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Holiday experiences like a local

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Over Two-Thirds of UK Holiday-Makers Want to Experience a Destination Like a Local When Abroad

A new study has identified 69 per cent of UK holiday-makers would label themselves 'culture vultures' as they want to experience destinations like a local when they travel abroad.

The 20 traits that earn this title include learning the language, eating traditional cuisine from the region, and socialising with the locals. Brushing up on local etiquette, visiting more than one destination during a trip and watching documentaries about the country before setting off are among other signs travellers identified.

Other things include asking residents for their recommendations of places to visit, owning at least five guidebooks and doing walking tours of a city with a local guide, according to a poll of 2,000 UK adults.

17 per cent of respondents would even be prepared to try unique food like insects and 31 per cent try to learn the local language to really absorb a country's culture when abroad.

The research was commissioned by Audley Travel and Adam Kemp, Head of Marketing, said: “There are so many amazing places to visit all around the world and travellers get so much more from their trip by embracing the local culture and foods.”

“More and more people are now avoiding common tourist areas and seeking a more authentic experience – this is the best way to really experience a destination as the locals do.”

The research found 84 per cent like to visit off-the-beaten-track locations and a quarter prefer seeing the more 'under-the-radar' landmarks as opposed to the most famous sights.

Furthermore, 45 per cent have a bucket list of top travel experiences, with the average Brit having already ticked off four of these things.

Seeing the Northern Lights, travelling on the Orient Express and Driving Route 66 in the USA are the top bucket list experiences around the world.

Going on safari, riding in a hot air balloon and doing an off-road trip in a 4x4 are the top three activities people would like to do while away. Tracking wildlife in the rainforest, visiting a volcano and flying in a helicopter are also included on the list.

32 per cent think it's important to have bucket list goals so they have something to aim for and 28 per cent believe it gives a new perspective on life. Almost half (49 per cent) display trinkets around their home from interesting places all over the world.

Although, four in 10 cite not having enough time as a reason they feel held back from fulfilling their travel goals, while 16 per cent believe they are too old.

More than one in five (21 per cent) get their holiday inspiration from social media, while 34 per cent trust recommendations from friends and family, according to Audley Travel's research.

Adam Kemp continues: “Bucket lists are a great way to keep track of the things you would like to do and see all over the world, so it's great so many people have one and even better that people are making their way through the list.

“There is the perfect itinerary out there for everyone. At Audley our experts create adventures tailored to a client's needs and requirements, meaning we can create the perfect bespoke travel experience to meet any travel goals.”

Audley Travel has curated the Ultimate Culture Vulture's Travel Bucket List, perfect for any prospective globe trotters looking to research what to include on their own personal travel bucket list.

Top 20 signs of a 'culture vulture'

  1. Always trying the local cuisine

  2. Always visiting museums in a holiday destination

  3. Avoiding tourist traps and exploring hidden gems

  4. Trying to learn local languages

  5. Using local transport to get around

  6. Choosing restaurants and cafes bustling with local people

  7. Trying to visit more than one destination during a trip

  8. Learning local etiquette to avoid making a cultural faux pas

  9. Doing a walking tour of the city with a local guide

  10. Trying new or unique foods like insects

  11. Booking hotels that are locally owned or historically significant

  12. Socialising with local people

  13. Asking locals for recommendations

  14. Checking for local festivals/ celebrations

  15. Buying local crafts and artisan trinkets to return home with

  16. Going somewhere nobody else has been

  17. Collecting passport stamps

  18. Visiting all seven continents

  19. Watching documentaries on the destination before visiting

  20. Knowing about the art from a destination

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