Travelers often build lifelong friendships and deepen existing relationships on the road.
Exploring the world has the power to open a person's eyes to new experiences and provides the chance to make new connections--it is one of the biggest reasons people fall in love with taking new adventures.
New research from Exodus Travels confirms that Americans are seeking to make new connections through travel.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans said that they have made lifelong friendships when traveling. In fact, 23 percent indicated that they met their spouse on a trip, and 33 percent reported a "vacation romance," while 25 percent have made a best friend on the road. Some didn't even need to make it to their destination to find romance-three in 10 said that they have dated someone they met on a plane.
People aren't just making connections on the road, they are deepening them. A vast majority of respondents believe travel can strengthen existing bonds (71 percent). However, it's important to choose your travel companions carefully. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said that who you travel with can make or break the vacation.
It's not always about who goes with you. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said that they had taken a "life-changing" solo trip, and 20 percent noted that it's easier to meet people traveling on one's own.
One of the key points that the survey confirmed is that travel is an ideal way to make connections with 71 percent sharing that they have met someone on a trip who gave them a new perspective or has since changed their lives.
"What makes a trip unforgettable?" asks Robin Brooks, marketing director at Exodus Travels. "The unexpected appreciation from locals when you traveled so far because you want to know them and their culture. And the tales of family, history, and dreams unearthed by strangers-turned-newfound-friends over a shared meal-so often it's these moments that conjure lasting memories, whether we are building a 'just for now' or new forever-relationship, or sowing the seeds of cross-cultural understanding that will impact our personal worldview for years to come."
Simply the act of traveling somewhere new presents the opportunity to meet and engage with new people. Survey data showed that the most popular ways to foster new connections is by participating in activities (31 percent), taking group tours or attending hotel events (28 percent) and engagement in sports, active hobbies, and other physical activities (27 percent). Twenty-six percent said that just time at a bar or restaurant presents the opportunity to meet someone new.
"In our experience," Brooks continues, "it's the intimate moments when our shared humanity is distilled down into an exchange of simple smiles, laughter, and casual conversation (with or without creative hand gestures or Google Translate) that provide true depth, color, and perspective to all we see and experience while on the road. So, it's important to participate in activities that allow one to meet new people while traveling."
Travelers looking to make new connections and embark on an adventure can look to Exodus Travels' curated collection of vacations that are designed to maximize guests' chances of engaging with and making new friends.
"Small group travel offers us a chance to bring a refreshed version of ourselves to the 'vacation table," said Brooks, "leaving our day-to-day worries behind while reconnecting and reinvigorating parts of ourselves that may have been waning in the shadows of our everyday responsibilities at home-all whether or not we already have pre-established travel partners in our back pockets."
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