travel experiences are already firmly on the agenda for today’s young Brits. With  bars and restaurants having been closed for much of the last year, young people are itching to get back out there with almost one in three (31%) saying that they felt that they did not explore enough of the destination’s nightlife and 30% saying they felt that they didn’t learn enough about local cultures and traditions.  Experiencing nature and wildlife (29%), and making friends with fellow travellers (28%) also featured high on the list of young people’s travel plans post lockdown. 

Charles Knowlton, Global General Manager at Topdeck Travel, comments: ‘It has been a disheartening year for young people , but our findings show that they are resilient and are ready to bounce back with new travel experiences.

The study has found that Gen Z is fed up with the polished Insta-worthy experiences that we’ve become over-exposed to today. Instead, they seek authentic travel experiences that liberate them from the rules of normal life, once travel restrictions are lifted. We’ve seen from our findings that after a year in lockdown, young travellers are keen to explore more of what a destination has to offer when they travel. This includes exploring more of the local cultures, experiencing the nature and wildlife and making friends with fellow travellers.

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