When was the last time you said the phrase, "What I would give to... ?" Odds are, you said it about an hour ago, either to yourself or out loud in a crowded room. Immediately after, you took a sip of your coffee and continued daydreaming about what could be, or what could've been. The thoughts going through your head likely had something to do with following your wanderlust. I know this because, according to a new survey by travel company, Contiki, millennials would rather travel than have sex — and would willingly ditch some other things they love in life in order to catch flights. Would you do this, too?
Honestly, when you have a lot of wanderlust, you want nothing more than to be out in the world exploring. You spend your days wishing you were, well, anywhere else, and what it would be like if you were there. Imagine this: You're sipping a fresh mango smoothie on the beach in Thailand, swimming in a magical lagoon in the middle of Iceland, or snuggling up with your SO under the sparkling skyline in France. Those experiences feel like they're straight out of a fairy tale. They're totally possible, too, which is why it's difficult to accept the fact that you're doing something else rather than hopping on a plane right now. Universe, what gives!
On the bright side, you're not the only one who's feeling this way. Let's talk about this new Contiki survey, OK?
What are the results of the Contiki survey?
The results are in. According to Contiki, the leading social travel company for those in the 18 to 35 age demographic, a majority of millennials would give up sex for travel. (Sorry to all of the significant others out there.) After surveying more than 1,500 millennials across the U.S., they found that 57 percent of people in this generation would rather hop on a plane than hop into bed.
When you think about it, this is pretty interesting, because travel isn't everything those dreamy travel influencer photos make it out to be. What they don't show is the sweaty train rides and how many shots it takes to land the best one. You see the beautiful sunsets, but not the crowds of tourists that are on the other side of the lens. So, there must be something about travel that makes giving up some guilty pleasures in life so worth it. We'll get to that, but let's move on to the other results for a second.
What other things would millennials give up for travel?
First thing's first: In addition to sex, 60 percent of the people surveyed reported that they would give up carbs, 77 percent would give up coffee, and 73 percent would give up alcohol for travel. Now, I don't know about you, but trading tequila for a 10-day trip is totally fine by me. But, not being able to celebrate National Pasta Day or snack on a grilled cheese in the middle of the day? Well, that's tough. (And don't even get me started on a morning that doesn't involve coffee.)
Millennials also said that they would gladly give up their cellphones for the wonders of the world. Although only about 41 percent reported they would give up their screen for something so sweet in reality, it's much easier — in my personal opinion — to understand this trade. Often, traveling gives you a chance to disconnect from social media and the demands of being connected all the time. So, my guess is that these people had that in mind, and would just bring their camera along on their life adventures, instead of depending on their phone 24/7.
Last but not least, Netflix got ditched for travel in this survey, because 80 percent of millennials would rather hit the road than watch a film about a road trip. Once again, this seems awfully fair to me. Why watch someone else live their life, when you can go out and have those experiences on your own?
How long does the average millennial spend on planning a trip?
On top of researching what millennials would give up for travel, Contiki also looked into how long they spend planning a trip. Let's be honest: As much as you love traveling and going to the dreamiest places around the world, it's tough to book plane tickets, accommodation, and excursions. You have to compare prices, find ways to save money, and come up with an itinerary from scratch. Are you getting exhausted just thinking about it? Girl, me too.
According to the survey, 83 percent of this age range travel one to five times a year, while 35 percent travel three to five times a year. Essentially, this means that millennials almost always have a trip in the books, or are in the process of planning one throughout the year. From there, a majority of people spend at least one to three hours just trying to find the best places to eat. That's an entire afternoon dedicated to dinners that you're going to have months down the road! (Guilty. But, that panini was so worth the extra research.)
In addition, 50 percent of millennials will spend the same amount of time researching where to stay, and 33 percent will spend that time watching YouTube videos and scrolling through their Instagram feed for two to four hours, just for some inspo.
Why is travel so important to millennials and millennial culture?
So, why are millennials so willing to give up these things just for travel? Well, on the surface, it's hard to understand. It takes getting out in the world for yourself and rediscovering what you love about travel, to know exactly why it's worth ditching your phone or an intimate moment in bed.
Yes, there are the long lines at the airport and the long days of sight-seeing. But, none of that matters when you find yourself and an entirely new perspective on the world. You make memories just riding in the car in the middle of nowhere with your best friends, and trying incredible food that you inevitably crave for a lifetime.
Suddenly, it seems OK to ditch the morning cup of coffee, because you're chasing the one thing that truly sparks your soul. So, let me ask you again: Would you do it, too?