Have you ever looked at a particularly aesthetically pleasing Instagram photo of someone's vacation and immediately wanted to go there too? Well, you're not the only one, especially if you're part of Generation Z. A new study has found that almost half of the generation trusts recommendations from people they don't know like Instagram travel influencers.
Gen Z is defined broadly as encompassing people born in the late 1990s or after the turn of the millennium. According to a study conducted for travel site Booking.com, 46 percent of Gen Z trust the recommendations of people they don’t know in person like influencers and celebrities.
Instagram seems to be the most popular social media site that influences travel decisions, with 40 percent of respondents citing it as their top source for information.
"There's nothing wrong with looking at [influencers] for inspiration for places to go and what you want to check out, but at the same time you need to do some additional research to find out if that’s a place you really want to go to," Barry Choi, personal finance and travel expert, told Narcity.
The study strives to understand how this generation of young people travels and their ambitions for future ventures. It probably comes at no surprise that social media has such a big impact on how young people go about their travels as these sites are part of our everyday lives.
But exercise caution when perusing Instagram and always wonder if you'll be able to get the same access as celebrities and influencers, Choi advised.
"When you look at influencers sometimes you need to wonder if they're being paid to provide that information or their positive review," said Choi.
Toronto- and Ontario-based travel Instagrams and influencers provide no shortage of inspiration for trips and vacations so you don't have to look too hard to find places to visit.
Not only does Gen Z take travel inspiration from social media, but they also want adventures that are worthy of that perfect shot.
56 percent want to have an adventurous experience in their travels, like paragliding or bungee jumping, and 52 percent want to visit extreme locations.
While it's important to have experiences like that, it's easy to forget the costs that come with those exhilarating experiences.
"I don't have a problem with people spending their money on trips as long as they're not putting themselves into debt for it," said Choi. "If travel is important to young people, they need to build it into their budget."
So what can you do to get that perfect photograph while not breaking the bank? Choi suggests travelling during the off-season and going to places that are less popular.
"Who doesn’t like a good Instagram picture, after all, right?" he said.
The research was done on behalf of Booking.com and had a sample size of 5,456 respondents between the ages of 16 and 24 from 29 countries.