From Trafalgar, keeping in mind they are a travel tour operator, so consider the source.
Travel it seems, may be losing a bit of its luster for some globetrotters.
As part of a new, thought-provoking survey from Trafalgar, 89 percent of survey respondents said travel is enjoyable but stressful (It can be, I agree) and difficult to plan. What’s more, 49 percent said that “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel that real – that travel is becoming a common tourist trail (it depends on where you go!).
Additionally, 37 percent of those surveyed felt they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip and almost half of the participants said if they did, the experiences were not unique.
“The results were surprising and somewhat disconcerting, with the overall sentiment stipulating that rather than travel evoking wanderlust, the wonder of travel is getting lost,” Trafalgar said in a statement.
Another alarming statistic unearthed by the study, 61 percent of travelers are feeling the negative effects of overtourism, with overcrowding (experienced by 66 percent) putting a damper on their holidays. (Those Chinese tourists again!)
The burden of social media is also getting to travelers, with 53 percent saying that the pressures of posting while on holidays were enough to put them off. (Get rid of the selfie sticks!)
The study also showed that travelers view “good” travel as an opportunity to step away from daily life and pressures, be surprised and challenged, learn, appreciate and experience something new. (I agree!)
Another priority among those surveyed is spending time with loved ones, in a relaxed state of mind.
My thoughts, as you might expect:
Obviously, I do not agree with this article. But with airfares at a record low, and vacation time accumulating quickly, travel remains one of the best ways to spend a vacation.
As far as difficulty in planning, the solution is simple. Find a trusted travel pro, like my friend Ric, or just do as I do. I read voraciously in preparation for my trips. There is a wealth of information on the internet. Just be somewhat discerning about what you read.
So, why go where everyone else goes? Everyone, Europhiles obviously, seem to visit Paris and London. Why not try South America or Asia? Even domestically, how many of you choose Vegas over a charming place like Santa Fe, New Mexico, or one of our fabulous National Parks?
Many of my comments about over tourism come from the hordes of middle class Chinese spending their new found riches. But one way to avoid them is to stay away from bargain basement flights and hotels, particularly in SE Asia. Yet, even in a place like Prague, they took over the major tourist sites. Instead of Prague, try Warsaw or Budapest.
Now, I take plenty of photos with both my camera and my phone. But forget the selfie sticks!! They are hazardous to MY health and others. Millennials are as bad as the foreigners in this regard.
And now for the coup de grace, good travel experiences just happen. Sometimes, in fact most of the time, great experiences happen totally by chance!!! I think many of you already know that.
Packaged tours are not conducive to my travel style, and present few opportunities for spontaneous experiences. Walking down a narrow city street reveals more about a culture than a visit to the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben.
A good friend even went so far as to say that everyone MUST travel solo, at least once in their life! I agree.
So, how do you really get a good feel for the culture when you travel? Mine happens when I walk the streets, take public transportation, or try some food I have never eaten before. And should you be so fortunate to engage a local in some meaningful conversation, consider yourself the winner of the cultural exchange!