We recently heard some disconcerting news:

In an effort to uncover what guests are truly seeking from their holidays and what ‘The Good Life’ really means to them, Trafalgar has released some thought-provoking research.

The overall sentiment? Rather than travel evoking wanderlust, the wonder of travel is getting lost.

Here's what they found:

  • 89% of respondents said travel is enjoyable but stressful and difficult to plan.
  • 49% surveyed claimed that “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel that real – that travel is becoming a common tourist trail.
  • 37% surveyed felt they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip and almost half of participants said if they did, these experiences were not unique.
  • 61% of guests are feeling the negative effects of overtourism, with over-crowding (experienced by 66%) putting a dampener on their holidays.
  • The burden of social media is also getting to guests, with 53% saying that the pressures of posting on holiday were enough to put them off.     

But here's the thing:

76% preferred having experiences over having “things” and 71% saw trips where they had new experiences as being more important than those where they visited all the sights – 47% feeling a sense of guilt when they hadn’t checked them off.  

In fact, Trafalgar’s findings showed that 83% of participants said happiness is more important than success and 79% valued being well more than being wealthy; the study showed ‘good’ travel is an opportunity to step away from daily life and pressures, be surprised and challenged, learn, appreciate and experience something new. Spending time with loved ones in a relaxed state of mind is key and remembering one’s own values, personally and philosophically on life is what’s important when travelling. 

So what, you ask?

These findings of ‘wonder-lost’ – combined with the research of what people are seeking when they travel – is what has driven Trafalgar’s new Europe & Britain 2019 program, which aims to offer: 

Real ease: The stress of planning is taken care of. The logistics of formulating the perfect itinerary such as quality accommodation, comfortable transport, plenty of meals, VIP admission to the sites and unique Trafalgar highlights are all included so clients don’t have to worry about a thing. Travel Director are their expert friend in each destination guiding them through the exciting and unknown, showing them plenty of hidden gems along the way, together with ‘Local Specialists’ and offering advice on what to do in their free time. 

Real connections: Carefully-crafted itineraries are packed with real experiences, connecting travellers to the soul of Trafalgar's destinations. Break bread with locals who are proud to bring them into their homes, share their cultures and tell tales with ‘Be My Guest’ experiences, which also help sustain their communities. (For example: join a family in Croatia’s coastal town of Opatija for dinner, experiencing Mediterranean flavours unlike any other and hear their stories of life in the Kvarner Gulf. Or stay somewhere that’s more than just a bed for the night on one of Trafalgar’s ‘Stays with Stories’ including the Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg dating back to 1736, where some of the most romantic scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed – their time here aids in funding its preservation for future generations to enjoy.) 

Real joy: When the elements of ease and connections come together, allowing guests to really be in the moment, really connect to each destination and help to sustain the people, places and planet along the way – that’s when real joy is experienced, perspective felt on what’s important and one’s core values are uncovered.

This is "the good life," says Trafalgar – "what travel is all about."