Friends, food, & photos: Here’s what makes a vacation truly unforgettable

NEW YORK — Want to take a trip that’ll last forever? The formula for creating the most memorable vacation includes traveling with a group of at least four people, enjoying a minimum of four new experiences, and doing something “unexpected.”

A survey of 2,000 travelers between 18 and 34 found 36 percent feel “stepping out of your comfort zone” is necessary for an unforgettable trip, wanting to push their boundaries at least four times during any given adventure. While 32 percent believe making new friends is key, a memorable vacation means meeting three new people. It’s also important to try at least three new dishes, according to the poll.

Commissioned by the social travel company for 18 to 35-year-olds, Contiki, and conducted by OnePoll, the survey revealed an outstanding trip will see 45 photos and 15 videos taken to capture the four “perfect moments” they want to experience. Respondents have been on an average of seven truly memorable trips each, while 29 percent of those who have traveled solo feel these vacations created more memories than any other.

“The reason we travel is, at its core, to create memories – whether it’s from that perfect moment or trying something new out of your comfort zone,” says Rachel Storey, Brand Director of Contiki, in a statement. “Exploring a new destination and culture is opening yourself up to the unknown with the potential to create memories that can last a lifetime when you make every moment count.”

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El Parthenon en Grecia (Foto de Arthur Yeti en Unsplash)

Start seeing the world in person again

The research also found 45 percent of travelers believe spending time with people physically on vacation is more important than ever, due to today’s increasingly virtual world. Meanwhile, 36 percent consider a memorable vacation more important than previously due to their current work-life balance and 34 percent feel they need to make every moment count when traveling thanks to increased work pressure.

Nearly half (47%) feel so strongly about this that they would quit a job that didn’t allow them to take the time off they needed for an unforgettable trip. It also emerged that 43 percent pick their travel destinations based on the experiences they might have while there and 36 percent have a vacation bucket list of moments they want to tick off.

As a result, 58 percent have tried to plan a “perfect” moment while away, like a glorious sunset or catching animals in their natural habitat. However, 53 percent prefer a perfect moment to happen naturally or organically, rather than be something that is engineered — 81 percent even believe it’s the imperfect or unexpected moments that can make a vacation more memorable.

Nearly half (47%) also prefer to post a completely authentic image on social media — showing the good and the bad — rather than a perfectly staged image with filters (28%).

“When you reflect on trips from the past, it’s often the moments you couldn’t have imagined, that leave the deepest impact,” Storey continues. “Whether it’s a moving encounter with a local, making a new friend, ordering an unusual item in a restaurant, or taking a leap of faith on a new activity – the ultimate souvenir is the memories you make along the way.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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