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Top Ten Youth Travel Trends from StudentUniverse

Top Ten Youth Travel Trends from StudentUniverse
9 October 2018 James Brooke

With the recent documented decline in Club 18-30 holidays and the noticeable switch in both interests and tastes from youth travellers around the world, StudentUniverse believes the market is being redefined to accommodate the change.

Here, the world’s leading booking sites for students and youth, share their top ten youth travel trends to watch.

1.Content capture

Proving you went somewhere is nearly as important as booking the trip itself. Tours and trips are now being adjusted to allow for more time to take photographs and create videos. Creating content is at the forefront of youth traveller’s minds, if it won’t look good on their feed, they won’t be sold on the idea.

2. Decision making: Importance of visuals

Selling a trip from a wordy brochure is long gone; cue Instagram. Many trips are sold from pictures youth travellers are seeing via social media. Undiscovered parts of countries are shared online, whether that be a glorious sunset or a majestic hidden temple, and those pondering a trip back home will be left feeling inspired. StudentUniverse has seen bookings from youth travellers, who come directly from social media, up over 75 per cent.

3. The need for benefits

“What will this trip do for me..?” is what StudentUniverse is hearing from youth travellers and this is understandable; investing time and money in the right places is important to us all. Many young travellers now crave trips which will enhance their life skills, boost their CV or allow them to give back to communities. Trips are very much focused on making travel matter.

4. Good choices for a good self-image

It’s all about looking respectable in today’s world and student and youth travellers know how important their impact on the world is. This integrity is a big driver in what flights and trips they book, or which destination interests them, whether that be volunteering with local children or helping out at an animal sanctuary. A positive external self-image is incredibly relevant to today’s audience, and if a destination isn’t so ‘hot right now’ it may lose its booking credentials.

5. Demand for unique experiences.

With the 18-30 holiday on a steady decline, it’s clear youth travellers are craving something different from a trip. They seek unique, new experiences that are constantly evolving to follow the trends. New product development within StudentUniverse’s partners includes the launches of vegan food tours, as well as even larger group tours to offer multiple different experiences in one place.

6. The Immersive Traveller

The times of simply wanting to escape, kick back and relax are long gone. Activity based trips, such as trekking tours, are trending year on year at StudentUniverse as it seems Generation Z are focused on new experiences which allow them to delve deeper into a destination.  For example, Generation Z are 64% more likely to want to learn a new language than millennials.

7. Cheap vs. Value

Students are still willing to spend money, but not on traditional upgrades such as, air fares and room upgrades, but on unique, meaningful experiences.  StudentUniverse has always striven to drive down the cost of the “functional” air fare with their unique student pricing, which means there is more available for the experiences that matter. The company’s brand messaging, “Travel More, Spend Less” appears to be resonating with travellers.

8. Resilient Travellers

Youth Travellers are undeterred by economic problems or political unrest. StudentUniverse found that 56 per cent of students said they were either unlikely to cancel or would definitely not cancel plans to travel to a destination affected by terrorism. Only two per cent said they would definitely cancel a planned trip if it was to a destination that was the victim of a terror attack or incident.

9. Flexibility

Going direct to a location is not a high priority for Youth travellers, not only does it save money, but it also allows for additional exploring time StudentUniverse booking data has shown a 96 per cent increase in traffic at smaller regional airports in the past year, where students are saving on average £100 on their flight cost compared to flying into main airports.

10. Pushing the norm with customer service

Increasingly, youth travellers don’t want to wait for answers when planning or booking an adventure and filling fill in a form or speaking to a call centre is deemed tedious in this fast-paced world. Youth travellers now expect companies to use social media for personalised customer service, and this shift in tactic has provided a platform for StudentUniverse to be more conversational with its target market.

For more information on StudentUniverse, and the trips available, please visit


For further press information, please contact:
Emma Arthurs/Baillie Horwood/Nicole Lovett
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About StudentUniverse
StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers discounted pricing and terms on flights, hotels and tours. Its Travel Services division also handles complex itineraries, custom designed gap year experiences and group travel requests.

StudentUniverse also operates Journeys are Made @, the world’s largest gap year inspiration travel platform.

StudentUniverse launched in the UK in 2013 and was acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group in 2015. StudentUniverse is headquartered in Boston with offices in London, Toronto, New York and the Philippines. StudentUniverse believes that travel is essential to a modern education. Millions of students use the service every year.

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