Gone are the days of holidaying for a sun tan, young people today are looking to push themselves to the limit and make life-changing decisions through travel, according to new research from All Nippon Airways (ANA).

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its London to Tokyo route, the airline looked at Brits’ travel habits now compared to 25 years ago.

The younger generation today seek enriching, immersive experiences with destinations such as Tokyo and Beijing tripling in popularity over the last quarter of a century. This year, 42% of travellers in their 20s are eager to explore Asia versus 15% of the generation before them.

Young people are also using their travels to do more than just recharge their batteries, with 41% claiming to have made a serious life change. After a trip abroad, almost one in five (19%) have gone on to move to the country they visited or change jobs (8%), while 14% have been inspired to break up with a partner or declare their love for someone.

As part of these life-changing experiences, young people are now more keen than ever before to enjoy new cultures and cuisines with 72% claiming this heavily influences their choice of destination. The younger generation are seeking authentic, local cuisine, with the top foodie destinations being Rome, New York and Tokyo.

In contrast, their parents’ generation played it safer when travelling in their 20s, more likely to choose a destination with a similar culture (8%). Interestingly, locations for films and TV shows have always influenced booking habits with one in ten (10%) travellers from both generations inspired to visit places they’ve seen on screen.

With air travel increasingly accessible over the past 25 years, the survey found that we’ve become a nation of young jetsetters with the average age of first time flying halving from 20 years old to ten. We’re also travel addicts, with the amount of holidays we take as a nation doubling – 8% of those under 30 admit they take a trip abroad between five and ten times a year compared to more than half (51%) of the generation before taking just one foreign holiday a year when in their 20s.

Meanwhile, other findings revealed that Brits are keen to share their travel experiences, with those in their 20s the most snap happy on holiday. The younger generation confess to uploading an average of 25 pictures to social media compared to seven from the older generation. This perhaps explains why 14% claim Wi-Fi is an important consideration of choosing a destination, versus only 1% of their parents’ generation.

Julie Murphy, the airline's area country manager, UK & Ireland, said: “Since we started flying to and from the UK in 1989, we’ve seen a huge increase in interest in Asian destinations. Japan is famous for its cuisine and service and it’s encouraging to see young people looking for real, authentic experiences from their holidays."

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