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Young Scots abroad opt for cultural education over all-night partying

2nd March 2018 Print

More young Scots choose a holiday abroad to experience a new culture, learn about themselves or gain perspective on life, than to socialise or party the night away, according to the latest How Scotland Lives research from Bank of Scotland.

Over one third (36 per cent) of Scots aged 18-24 said one of the reasons they choose a holiday abroad is to experience a new culture. One in ten young people also said they wanted to learn about themselves and gain a new perspective on life.

Could the wild reputation of young Brits abroad finally be a thing of the past? It would certainly seem so, with just 5 per cent of 18-24 year olds and a mere 2 per cent of 25-34s stating that partying and socialising every night was one of their reasons for going on holiday.

While many believe millennials on holiday are obsessed with sharing their adventures on social media and choosing the most ‘instagrammable’ locations, research from Bank of Scotland confirms that just 2% of 18-24 year olds admitted that ‘taking great photos to share on social media’ or ‘improving my image as a well-travelled individual’ were among their top reasons for choosing a holiday.

The leading reason Scots of all ages go on holiday is to ‘relax and unwind’, with nearly two thirds (59 per cent) of those surveyed highlighting this as their main motivation for taking a break. The second most popular reason is to ‘escape or get away from it all’, as almost half (46 per cent) of Scots said this was important to them. And the third most popular pick (40 per cent) is being to ‘spend quality time with friends and family’.

Chasing the thrill of adventure

When asked to name their top three types of holiday, young Scots are ready for an adventure.

Nearly half (48 per cent) decided ‘relaxation’ was important when choosing a holiday. But more than half (56 per cent) wanted to go ‘sightseeing’ and two thirds (66 per cent) decided that soaking up the local culture offered by a ‘city break’ was the most desirable way to spend their break.

What’s more, almost a third (29 per cent) craved the variety of a ‘multi-country’ holiday and over a quarter (27 per cent) yearned for the thrill of an ‘adventure’ holiday, such as white-water rafting or rock climbing. A quarter (25 per cent) said the freedom of ‘backpacking’ was for them and just shy of one quarter (24 per cent) intended to make a ‘once in a lifetime’ dream holiday a reality.

Young Scots love to spread their wings

In their pursuit of culture and adventure, young Scots are frequent flyers. In a typical year, they go on holiday abroad more often than those aged 25 and over. Over one third (36 per cent) travel abroad at least once a year, with 15 per cent managing to go twice and almost one in ten (9 per cent) travelling three or four times per year.

Saving to sightsee

With 41 per cent of young Scots considering holidays as being essential to their life, it’s little wonder that they regularly set aside money to travel. In fact, half (48 per cent) chose travel as the top reason they save in the short term and 41 per cent chose having new experiences or seeing new places.

Travel is so important to young people that they are prepared to save for the long term too, with over one third (35 per cent) noting it as the primary reason for their long term savings.

“Our How Scotland Lives research gives us an intriguing insight into how people feel about holidays,” says Ricky Diggins, Director, Bank of Scotland. “It’s clear how many of our younger generation see travel abroad as a fundamental part of their personal growth and cultural development. Holidays are an essential part of their lives so they are prepared to save and make sacrifices in the same way they would for a home and a secure future.”

Covering the costs of a holiday abroad

While the vast majority (82 per cent) of Scots pay for their holidays with their personal savings, over one in ten (13 per cent) will use personal credit.

In addition, Scots with the largest households are the most likely to use personal credit to pay for their holiday. Almost one quarter (22 per cent) of those with six or more people in their household use credit to pay for their holidays and one fifth (18 per cent) of those with five or more people in their house do so too.

The research also revealed that family members can be generous as nearly one in ten (seven per cent) holidays are funded by the family. People most likely to benefit from the generosity of family members are those aged 18-24 (25 per cent). Those with larger household sizes benefit from this generosity too, with 14 per cent of households of five receiving money from family members, as well as 9 per cent of households of four.

While Scots use a combination of payment methods when they’re abroad, the most popular (61 per cent) is cash. Well over one third (38 per cent) of Scots use their normal bank account and a quarter (26 per cent) use their credit card. A savvy 14 per cent of Scots traveling opt for a specialist credit card that offers better value abroad.