Lonely Planet Writer

A third of Gen Z plan to travel on their own in the next decade

A study has examined the wants and needs of the next generation of global travellers, Gen Z, and analysed how these link to their wider aspirations for life.

A young woman walking along a river in a majestic landscape.
A third of Gen Z plan to travel on their own in the next decade. Image: MundusImages

The research found that independence is important to those aged 16 to 24, as 34% of plan to travel on their own at least once in the next decade. A third (33%) prefer to be on their own in general when they travel, and 18% want to take a solo backpacking trip or gap year. Maybe due to the youthfulness of Gen Z, 46% feel that travelling with family requires them to moderate their behavior more than when they’re travelling solo. The plus side is that 42% indicated that travelling with family allows them to go on trips that they could not otherwise afford.

A young man sitting against a tree holding a laptop
A third of Gen Z prefer to be on their own in general when they travel. Image: Lonnie Duka/Getty Images

Among the insights generated by the Booking.com research is that just under a third (30%) hope this decade will see them study or live in a different country. This extends to 39% planning to visit at least three different continents over the next ten years. When it comes to what this youthful generation spends its money on, 65% ranked ‘travel and seeing the world’ as the most important, eclipsing investing in higher education or professional training, saving for retirement or saving for a down-payment on a property.

Three young women looking at something on their phones
A third of Gen Z hope to study or live in a different country. Image: Hinterhaus Productions

They may be young, but Gen Z is already planning long term. When it comes to bucket lists, 69% have a list of things to do or see before they die, and 32% plan to have checked at least five epic trips off the list in the next ten years. They are environmentally-conscious, and over half (54%) say that the environmental impact travelling has on destinations is an important factor to them when deciding where to travel, and 56% would want to stay in a green or eco-friendly accommodation. Over a third (37%) want to experience volunteering when travelling.

Two young women cycling on one bike
A third of Gen Z plan to have checked at least five epic trips off their bucket list in the next ten years. Image: Westend61/Getty Images

To examine the full results and see the regional differences in responses around the world, please see here.