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Travel Survey:

Bucketlist travel Survey 2023

Introduction

Last updated: 08 January, 2023

We define ‘bucket list’ travel as visiting new destinations, experiencing new cultures, seeing the world’s greatest sights, or undertaking activities in the world you’ve always wanted to do.

As well as being enjoyable, scientific research has shown that this type of travel can have significant holistic physical, mental and spiritual benefits for us.

Closely aligned to this type of travel is the idea of a ‘bucket list’ or more specifically a ‘travel bucket list’ – where we list down those destinations, attractions or activities we want to tick off in our lifetime.

In late 2022, Bucket List Travels commissioned an independent survey of the British public to find out:

  1. How likely Brits were to take a bucket list holiday, and if they noticed any health benefits from it
  2. How many Brits actually had a physical or online travel bucket list in some form; and if not, why not?
  3. What destinations and experiences were on Brits’ travel bucket lists

1. At what stage of life do you aim to, are you doing, or have you done ‘bucket list’ travel? Select all that apply:

  • 1/3 of Brits stated that they do bucket list travel whenever get chance – those this is much higher in 18-24 segment 60% and for Londoners (53%).
  • This propensity for bucket list type travel decreases with age, though we suspect this would vary according to income levels which were not tested in this survey. However, it is also likely to be due to:
    • Having done a lot of bucket list travel already
    • Health reasons
    • Propensity to go back to where they know/like as easy/low risk.
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of married couples are waiting until retirement to do more bucket list travel.

Whenever I get a chance

36%

I have already done some bucket list travel

21%

After the kids grow up/retired

16%

With the kids/as a family

13%

With a partner, before we have kids

11%

I do not do bucket list travel or do not think about it

27%

2. What % of your current holidays have a bucket list element to them? Select one:

  • 80% of Brits do bucket list travel once a year; again, this is heavily skewed to younger people.
  • Almost half of young people do bucket list travel 80% or more of the time; this declines to 13% in the over 45s.
  • Londoners have higher number of bucket list holidays than national average. 90% of their holidays have a bucket list element compared to a national average of 80%. 62% of Londoners try to have a bucket list element 3 out of every 5 holidays.

100%: All

13%

80%: 4 out of 5

11%

60%: 3 out of 5

18%

40%: 2 out of 5

15%

20%: Regularly

22%

0%: None

21%

3. What is stopping you from doing more bucket list travel? Select all that apply:

  • 60% of Brits say not enough money is their biggest barrier; interestingly, that was significantly higher in women (66%), compared to only half of men.
  • Money is the lowest barrier in London 50%, and the highest in Wales 70%.
  • It’s also the highest barrier in the 35-55 age group (70%) – presumably due to kids and mortgages.
  • Time to research/risk going somewhere new is another big factor; interestingly, this is more of a factor in men (26%) than women (14%).

Money - cannot afford to go more

60%

Lack of holiday time to go more

21%

No time to research / too risky to try new places

19%

Caring for family/young kids

19%

Poor health

10%

No-one to go with

9%

Old age / other

8%

Nothing

13%

4. Which of the following benefits have you noticed from doing bucket list travel? Select all that apply:

  • Over 1/3 Brits noticed holistic mental health improvements from travel.
  • Over a third noted feelings of satisfaction/achievement; much more so in women than men (42% v 30%).
  • 1/3 of Brits noticed refreshed perspective - again much more in women than men.
  • A quarter of Brits said made more appreciative of what they have and their homes.

Increased knowledge of the world

47%

Feeling of achivement/satisfaction having gone somewhere or done something new

38%

Refreshes my perspective on my life

36%

Allows me to see the positive again, not just focus on the negatives

32%

Reduced stress

31%

Builds a special bond/closer relationship with friends & families I travelled with

26%

More calm, rebalance emotionally

25%

Makes me appreciate home and what I have (i.e. espacially when seeing poorer people in other countries)

24%

More tolerance/understanding of other people and cultuers

23%

Increased creativity

18%

Better sleep

15%

I have not noticed any benefits

13%

5. Do you have a travel bucket list? Select one:

  • 90% of young people aged 18-24 have at least some ideas on their travel bucket list.
  • Written down travel bucket lists are much more prevalent in young people (36%) compared to the national average of 14%; over 45s had significantly less (5%).
  • 2/3 of Londoners have a travel bucket list either written down or in their heads versus the national average 52%; only 43% have in Wales, the lowest of all regions.
  • London (23%) has almost twice as many people with actual written down travel bucket lists than the national average (14%).
  • Wales, Yorkshire and East Anglia have the lowest % with written down travel bucket lists (10% versus national average 14%).

Yes - written down

14%

Yes - but only in my head

38%

Sort of - a few general ideas

23%

No

25%

6. Why don’t you have a travel bucket list? Select one:

  • 29% said it’s not that important to them, though that’s lowest in London (20%).
  • 1/4 of Brits have not thought of having a bucket list
  • 15% bemoaned a lack of a tool to create one; that figure is much higher in London at 22%.

Not that important to me have one

29%

Never thought of it

25%

Cannot be bothered/not my style to do that

18%

No easy/obvious way to do it

15%

Too hard/time consuming to research things to put on it

10%

Do not want to do any 'bucket list' travel anymore in my lifetime

8%

7. How many destinations are on your travel bucket list now? Select one:

  • 42% of travel bucket lists owners have more than 6 destinations on it. In London its much higher at 51%, as do those in a relationship (53%).
  • Over 55s have mostly 1-5 (68%), above national average of 56%.

0

2%

1-5

56%

6-10

29%

11-15

8%

16-20

4%

over 20

1%

8. What experiences would you most like to do?

  • Seeing the Northern Lights is by far the most popular bucket list travel experience, featuring on over a quarter of Brits bucket lists.
  • Interestingly, it was significantly more so for women (35%) than for men (19%).
Experience%
Northern Lights27
American Road Trip17
Safari in Africa16
Great Barrier Reef14
Cruise Norway's Fjords13
Niagara Falls13
Eiffel Tower11
Pyramids of Giza / Nile11
Great Wall of China10
Whale watching10
Machu Picchu9
Alaskan Cruise9
Grand Canyon9
Swim with dolphins8
Ride the Bullet Train7
Statue of Liberty6
Taj Mahal6
Experience%
Galapagos islands6
Petra5
The Colosseum5
Amazon Rainforest5
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro4
Swim in Dead Sea3
Easter Island3
Christ the Redeemer3
Angkor Wat3
Chichen Itza2
Forbidden City2
Terracotta Warriors2
The Acropolis2
Trek Everest Base Camp2
Walk the Camino2
The Alhambra1
Terracotta Warriors1

9. Which destination(s) would you most like to visit?

  • Australia (18%) is the most popular bucket list destinations for Brits, on almost 1 in 5 of Brits travel bucket lists.
Experience%
Australia18
USA (es Hawaii16
Japan12
New Zealand12
Canada11
Italy11
Iceland9
France8
Spain7
Maldives6
Experience%
Dubai6
Hawaii5
Thailand4
America4
Greece4
Egypt4
Mexico4
Norway3
India3
Turkey3

Survey set-up

  • The research was independently conducted by Vital Research, on behalf of The Relations Group.
  • The research adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019) and ICC/ESOMAR (international).
  • The sample of 2,005 online respondents was created to provide a random cross-section of the British population. The sample had the following criteria:
    • across all regions of the UK
    • aged 18+
    • all genders
    • all relationship statuses
    • all income levels
  • The results are statistically significant to a 95% confidence interval and 5% margin of error.

Summary of findings

The following key trends and themes were noted from the survey:

  • Bucket list travel is most popular in the younger demographics; over 50% say they’ll do it whenever they can, and over 1/3 have a travel bucket list written down.
  • Propensity for bucket list travel declines with age, though this would likely vary by income level which was not tested in this survey.
  • Londoners have a significantly higher propensity for bucket list travel (>90%) than nationally – and the greatest number of travel bucket lists.
  • Surprisingly few (14%) people have a written down travel bucket list.
  • A significant number of Brits (40%+) have noticed the health benefits, especially mental benefits, of bucket list travel.
  • Money is the biggest obstacle to Brits doing more bucket list travel, but also the lack of holiday time, and the time/effort needed for research/risk of going new places are major factors.
  • Seeing the Northern Lights was number 1 desired bucket list experience overall and in every segment (on 27% of travel bucket lists).