Time for a holiday? Our take on the latest travel trends

Last week we came across this clever campaign from JetBlue in the USA, where workers regularly fail to take their already very limited holiday allocation – unless you’re Donald Trump of course, who’s had 53 days off since inauguration. Across the Pacific, in Japan only 48.7% of workers took any paid annual leave in 2016.

Fortunately, campaigns like that of JetBlue don’t resonate in the UK, as we tend to maximise holiday allocations, and rightly so. In preparation for some upcoming client campaigns, we’ve been researching the modern holiday landscape and wanted to share a few unexpected and surprising insights:

1. Holidays aren’t always about experiences
Look to Airbnb, tourist boards and even companies like American Express and you’d think that we’re all desperate to tire ourselves out on holiday, returning to the office more in need of a coffee than before we went away. Modern travellers are likely to take numerous short breaks over the course of a year but, in search of more ‘me time’, there is a growing trend to allocate one of these short holidays simply to relaxation. On these trips, it’s perfectly acceptable to lounge by the pool and eat all day, without feeling the need to get out and explore.

2. People are willing to pay more for less
No doubt about it, travel can become complicated with airline comparison sites, hotel price comparisons and independent travel options all vying for attention. Despite these money-saving options, we’ve found that the majority of people would actually pay more for a simpler holiday experience. Expect to see even more digital concierge solutions over the coming months and clean Airbnb style interfaces to simplify booking websites.

3. It’s not all about digital
Although booking processes and airports are definitely areas of travel where innovative technology is most popular, there remains a demand for physical interaction with staff and locals when travelling. Holidays are a treat, away from the everyday, and for many people a part of this is abandoning their usually ever-present smartphone. Being ‘off the grid’ continues to grow in popularity as travellers seek local authentic experiences instead.

4. Finally, and unsurprisingly, ‘Millennial airlines’ are a bad idea
Joon, the new airline from Air France, claims to be “entirely designed to meet the requirements and aspirations of people aged 18-35.” That’s a pretty wide spectrum. How can such a broad demographic be related to by tin cylinders hurtling through the skies at 30,000 feet? Apparently relaxed uniforms and a single syllable name were not enough, cue internet mockery: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/95155576/air-france-announces-new-airline-specifically-for-millennials-yes-really

By Kevan Barber