You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t look forward to a vacation: Everyone knows how good kicking back feels and how awesome it is to break free from the daily grind — even temporarily. But have you ever wondered what really inspires the way people plan their travel and how they actually spend time once they’ve set that OOO message? MMGY Global, an integrated travel marketing organization, recently provided new insight into the way people vacay with its 2018-2019 Portrait of American Travelers study. Read on for four key trends that caught our attention.

Millennial Families Are Looking for Leisure Travel

Two women cross a city street with their daughters

According to the MMGY, people have planned fewer vacations in 2018 than they did in 2017, and this finding holds true across generational categories. While millennials continue to show an increase in spending, all other generations report flat or decreased spending for coming years. Even more, millennials are the only generational category to note that they plan to dedicate additional cash to travel this year.

This takes families into account too, as MMGY reports that millennial families (which make up the biggest portion of the millennial category group) specifically plan to spend more on vacation than they did last year. Their data shows that millennial families are increasingly interested in leisure travel and plan to spend more on it than their single counterparts.

Food Is a Legit Travel Motivator

Social media has inspired a new generation of foodies, and the data is proving that good eats are serious travel inspo in their own right — so much so, in fact, that just over four-fifths of travelers note that local cuisine is something they want on vacation. In 2018, the survey delved into what culinary vacation experiences travelers are actually looking for, and the clear winners are authentic and new food experiences, with 70 percent saying that tasting these kinds of foods is part of the reason to head out in the first place. According to MMGY, travelers are also interested in hard-to-find dishes (61 percent) and dining at Michelin-starred spots (34 percent). To experience some of America’s top eats, head to Honolulu, the Florida Keys, Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Boston — MMGY data shows that these locales are definitely foodie-approved.

Wellness Travel Is Going Global

A woman prepares to go rock climbing

Staying healthy on vacation has become much more than a personal feel-good tactic: It’s shaping up to be a full-blown global trend. MMGY reports a significant uptick in interest in vacations that encourage people to unplug, enjoy nature, eat well, and exercise often. According to the survey, 10 percent of American travelers note that they’re motivated to maintain their lifestyle on a getaway, while nearly half of wellness travelers say they’re planning to go abroad this year, with Canada, Italy, France, and Germany topping the list of desired destinations.

As you might know, though, good intentions only go so far: About a third admit that while they packed their gear and planned to work out, they didn’t. If you want to keep moving and avoid this potential pitfall, enlist whoever you’re vacationing with to help you get going. Adding fun, outdoorsy activities that don’t feel like exercise is another solid solution that’ll also make for a memorable experience.

The Sharing Economy Is Full of Surprises

If you’re not someone who personally rents your apartment for a few days while you’re away, books an Airbnb for accommodations abroad, or uses a ridesharing service to get around, chances are high that you know people who do. MMGY validates that the sharing economy continues to affect the travel industry — sometimes in ways we might not expect. Case in point: Just over two-fifths of travelers who share their homes and rides aren’t millennials. In fact, the average age for home sharing is 40, while the average age of people taking advantage of Uber pools and Lyft lines is 41.

What’s more, the percentage of people who plan to use ridesharing services while traveling has dropped in the last three years from 94 percent to 69 percent. Homesharing stats have dropped too — from 90 percent of respondents having used a homeshare on vacation in 2016 to 75 percent projected for 2018. Could it be that the novelty has worn off, the experience no longer meets expectations, or the benefits simply aren’t as great as they once were? Whatever the reason for the shift, time will tell.

How do your adventures stack up with these trends? Tell us on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)