Perception and appearance are key motivators for Brits when it comes to planning and booking travel experiences in 2019, according to an upcoming study from travel, media and entertainment start up Culture Trip.

The Cultural Mindset study explores people’s global outlooks, attitudes towards culture and new experiences and their motivations for travel. The findings are based on in-depth interviews with 150 consumers and a survey of 10,500 respondents in the UK and US.


When it comes to travel, we’re willing to push boundaries; a whopping 62% of Brits think it’s worth taking risks to have an adventure and nearly half (46%) want to be the first to tread new paths. This trend is even more pronounced when it comes to younger travellers - 69% of 18 to 34 year olds globally state they want to be the first to go to new places and try new things.

Brits seek affirmation in their travel choices - especially men and millennials

While Brits are keen on exploration and adventure, perception is also a crucial part of travel. Over half (58%) of Brits choose travel experiences that will give them a good story to tell, and a surprising one in three Brits confess they want people to be impressed by their holidays.

Millennials and Gen Z travellers are even more likely to care about the opinions of others with 75% globally saying it’s important to be seen as someone with wide experience of the world and over half (53%) admitting they care that their experiences look good on social media.

Perhaps surprisingly, men are more likely to be motivated by appearances, with 4 in 10 (43%) admitting they want people to be impressed by their experiences, compared to 3 in 10 (32%) women. Overall, men (37%) are also more likely than women (27%) to care that their travel experiences look good on social media.

According to the study, men are far more likely to see themselves as travel trendsetters - 44% of men globally make this claim compared to just 36% of women. Travel FOMO is higher too - 43% of men want to go to the same places their friends have been compared to 34% of women. This trend is particularly evident amongst Gen Z travellers, with 59% of those under 25 wanting to travel to the same locations as their mates so they won’t feel left behind or out of touch.

Holiday essentials

When it comes to travel, there are a few non-negotiables for UK travellers - and a good read remains just as essential as good technology. A book (22%) is just as important as our phones (22%) and good Wi-Fi (22%). One in 5 Brits won’t travel without a camera and 16% say having some time to themselves is essential on holiday.

The most important essential is our partners, with 39% of us confessing we can’t live without our other halves when we travel. And whether this is connected to that or not, men (16%) are more than twice as likely as women (6%) to say sex is essential for a good holiday.

Is 2019 the year that Brits break travel stereotypes? 

The stereotype of the insular "Brit Abroad" may be no longer, with the vast majority (80%) of us feeling the only way to truly understand a place is to experience it like a local.

Is the hostel era coming to an end? Gen Z travellers are more likely to book a holiday rental (27%) or budget hotel (34%) over a hostel (23%). Younger generations are interested in learning when they travel, with one in five of those under 35 having taken an educational trip in the last 5 years, making them 40 percent more likely than the general population. In fact, 7 in 10 millennials are not afraid to immerse themselves completely in a new culture, reflecting a deep-rooted desire to engage fully in order to learn.

“The good news is that the majority of us have genuine interest in exploring the world, with more than half of us willing to accept a little bit of a risk in order to have an adventure,” said Mike Fox, CMO at Culture Trip. “There’s clearly a deep rooted desire amongst many of us be pioneering globetrotters, discovering the unknown and immersing ourselves in cultures that are different from our own. However, we can’t ignore that this is partly motivated by a need for validation from others, either through social media or storytelling. I think we’ll see these desires manifested as more pronounced changes to travel habits in the future - we’re already starting to see some of those changes amongst the younger generations of travellers.”

Key stats:

  • Over half (59%) of Brits have holidayed at a wellness retreat in the past 5 years
  • Skiing is one of the most popular types of holidays for Brits with almost three quarters (73%) of us hitting the slopes in the last 5 years
  • Brits are more likely to travel to sun ourselves on the beach than for any other reason, with a staggering 91% going on a beach holiday in the last 5 years
  • 24% of UK respondents compromise on daily living expenses so they can enjoy amazing food experiences
  • Millennials are more likely to do this (29% compared to 26% of those aged 35+)
  • 19% of UK respondents try to make savings or will compromise on daily expenses so they can take more luxurious trips
  • Millennials are more likely to do this (29% compared to 16% of those aged 35+)
  • 12% of UK respondents will save or compromise on daily living expenses so they have more money to spend on fashion and beauty
  • Millennials more likely to do this (23% compared to 9% of those aged 35+)
  • 8% of UK respondents can't live without the opportunity to shop on holiday

 Items brought back from holiday:

  • 35% of UK travellers will bring back clothes
  • 13% of UK travellers will bring back art or artefacts

 How they decide what to spend on holidays

  • 10% of UK respondents say they will spend whatever is required to have a good experience when it comes to flights
  • Accommodation slightly more important, with 14% of UK respondents willing to spend whatever they need to have a good experience
  • Food even more important, with 19% of UK respondents willing to spend whatever is required to have a good experience.


  • 15% of UK respondents have stayed in a boutique hotel, with it skewing slightly higher for millennials (24%)
  • Yet, 25% of UK respondents have considered this accommodation
  • 33% of UK respondents have stayed in a resort, which skews higher for millennials (39%)

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