Spontaneity in travel is the path to a ‘happier and more content’ life

24 April, 2019

Whether we are travelling on business or pleasure, or a mix of both, the key to enjoyment is spontaneity, new research has claimed. This may not be as easy to achieve when there are corporate demands to be met, but it is certainly something worth adopting, if possible, and certainly a recommendation for personal travel, according to the Travelzoo findings.

The Spring Travel Trends Survey from the global publisher of exclusive offers and experiences for members shows clearly that people who travel spontaneously tend to be happier and more content with life than those who don't. Almost half (49%) of respondents who self-identify as spontaneous leisure travellers strongly perceive themselves as happy, while only a third of non-spontaneous travellers say they feel happy in life.

Spontaneous travel refers to unplanned travel in terms of timing and/or location, such as a last-minute weekend getaway or a trip to an unexpected destination. For the purposes of the survey, a spontaneous leisure traveller was defined as someone who took at least one spontaneous trip of two days or more in 2018. The survey results indicate that spontaneous leisure travel is a well-accepted concept, with 83% of survey respondents reporting that they will consider taking a spur-of-the-moment trip in 2019.

It found that spontaneous travellers are almost twice as often to state that they are happy most of the time and can handle unexpected challenges in life, compared to non-spontaneous travellers. The results show 40% more spontaneous travellers than non-spontaneous travellers said they were content and satisfied with their lives, and feel connected with family, friends and the world.

Interestingly, these rates are a global as they were consistent across all the countries that participated in the survey - Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (USA).

Spontaneous travellers appear to take trips to satisfy internal needs more than because of external factors, according to the Travelzoo findings. Its research shows that the top two motivations are the need to unwind and relax (46%) and the desire to get away and do something special (43%). These motivations co-exist with, but were more frequently cited by respondents, than external influences such as the wish to visit a specific destination (32%), or attend a specific activity or event (30%).

The results also indicate that spontaneous travellers actively seek out information and ideas to be inspired. Almost no spontaneous traveller (less than 4%) would go on a trip without feeling the call of their internal desire to try out a special travel experience, compared to 17% of non-spontaneous travellers.

In fact, more than a quarter (26%) of spontaneous travellers try five or more sources of information to get the most unusual, quirky or off-the-beaten-track travel ideas, in contrast to only 13% of non-spontaneous travellers.