Vacations Just Aren’t What They Used To Be

Vacations used to be filled with long drives, building sand castles, and complete relaxation. That might still be the case for some people, but an increasingly high amount of people are drastically changing the way vacations are planned, executed, and even enjoyed.

Roughly 52% of global survey respondents state that they expect to take a vacation to a beach destination within the next 12 months. Although plenty of vacationers are likely to still attend the traditional spots like Disney World, Italy, and the Bahamas, there are a select few who are traveling to much more dangerous locations.

According to The Atlantic, vacationers are starting to travel to war torn countries. These dangerous and damaged areas are alluring to both adrenaline seekers and the socially conscious.

Carmen Gentile, a conflict reporter and author of the upcoming book Blindsided by the Taliban, believes that many tourists are now coming to Afghanistan in search of something a little more meaningful than a relaxing trip.

“[They are] older, interested in history, [and] have a yearning to do some adventure travel,” said Gentile. “There are people who have already trekked in Mongolia or walked the length of the Great Wall of China and are looking for that next great adventure — an adventure that their friends have definitely not taken. “They want the ultimate bragging rights. Where else are you going to have that kind of adventure, but a place like Afghanistan or an active war zone?”

Another changing trend when it comes to vacationing, both nationally and internationally, is that vacationers aren’t really relaxing as much as they used to. Even when travelers do go on the more conventional trip to the beach or a peaceful area, they are constantly busy thanks to the technology they always have on them.

Market Watch reports that despite what vacations are actually for, vacationers are spending plenty of time working remotely and checking in on the office while they are “relaxing.”

That being said, 22% of millennials, 20% of generation Xers, and 25% of baby boomers still do unplug their phones and laptops during their vacations. But those are the minorities. That means that a significant amount of vacationers are spending time checking their phone while they are supposed to be enjoying themselves. In fact, about 46% of the workers surveyed said they check on work during their vacation.

About 53% of U.S. adults state that they come back feeling refreshed after a vacation — but that’s unlikely if they are spending time working.

Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off, believes that managers should encourage employees to take full breaks during their vacations and actually unplug their phones.

Lastly, in the most 2017 way possible, vacations are also choosing vacation destinations based on Instagram.

According to W, a new study found that the “Social Return” (the amount of positive social feedback that a social media posts generate) plays a significant role in determining a vacation destination. Researchers asked 758 people who planned to travel to Cuba within the next year and asked how social media posts altered their decisions. The study found that perceived social returns on Instagram were a positive and significant predictor of tourists’ intentions to travel to Cuba and other destinations.

Vacations have similar aspects in some respects, but they also have drastically changed over the years.

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