If your friend just went on vacation, he or she probably found the destination doing the same thing you're most likely doing right now: using social media.
Expedia surveyed thousands of people ages 18 to 64 from around the world to determine how certain age groups find inspiration for vacation spots.
According to the company's Millennial Traveller Report, the things other people post on social media play a major role in Millennials deciding where to go next.
Participants were shown the following statement and asked to what extent they agreed:
Holiday photos posted by my contacts on social media influence where I decide to go on holiday.
Forty-two percent of Millennials said they agreed or agreed strongly with the statement compared to 29 percent of people from Generation X and 16 percent of Baby Boomers.
This means about two in every five Millennials will scroll their Facebook News Feeds and friends' Instagram photos while shopping for destinations and base their choices on the most appealing images.
One participant from the US told researchers,
I've gone to Mexico because quite a few friends have been and they post fun photos there, so I guess you can say I have [been influenced by social media contacts].
Another person from the UK suggested it's only natural to trust your friends' opinions on destinations because you have similar personalities.
Expedia discovered social media has a huge influence on the quality of the experiences Millennials have on vacation, as well. The three aforementioned generational groups were essentially asked which is more important on vacation: taking in a destination's culture or the comments on photos posted to social media.
Thirty-one percent of Millennials chose the second answer compared to 23 percent of Generation X and 12 percent of Baby Boomers.
Social media comments on travel photos appear to be most sought after in China where 58 percent of Millennials view them as important compared to 46 percent of Millennials in the US.