The thrill and excitement of our first time travel experiences positively increases our confidence, broadens our horizons and makes us ultimately more successful in life according to new global research commissioned by Booking.com

Whether you’re getting your passport stamped for the first time, trying out a new city or doing something completely out of your comfort zone, the research, which surveyed more than 15,000 people from 20 countries worldwide, proves that travelling to new places and opening your mind to different, novel experiences inspires life enriching changes.

Whether their first-time experience was travelling abroad, embracing a new destination or travelling solo, almost two thirds of those surveyed (65%) said that pushing themselves to take part in a new travel experience vastly increased their confidence. While first-time travel can seem daunting, most agree (61%) that any nerves felt before they travelled were unnecessary.

Re-energised and with confidence, we can be motivated to make more dramatic life decisions. One in ten (13%) state a first-time travel experience has led them to switching their job or career, while the same percentage say that a first time travel experience led them to change their relationship, and a fifth (21%) decided to move somewhere completely new. Respondents also claim that confidence boosted by first-time travel can also open doors to other life-inspiring opportunities, such as meeting new kinds of people (40%), cooking and eating new types of food (43%), learning a new language (29%) and reading and learning about another culture (29%).

This impetus to experience and learn new things leads people to believe that those who have travelled to many places and have tried out different travel experiences tend to be more interesting that those who have not (61%), and that with all these new interpersonal and practical skills they tend to be more successful in their life and career (45%). And it seems that once people have the travel bug, it’s hard to shake with about two in three (64%) stating that experiencing places for the first time prompts them to visit other new places, experiences or accommodation in the future. Almost half of those questioned (45%) plan to be more adventurous in their travel plans this year and one in two (56%) plan to travel further away from home. More than half plan to take more weekend getaways (54%) and visit somewhere where their friends haven’t been (47%).

The types of first time experiences people are keen to try in 2017 are broadening, with volunteering based trips (21%), spiritual adventures (23%), eco tours (39%) and road trips (44%), proving to be popular choices for globe-trotting travellers.

Pepijn Rijvers, the company's chief marketing officer, said: “Our first time travel experiences open our minds, sparks our imagination and inspires us to continue trying something new or change direction in life. Once you catch the travel bug it’s simply contagious! There’s so much of the world to explore and experience to fuel your wanderlust."

Image Source: Shutterstock, Joshua Resnick

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