There is a definite shift in the touring market when it comes to the 18-30s traveller. Young travellers have been backpacking the world since before Tony Wheeler wrote about travelling Asia on a shoestring. Today’s 18 – 30s travellers have hectic lives, high rents and over protective parents in the background, so travelling on a guided tour offers it benefits.
Young travellers seek security and to travel with likeminded explorers who not only want to see world, but also want to tread lightly, interact culturally and contribute to the local communities they travel through. Guided touring continually evolves to meet the demands for adventure tours for the 18-30s traveller. Travelling solo with other likeminded peers is a theme for all tour operators in this space.
But what is adventure? The word itself is defined as an unusual and exciting or daring experience. One person’s adventure is simply being in another country with diverse customs, language and food; while another person’s adventure is trekking in the Andes, or hiking to Everest Base Camp. Others may find adventure in a ski trip in Japan or Austria and then there are those who want a culinary adventure in Thailand.
Is being on a coach trip on the well trodden path ticking off the iconic highlights of Europe with 50 other travellers in your peer group any less adventurous than donning a backpack and strapping on your hiking boots to trek the Lares Trail? In terms of our daily life, wherever or however we do it, travel offers experiences that are unusual, exciting or daring.
When it comes to 18-30s adventurers, the world is their oyster. Tour operators offer worldwide destinations, a diverse range of experiences and travel styles. Coach tours, hiking tours, sailing and river cruising are all on offer, to name a few. There is a plethora of multi-day guided tours for young people, a travel style to match their personal style, a cost to match their budget and life affirming experiences to match their bucket list.
There are more options than ever before. Operating for over 50 years, Contiki now offer over 300 tours across 6 continents for 18-35 year old travellers. G Adventures have just released a tailored range of small group tours (22 pax) for the 18-39 age group. These tours cover a lot of ground in a flexible blend of free time and organised experiences. Alternatively, focussing on locally based travel, Intrepid took adventure brand Gecko under its umbrella and launched their new 18 to 29’s Adventure brand, offering small group travel with a maximum of 16 travellers per tour.
With Topdeck, young adventurers can sail, camp, coach tour or explore in smaller groups across 6 continents with a range of accommodation options from tents to hotels. Departing on a completely different type of adventure, Uniworld opened the world of river cruising to the younger traveller with its U by Uniworld brand.
Operators know that the 18-30 something traveller is keen to travel responsibly and sustainably. G Adventures partners with Planeterra to combine social responsibility with cultural immersion. Intrepid delivers a donation to Friends International for every 18 to 29s trip booked and Contiki support the Treadright Foundation with other members of the TTC brand.
With so many demands on their day, 18-30s travellers have limited time to sift through the trip options open to them. Global Journeys, with its collection of 18- 30’s trips from these top operators, can help young travellers find their desired trip online, with access to reviews and tools to help them compare trips for price and experiences across the brands.
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