Generation Z shun party holidays in favour of cultural experiences. Young Britons are now choosing scenic sights over sun and sangria

  • 73% of young Britons go on holiday in search of historical or cultural sights
  • 77% of 16-24-year olds are opting to take micro-gaps over longer trips
  • Almost half (44%) of UK adults believe job prospects are enhanced by combining travel and learning

The party may be winding down, as new research commissioned by London Stansted Airport and You Gov, reveals that Gen Z are ditching 18-30 style holidays in search of a more educational experience.

With sun and sangria once the hallmark of a popular holiday package for young people, only one in four 16-24 years olds (24%) say they want to go partying on holiday – which lies in stark contrast to 67% of 25-54 year olds.

Top 10 things for 16-24 year olds to do on holiday
Visit historical or cultural sights (73%)
Eat local food (61%)
Relax on the beach (58%)
Visit nature/wildlife (56%)
Experiencing local communities (35%)
Sports or adventure activities (24%)
Go out partying (24%)
Self-discovery (20%)
Volunteering (8%)
Visit a wellness centre (7%)

Instead, young Britons are increasingly looking for enhanced experiences when going abroad, such as visiting historical or cultural sights (73%), visiting nature or wildlife (56%) or experiencing local communities (35%).

According to the findings by London Stansted Airport, which conducted the research with You Gov to find out more about young people’s travel habits, 16-24 year olds are now investing most of their holiday savings into finding Instagram worthy accommodation (42%), with the same figure  choosing either self-catered apartments or Airbnb in a bid to curate a more tailored trip.

Gen Z are also looking to maximise the time they spend abroad with shorter, more frequent trips instead of spending large amounts of time away from home. Some 77% of 16-24-year olds choose to go on a trip for between three and eight nights at a time compared with only 3% of the same age group who are travelling abroad for between 13 and 14 nights at a time. They are also eschewing the Bank of Mum and Dad with 58% saying they never borrow money from their parents and instead pay for the trips themselves.

With 33% of young Britons aged 16-24 and a further 35% of adults 25-39 admitting they felt travel was important to your overall growth as an adult, it is unsurprising that almost a third (28%) of all UK adults surveyed admitted they spent the most money on holidays.

With competition for graduate jobs becoming fiercer, it is more important than ever to graduating students that a gap year does not equate to a gap-in-your-CV-year. However, the .research showed that 44% of UK adults felt that the job prospects of younger people are improved if they combine travel with a skills course

Exploring the micro gapping trend and how young people are organising their travel and personal finances, London Stansted Airport has created the Go-Gap Travel Collection, to inspire young travellers passing through the airport to hone their passions abroad to benefit future careers.

Lois Robertson, Brand and Marketing Manager at London Stansted Airport commented: “It’s interesting to see that young people are shifting away from party holidays in favour of trips that allow self-development and enhance their minds. The focus on self-improvement follows with gap year experiences that allow Millennials and Gen Z to hone their passions and develop skills that they put towards getting their foot on the career ladder. Each traveller is different in what they want to get out of their Gap Year, and while each of the Go-Gap Travel packages draws on different experiences, all our packages highlight the value of travel on later life investment. Our partnership with Student Universe makes gap year travel more accessible by offering value for money.’