‘Dosti ki hai toh nibhani padegi’ – a famous dialogue from a classic Bollywood movie. Sounds too cheesy? Absolutely not says, ICICI Lombard. A recent study commissioned by the leading private non-life insurer on the occasion of World Tourism Day reveals that Indians take vacations with their buddies (aka “Buddycation”) and make compromises individually in order to fulfill promises of the whole group.
- 92% of Chennaites are likely to enjoy a vacation with their buddies over their family and 35% of respondents chose close friends and work colleagues as ‘ideal travel companions’
- 60% of Chennaites take a vacation as a way to create memorable moments and spending quality time with buddies while only a mere 10% think of vacation as an escape from routine life
- 5 out of 6 respondents admitted that they have skipped a site/location because their friend wanted to go somewhere else while 3 out of 4 respondents admitted that they have always skipped their preferred activity in favor of their friend’s choice
The survey suggests that Chennaites have been taking trips primarily to enjoy with their buddies. According to the survey, 3 out 5 of Chennaites take a vacation as a way to create memorable moments and spending quality time with buddies (60%). The findings also reported that 92% of Chennaites are likely to enjoy a vacation with their buddies over their family. Furthermore, the study also reveals that 36% of respondents chose close friends and work colleagues as ‘ideal travel companions’.
There is a shift in the traveling pattern of Indian masses. Indians are leaving behind their families in favor of buddies to explore new places and experiences. This is a reflection of a larger trend in India where young people are choosing ‘Buddycation’ over the family vacation. According to Skyscanner India, 24% of millennial travelers prefer traveling with their friends compared to 17% who would travel with their family.
According to the survey findings, it was seen that choices of one’s friends take precedence while planning for these buddycataions, more than two out of five respondents (85%) admitted that they frequently have to skip their preferred location and go for what their buddies choose.
On the survey, Mr. Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. said, “At ICICI Lombard, our brand commitment is all about keeping promises; and this is precisely the basis of true friendship. Vacations are increasingly an occasion for friends to renew relationships, enjoy each other’s company, and experience the pleasure of ‘collective decision-making’. It is all about bringing joy to the entire group – that is the essence of the modern Buddycation.”
The study provides quantifiable proof of the growing influence friendship holds over decision making. For instance, 5 out of 6 respondents across India admitted that they have skipped a site/location because their friend wanted to go somewhere else (85%). Decisions like these often create uncertainties. Our survey findings indicate that while respondents are willing to face different uncertainties and adventures on the buddycation, they are hardly prepared. Only 27% admitted that they would ensure buying travel insurance before setting off on their vacation while 27% said that they would simply check with other friends who had traveled to the destination earlier.
“As a brand, our objective is to ensure that when individuals travel with their friends, they are focused only on their priorities and have fun. However, it is extremely important that they secure their travel with a comprehensive travel insurance policy. This is no longer an alternative, but a necessity.” says Sanjeev Mantri.
When you are on buddycations, preferences and choices of different people, make it ever so difficult to zero in on anything, be it the travel destination or the cuisine or any activity of your choice, which might lead to friction and quarrels. The survey findings busted that myth and confirmed that respondents will gladly let go of their choices and preferences in order to accommodate that of their friends’. 77% admitted that they have always skipped their preferred activity in favor of their friend’s choice. Moreover, 47% of the respondents said they’ll vote and only pick what the majority agrees on. While 31% accepted that they’ll still accommodate a late-comer friend who wrecked the entire schedule by arriving late.
The survey provided some eye-opening insights into the vagabond world of travelers and decoded some of the habits and behaviors yet unknown to service providers. The total number of respondents across India was 1555 wherein Chennai comprised of 201. The study also, on a lighter note, did a comparison in terms on what roles do people from different cities assume when on ‘Buddycation’.
- Foodies & peacemakers – Respondents from Chennai are either foodies (30%) of the gang or the gang’s chief diplomat (29) who assume the role of peacemakers
- Adventurers and culture vultures – Locals from Hyderabad, on the other hand, are either the adrenaline-pumping adventure junkies (29%) or culture vultures (25%) curious to learn about the history and culture of every place they visit.
- Gifting Experts – Residents from Ahmedabad do show their family orientation more than the respondents from other cities as 17% agree to be gift bingers who buy souvenirs and gifts for everyone back home
- InstaPeople – Claiming the crown of social (media) butterflies, Delhites (14%) ensure that all their social platforms are in real-time sync with all their recent travels
- Chief Hagglers – In case shopping is a prime activity that you would like to indulge in during vacation, make sure you do have a buddy from Delhi or Ahmedabad who would ensure that you buy stuff at the best price as 14% of Delhites and Ahmedabadis agree that they are better off being chief hagglers.