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Voice Of A Generation: Young People Desperate To Travel Again

Contiki shares key trends and insights that are shaping a generation who have missed their rite of passage and are desperate to travel once more.

Contiki has been bringing 18-35-year-old travellers together and sending them away to discover the world since 1962. But in 2020, Contiki became a travel company that couldn’t travel.

However, what they discovered last year was the power of community: Avid travellers keeping the connection alive with their desire for shared experiences, storytelling and dreaming over when they can travel again.

Voice of a Generation survey


Over 1200 youths participated in the Voice of a Generation survey which uncovered that young people are desperate to travel.

63% of millennials and Gen Z want to travel this year, 58% would travel right now even if it meant having to PAY for quarantine when they return home, and 71% would take the COVID vaccine (a “no brainer”) just to use their passport and hop on a plane again.

Surprising? We don’t think so.

But with so much unpredictability around borders, the biggest barrier for the youth market is risk of cancellation. They are most incentivised if they can book with confidence, have booking flexibility (74%) and a money-back guarantee (86%), more so than discounts.

It’s clear that millennials and Gen Z play such an essential role in tourism starting again, they’re missing discovering new destinations (39%) and experiencing something for the first time (21%). 

Domestic travel is still at an all-time high with 77% surveyed looking to explore their home this year. Around 25% are considering a Gap-Year or sabbatical to make up for lost time.

Since the launch of Contiki’s new Aussie Adventures, which have been well received and a sell-out with more trips opened up, it’s clear that young Aussies are craving to explore and connect with other like-minded travellers, realising the time is NOW to discover their own backyard. 

“There’s nothing more empowering than getting outside of your ‘bubble’, meeting new people and making new friends”

Katrina Barry, Managing Director for Contiki

“We are so excited to make this happen and get them back out on the road! We know most want the opportunity to travel together again with the freedom and flexibility to be social whether travelling solo, with friends or a partner.”

“To experience those magic moments that travel brings and to leave with memories that will stay with them forever, it’s on everyone’s mind,” concluded Katrina Barry, Managing Director for Contiki.


Dreaming of faraway places, Europe tops the list with 41% eager to explore, followed by Asia at 11% and Africa a close third. Most surveyed are hoping for travel this summer with 34% planning to travel between May through to September, followed by 25% having a “plan to travel but not sure when”.

READ: How TikTok Is Changing The Way Gen Z Travels

For a generation that’s born into the digital age with a phone glued to their hand – they would still happily spend a week or so without tech to travel again and reconnect with people (40%).

Switching phones out with unique experiences such as safaris and stargazing tops the list at 87%, over-indexing on desired travel experiences followed by experiencing new cultures and trying new food (66%), exploring the great outdoors (62%), having adventures (56%), and immersing themselves in wellness activities (46%).


With the ‘new world’ of travel upon us, wellbeing protocols rated of very high importance, with an average score of 8/10

Katrina Barry is not surprised by these results with Contiki recently awarded the WTTC safe travels stamp.

She said: “In the ‘new world’, it’s important to travel with peace of mind. We are absolutely committed to the wellbeing of our travellers, only working with trusted partners and are very selective when choosing hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that meet the expected guidelines and specifications to elevate our already high hygiene standards and protocols.”

So what has this generation learned about themselves throughout the pandemic? 


With lots of time to relefect, the younger generation has learned a great deal about themselves and how they’d like to travel in the future.

48% appreciate travel more and 20% have promised themselves to make more trips, more often; followed by a need to travel sustainably. 

Contiki Cares offers trips of a lifetime for these conscious travellers, giving back to communities for the benefit of people, planet and wildlife.