28 Nov

Generation T leading the charge for overseas travel in 2024

Almost three-quarters of 18-24-year-olds plan to travel overseas in next 12 months – more than any other age group

With 18-24-year-olds set to be the most prolific travellers in 2024, ABTA – The Travel Association has delved into their plans for the year ahead at its annual Travel Trends conference today (28 November 2023) where it revealed ‘Four Trends for ’24’.

Dubbed Generation T by ABTA due to their enthusiasm for travel, almost three-quarters (72%) of them are planning to travel overseas in the next 12 months, the highest of any age group according to ABTA’s research[i].

As well as travelling in large numbers, they’re also open to a wide range of travel experiences. While the nation’s favourite type of trip, the city break, is their top choice for next year, 18-24-year-olds are almost three times as likely than the average traveller to be heading off on an adventure holiday in the next 12 months and twice as likely to be camping, heading to a major sports event, taking a train holiday and going on a food and drink-based break.

When it comes to where they’re planning to holiday next year, their number one pick is Italy, followed by France (2nd), the USA (3rd), Spain (4th) – the UK’s favourite holiday destination overall – and Germany (5th).

While Gen T clearly have a huge appetite for travel in the year ahead, it’s also the age group most likely to alter its holiday plans because of the cost of living, with 93% of 18-24-year-olds saying the cost of living will have an impact on their travel plans in the next 12 months.

Despite this squeeze on their finances, only 4% say they won’t go away at all due to the rising cost of living, compared with 10% of the wider population. Instead, they’re getting creative with keeping costs down, with a third (32%) planning to book cheaper accommodation, 27% taking fewer holidays, a quarter eating out less on holiday (25%) and 24% choosing cheaper transport options.

Graeme Buck, Director of Communications at ABTA – The Travel Association, said:

“18-24-year-olds have been increasingly keen to get out and see the world over the last few years. They went on an average of 2.7 holidays abroad each in the last 12 months, up from 2.2 holidays abroad each in the 12 months prior to that.

“That doesn’t mean lots of quick breaks either. Generation T has been taking a much higher number of holidays for seven days or more than any other age group. So, while this group has a keen eye on cost, they continue to be a highly attractive market for many in the travel industry.”

ABTA’s Four Trends for ’24, as revealed at ABTA’s Travel Trends conference today, are:

  1. Generation T – 18-24-year-olds are set to be the most prolific travellers in 2024 and are looking for a wide range of travel experiences.
  2. Shoulder Shoppers – A growing trend for all-year-round travel sees spring and autumn particularly popular among travellers aged 55+ and families planning to travel during half-terms and Easter as well as the summer break.
  3. The Holiday Neophiles – Reversing a trend during recent years for familiar destinations, people are becoming increasingly open to trying somewhere new.
  4. Sustainability Selectors – Holidaymakers are making decisions about their travel plans with sustainability in mind, particularly young people and families.

Full details on the trends can be found here.

Notes to editors
ABTA is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest travel trade body, with over 4,600 travel brands in membership who have a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards and build a more sustainable travel industry, and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.

Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to agreed service standards and fair trading. When you need clear travel information, and accurate and impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you. When you book with an ABTA member, reliable advice comes as standard. This means that booking with our members brings peace of mind.

ABTA also offers services to help you on your travels – ABTA Travel Insurance and ABTA Travel Money.

All this together means we help you travel with confidence.

[i] All statistics cited in this release are from ABTA’s Holiday Habits research for 2023, conducted in the last two weeks of August 2023 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/) with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 people. The research looks at people’s holiday habits in the 12 months to August 2023 and what their travel plans are for the year ahead. Any references to ‘the last year’ or ‘the last 12 months’ refer to September 2022 to August 2023, with ‘in the year ahead’ and ‘the next 12 months’ referring to the 12 months from September 2023.