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Travel + ______ = Happiness | WYSE Travel Confederation News |
Travel + ______ = Happiness
WYSE News | December 7, 2023

How happy are you from travelling?

From one to ten, what would you say? Five? Nine? 6.66?

But before you rate your happiness, tell us this: how many activities did you do on your last trip? We might be able to make a good guess at how happy you are!

WYSE Travel Confederation’s New Horizons research on international youth and student travel in both 2023 and 2017 found that travellers who reported doing more activities while travelling, reported higher levels of happiness as a result of their trip.

That’s right, young travellers are activity-intense and apparently happy because of it. Those who rated their happiness at 9 or 10 on a ten-point scale reported doing between 8 and 9 activities on their trip.

What about the less-than-happy people, you ask? Well, travellers who rated their happiness at a mere 5 out of 10 did only 4 activities on average while travelling. Wonder what those activities were?!

Young travellers continue to be highly motivated to travel in order to explore other cultures and experience everyday life abroad. This is something you already know from earlier research by WYSE Travel Confederation. How do young people fulfill those motivations? By sitting in cafes and restaurants and going on tours or day excursions in the destination.

And perhaps much to the surprise of people who assume gen z’ers are led solely by cost, WYSE research has found that young travellers are likely to splurge. And that likelihood to splurge has even increased on some elements of an international trip. The most dramatic increase in splurging was for guided tours, with 70% likely or very likely to splurge on this in 2023 compared to just under 50% in 2017. Food & drink experiences and extreme sports/adrenaline activities saw small splurge likelihood increases over the same period. Interestingly, events and festivals remained a steady splurge item for youth travellers, with just over 70% saying they’d be likely or very likely to splurge on this in both 2023 and 2017.

Activities, tours and entertainment account for roughly 13% of the average total international youth trip spend, up from 9% in 2017. This is on par with the proportion spent on accommodation or transportation in the destination. Food & drink, which can also be seen as ‘experiences’ while travelling, accounted for roughly 17% of the total average international youth trip spend in our most recent survey.

So, how many activities did you do on your last international trip? Better yet, how many are you planning for your next trip?

Happy holidays!

For more insights on the near future of travel and tourism, join the world’s largest network of specialists in youth and student travel, WYSE Travel Confederation.

WYSE Research Team

Wendy Morrill

Wendy Morrill

Head of Research
& Education,
WYSE Travel Confederation

Greg Richards

Research Advisor,
WYSE Travel Confederation