What Makes a Great Travel Experience?

Why do people leave the comfort of their homes to spend a lot of money, interact with strangers, to see and do things they’ve never done before?

And what about you personally?  What experience do you you feel is essential to any long journey you might take this year?

Visualize it right now, or if you can remember what you envisioned before you booked your last travel adventure. I think you’ll have fun just thinking about it, and these sorts of exercises help you discover what’s missing from your experience and what you need to be doing.

If you manage a travel business, you’d be wise to create your own traveler survey questionnaire to discover what your prospective and current customers are demanding specifically. It really is the essence of your travel marketing and product strategy.

Yes, you’re unique to everyone else, so there’s no simple reason why anyone of us chooses the vacation we do.  It solves some deep need about filling voids, extending capabilities and strengths, or finding out more about what we really want from life. Often, we need to get away from our present environment to see the way clear and become ourselves.

But if we want to understand the travel thing, and the travel packages/destinations/tours that match us,  we need to list them all and find the ones that mean the most.   Below you’ll find this list of experiences/places/values that are common among travelers.

Travel Match Making: The Perfect Mix

Personalization is at the root of every travel dream and travel agencies and tour management companies are trying their best to arrange those ultimate travel experiences. The unique things travelers seek are what makes a package or trip significant enough to them that they’re willing to pay generously for it.

Travel companies that respect their unique vision and needs and provide the best mix of features are likely to the ones they book with. The package resonates to them and becomes the best or most significant to them.

If these key experiences are left out, will a travel adventure still be enjoyable? Will they still pay the same price?

If you can’t book an accommodation close to the beach or waterfront, will the whole trip be scrapped? If the traveler can’t see their cherished venue at high season, will they choose another season instead? If they have to fly with 3 stopovers, will they still book it?

It tells us a trip is the sum of its components, but there a few items that are must haves. If I’m traveling to San Diego or Sarasota Florida, I want to be near the beach and to ride coastal streets and trails on my bike and enjoy it many, many hours actively. Without that, the trip’s not worth it to me. Without active exercise, I’m not really interested because the exercise is adventure, socializing, novelty, exploration, and good health.

Anna Maria Island Florida.
Anna Maria Island Florida. Image: Rick Schwartz via Unsplash

And that’s the thing. If a trip is costing $2000 to $7000, travelers feel the itinerary is going to meet their must haves. Missing any one of them might result in a cancellation. For a tour company or vacation seller, ensuring these core parts of the trip are intact is vital to a sale.

Best Parts of the Best Vacation Possible?

  • a new, unvisited destination (Greek islands, Thailand, Machu Pichu)
  • transformative experience — cultural experiences, humanitarian, old village life
  • mini trips – boat tours, train rides, gondola rides (Rocky Mountaineer, Bernina Express)
  • social experience with other travelers (dating, group travel, tours, family, art lovers, wine lovers)
  • cultural experience — food, drink, entertainment (Thailand, Japan, Hawaii, Indonesia, Hawaii, Fiji)
  • entertainment — sports events, music, concerts, art galleries, theme parks)
  • rare events — northern lights, volcano eruption, solar eclipse, balloon festival, giant ocean waves for surfers)
  • adventure — mountain hikes, wildlife, white water rafting, kayaking (Mt Everest base camp, Kruger National Park)
  • sports and exercise — golf, tennis, horseback riding, ATV’ing, skiing, snorkeling
  • history immersion — Paris, Rome, Mexico, Greece, China
  • a spectacular destination — Grand Canyon, Amalfi Coast, Yosemite, Banff, Lauterbrunnen, Greek Islands, Tianmen Mountains
  • great beaches — Thailand, California, Florida, Mexico, Spain, Australia
  • warm climate — Mexico, Florida, Spain, Thailand, Australia
  • relaxation and mental health — Hawaii, Cuba, Italy, resort spas, Maldives, Fiji, Iceland
  • unique retail shopping — Naples, Los Angeles, Paris, New York
  • in their own country — USA, Canada, China, Spain,

The Right Mix is Even More Powerful

Based on results from your own travel survey, you can identify the core experiences and features your target audience wants, and then you tailor your travel product selection to respond to your niche target groups.

Use this new knowledge to better tailor your blog content, marketing pages, social media posts, emails, newsletters, magazine ads, and PPC ads.

Great marketing is all about customer knowledge, reach, impact, brand building (trust, significance) and creative presentation of an amazing travel experience.

You don’t always need the most slick marketing, because travelers still want the best-personalized experience for them. It’s about reach and presentation of the best mix of all of these travel values listed above.

Need help to grow your travel business?

If you believe marketing is essential to a successful business and you’re committed to success and growth, I’m sure we can work a great agreement between us.

Travel is an amazing industry because you make other people happy, healthy and fulfilled, and give them an opportunity to live a life beyond the dull and ordinary.

I’m looking forward to working with you. Reach Gord at 416 998 6246.

See more on Travel Marketing Services, travel management software, travel & tourism research, most popular destinations and great tour experiences.