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Young Travellers From Around The Globe Reveal Their 2017 Bucket List: Bathing in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Is #1 Experience

November 8, 2016 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Research conducted by youth travel operator Contiki has revealed the hottest travel experiences for 18-35 year olds with bathing in Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon in the pole position. Contiki has polled nearly 5,000 young people worldwide to nominate their bucket list experiences, resulting in ‘The No Regrets List’ that features the 10 most desirable travel experiences for Gen Y (born 1980-1994) and Gen Z (born after 1995) travellers.

The survey also revealed that the younger Australian generation is no longer seeking a party-animal atmosphere when travelling, and instead wants to fully immerse themselves into new cultures, and feast on local cuisine. In fact, of the group surveyed, learning about other cultures (56%) and discovering local food (45%) were listed as common determining factors for motivating people aged 18 to 35 to travel — ahead of releasing an inner daredevil (17%).

Top 10 travel experiences for global 18-35 year olds for 2017:

  1. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon hot springs in Iceland (42%)
  2. See the Great Pyramids of Giza (41%)
  3. Walk the Great Wall of China (41%)
  4. Chill out on the beach in Byron Bay (40%)
  5. Learn how to make pizza in Italy (39%)
  6. Roadtrip down Route 66 (38%)
  7. Float on a gondola through Venice (38%)
  8. Kiss someone on the top of Eiffel Tower, Paris (37%)
  9. Watch sea turtles lay eggs in Costa Rica (36%)
  10. Go on a picnic in the French countryside (35%)

Top Australian experiences for global Gen Z and Gen Y travellers:

  1. Chill out on the beach in Byron Bay (40%)
  2. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef (35%)
  3. Cuddle a Koala in Queensland (33%)
  4. Cook your own steak at an Aussie BBQ in Sydney (22%)
  5. Sail through the Whitsunday Islands (21%)
  6. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge (21%)
  7. Quad bike in Australia’s Red Centre (18%)

“We are really excited to share these stats on what travel experiences are hot amongst millennial travellers and it’s interesting to see what the travel trends are not only for young Australians but for Australia as a destination; 21% of international young travellers are planning to travel to Australia next year and 40% have put a visit to the beach of Byron Bay on their bucket list,” says Katrina Barry, Managing Director Contiki Australia.

Looking just at the results from 18-35 year old Australians, their bucket list differs to their international counterparts; 51% of Gen Z seek food and culinary experiences what puts learning how to make pizza in Italy at the top of young Aussies’ bucket list. The main motivator to travel for 18-35 year olds is to learn about other cultures (55%), which has a big impact on what they want to experience next year.

Top 5 travel experiences for Australian 18-35 year olds:

  1. Learn how to make pizza in Italy (41%)
  2. Pyramids of Giza (40%)
  3. Walk the Great Wall of China (40%)
  4. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon hot springs in Iceland (40%)
  5. Watch the sunrise over Uluru (40%)

“We can see an interesting and for some people surprising trend when looking at the top 3 travel experiences of Gen Y and their younger cousins, Gen Z. Our research shows that the youngest Australian travellers choose cultural experiences over partying in Vegas and Ibiza, going to the Oktoberfest and skydiving in New Zealand,” adds Katrina Barry.

Australian Gen Z (1995-1998) top 3 experiences:

  1. Walk the Great Wall of China (58%)
  2. See the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris (49%)
  3. Picnic in French countryside (48%)

Australian Gen Y (1980-1994) top 3 experiences:

  1. Watch the sunrise over Uluru (43%)
  2. See the Great Pyramids of Giza (40%)
  3. Learn how to make pizza in Italy (39%)

The Top 5

1 – Bathe in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland


Those landscapes and THAT awe inspiring natural light show – of course Iceland is a close second on our list and specifically, the dreamy Blue Lagoon. Silica, Algae and Minerals are all active materials in the lagoon making it a killer natural skin regime, whilst the water temperature hovers around a balmy 37-40 degrees. And if you think the idea of bathing with 50 other people at one time is a bit gross, don’t – the water is self-cleansing, renewing itself every 40 hours.

2 – See the Great Pyramids of Giza


One of the most magnificent wonders on the planet, the Great Pyramids of Giza define bucket list goals. Built over 5000 years ago, the oldest and largest of the pyramids is the Great Pyramid, the only surviving structure of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Nestled on the west bank of the Nile and on the fringes of the expansive Sahara Desert, jump on board a camel and go capture yourself the ULTIMATE selfie…

3 – Walk the Great Wall of China


Move over all other walls of the world because you will NEVER beat the greatest (and longest) of them all – the Great Wall of China. Weighing in at a staggering 21,196 kilometres long and with over 2,300 years under its belt, the Great Wall is the world’s most awe inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture, built by multiple dynasties to protect different territorial borders. The phrase ‘they don’t make them life they used to’ springs to mind…

4 – Chill out on the beach in Byron Bay


Golden expanses of sand, chilled back hippy vibes and hands down some of the best food in Oz – THIS is Byron Bay. All those dreams you’ve been harbouring of running away and living the surf bum lifestyle? This is the place to do it. Spend your morning kayaking the mangroves and dolphin spotting, cycle on over to Tallows beach for secluded beach hangs, then end the day watching the sun set from the vantage point of the lighthouse. Travel goals? You betcha.

5 – Learn how to make pizza in Italy


Pizza and Italy – two words that have been synonymous with each other since, well, forever. Get to grips with the country’s most famous export (soz pasta, you’re a close second) with a hands on cookery lesson, taught by the experts themselves – the locals. Learn to knead your dough just the right way, dollop on the perfect tomato sauce, and season with all the cheese and basil you can dream of. Margherita mamma mia!

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