6 in 10 Europeans make at least one trip per year. Over 1.2 billion leisure trips take place throughout the continent every year. Clearly, Europeans are passionate about travel…but what is it that motivates them to discover the world?Motivations are the desire that drive human behaviour. Everything we do, including travel, is triggered by a motivation. Although every traveller is unique and no two people are equal, our research has revealed that Europeans share some common motivations when it comes to travel, and based on these emotional triggers, they can be grouped into six different profiles
Sense of belonging
Chill & relax
Control & discipline
Our motivations navigate through two main axes - the personal and social dimension - depending on where the focus is: whether it’s just about ourselves, or our relation with others.
Travellers with this motivation seek to maximise pleasure moments and enjoy their trip without thinking about consequences. This is mostly driven by spontaneous, impulsive, and adventurous tendencies. For these Europeans, travelling is a way of life. They usually do it with their partner or family, but also with a small group of friends. Their main purpose is to live new experiences and learn new things, which is their way of disconnecting and restoring energy for their day-to-day lives.
Travellers with this motivation believe you don’t need lots of money to live a great trip, and comfort does not matter much. The trip should have a good dose of leisure and adventure, and should allow them to take each day as it comes, regardless of the destination. They enjoy planning the trip but on many occasions decide to travel impulsively and without any previous planning. They like sharing their experiences and travel photos with close friends, mainly via social networks. When back home, they have mixed feelings: although they feel a strong bout of holiday blues, they also feel relaxed and pleased with the memories they’ve made.
When on holidays, this traveller seeks relaxation while spending quality time with their loved ones. The priority is to connect with family and friends by sharing new experiences with them.
Therefore, travellers with this motivation see travel as a way of opening up emotionally, being romantic and getting close to others. They love to visit the beach or nature destinations, where they can relax whilst the kids have fun. Feeling safe matters a lot, as well as enjoying comfort and convenience. As a group traveller, keeping an eye on money spend and sticking to a fixed budget is important. At their destination, they prefer to remain observers rather than taking part in local routines themselves. When they return home, they feel mostly melancholic.
For travellers with this motivation, the best way to really get to know a new destination is by becoming part of it. Their main aim is to discover new places while experiencing the everyday life of the place, its culture and local traditions. Preferably, this traveller goes to urban or rural spots where socialising and meeting new people is easy.
Therefore, travellers with this motivation are less interested in beach, exotic and remote destinations. They are not big planners and prefer to wander around the city, getting lost and seeking recommendations from locals rather than preparing a route with a destination guide. Interacting with people that make them feel welcome is what they value the most of a trip. They tend to travel solo or in couple, but not with kids.
During a trip, traveller with this motivation want to relax and disconnect from normal daily obligations, while feeling absolutely safe. New experiences or learning something different is not their priority, instead, they search for tranquility to remove stress and restore energy.
The trip preparations are stressful for travellers with this motivation, and for this reason some of them prefer to book package holidays from travel agencies. Their favorite destinations are the beach and wellness sites. At their destination, their main focus is relaxation so they’re not interested in getting involved with locals or living the everyday life of the destination. When they get back home, they feel relaxed and melancholic, but revitalised with plenty of energy to start their routine again.
Travellers with this motivation need to keep things in order and stick to a routine to feel safe and comfortable. They are organised and efficient, but get stressed with trip preparations, which are exhaustive and done well beforehand. When travelling, they are very rational and keep their feelings and emotions to themselves. During the trip, they like to share their experience on social media. When it comes to the destination, this traveller prefers emblematic and urban places that are well-adapted for tourists, allowing them to feel safe and comfortable.
That is why cruises and holiday packages are more frequent among their choices. Their main goal is to switch off and restore energy in order to continue with their day-to-day life. When they return, they like to share their experience and photos with others. They get mixed feelings of both sadness and excitement when they return home.
Travellers with this motivation seek to live adventures beyond their comfort zone and test their boundaries and abilities in order to feel unique and different.
These travellers want to stand out from the crowd and be recognised by others. They love travelling alone or with friends, but very rarely in family. They prefer to visit exotic destinations with an interesting cultural heritage where they can feel different. They like to have an impact in their destination and somehow improve the life of the community there. Although they love adventures, they are quite cautious and plan in advance the things they want to do before arrival at their destination - indeed, planning allows them to be certain that they won’t miss out on any must-dos or must-sees. For this traveller, their experiences and adventures allow them to grow as person. Money, comfort and safety are not relevant. And since they love social recognition, you can expect to find full coverage of their holidays on social networks, both during and after the trip.