Mecenat Insights – Students’ travel and vacation

Students prefer rural environments or the coast and archipelago on their summer vacation

This time of year, when the light has begun to return, a lot of people starts planning their vacation and looking for travel destinations. This is how it looks this year as well, but with a clear adaptation to the rules and restrictions that apply at present. Fewer people plan to travel and of those who do, the format will be smaller and the trips shorter.

Last week, we conducted this year’s survey on how Swedish students plan for this summer’s trips and vacations. More than a third of the students’ state that they will not travel away at all this summer. They simply expect to stay home during their summer vacation. Of them, 75 percent state that that decision is solely due to the current pandemic.

Just over half of the respondents answer that they expect to travel this summer, but not as in the past. Some will only move in the immediate area during the holidays and the majority of those who will travel away will stay in Sweden.

The picture of the students’ holiday that emerges is otherwise quite traditional. Most of all, they want to go out into the countryside or to the coast and archipelago. City vacation comes in third place. And no matter where you want to spend your holiday, hotels are the most attractive accommodation. In second place comes living in a cottage and in third place, the ultimate budget option, to stay with friends.

However, just over 15 percent of the students are optimistic and plan for a holiday abroad. When we asked the same question in April last year, only five percent expected to do that.

This survey does not give an answer to the reason of this increase, but there is a widespread tiredness of restrictions, not least now when more countries are talking about opening up. Or maybe they simply expect the restrictions to ease as we get closer to summer.

If we go back two years, to the corresponding survey in 2019, the bars look like we remember them from before the pandemic. Well over half of the students then expected to travel abroad, so the reduction down to 15 percent is still very large.

When we asked what means of transport they plan to use, the car retains first place followed by trains, just like in last year’s survey. But even here you can feel a certain hope that things will go back to how it was before. Flights have increased from last year’s sixth place, after among other things bicycle and boat, to this year when it ends up in place three.

If the students had been able to choose freely what they would like to do this summer and completely ignore the pandemic, it becomes clear what they really lack. Like most others, they are starving in social activities. At the top of the list we find hanging out with friends and family followed by sunbathing and swimming. Travel abroad only comes in third place when they can choose completely free. Then to hang out at outdoor cafes and go to concerts and music festivals. In short, activities that you generally do together with a group of friends are very popular. And in these cases, the students are by no means unique.

The surveys had 1,845 responding students. The recipients are randomly selected from Mecenat users and the result is weighted by gender and age against the total Swedish student population.