Travel Agent NewsSocial media and apps scorned by those looking for love.

Travel, hobbies light up millennial relationships

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Local bar scenes are still the top choice for socialising among millennials.
Local bar scenes are still the top choice for socialising among millennials. Photo Credit: kieferpix/GettyImages

An internal consumer survey by travel agency EF Ultimate Break of more than 860 of its travellers showed that even in this day and age of technology, the old-fashioned way of making friends and starting relationships is still king.

Millennials and Gen Zers say travel and hobbies are much better relationship starters than social media and dating apps, and that young travellers are opting for group travel over solo trips.

An internal consumer survey by travel agency EF Ultimate Break of more than 860 of its travellers showed that even in this day and age of technology, the old-fashioned way of making friends and starting relationships is still king.

“At EF Ultimate Break, we’re seeing a new, more social trend to travel. More than 60% of the 18-29-year olds who book with us do so solo, often with hopes of making new friends,” EF Ultimate Break VP, Marketing Michelle McNeice said. 

“Group travel gives them the rare opportunity to hang out in a new country with like-minded, equally passionate, wander lusting individuals. Our trips are designed to be fun, super engaging, and stress-free making it easy to connect in real life,” she added.

Local bar scenes are still the top choice for socialising, but hook-ups are losing ground to longer-lasting experiences and relationships, the agency said. 

Interestingly, “finding a new hobby” and “booking a trip” round out the top three choices. It turns out that 18-29-year-olds who pick up a hobby like rock climbing, or hit the road to explore may be doing so for more than the obvious recreational benefits.

In a largely digital world, IRL (in real life) experiences brought on by travel or hobbies serve as an easy “ice breaker” and create natural, authentic opportunities for young people with similar interests to find and connect with each other. 

And unlike an awkward Valentine’s Day Tinder date, the benefits from these experiences tend to last a long time, EF Ultimate said.

One “relationship starter,” however, is still a big no-no: moms need to lay low. More than 96% say “no-way” to parent matchmaking. 

Both sexes view trips to the bar and travel almost equally, though women are more likely—by five percentage points—to seek out a new hobby.


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