Humans have traveled since the dawn of humanity over 200,000 years ago. As time progressed and technology increased, so too did human motivations and drivers for travel. This thesis aims to understand these human motivations and drivers, ultimately answering the question, "Why Travel?" To answer this question, this research starts from the earliest of humans, classifying groups of individuals across time into respective buckets based on a similar motivation. In doing so, four traveler segments were identified: the Survivors, the Inventors, the Adventurers, and the Colonists. Each segment describes an era in time of a specific group of humans, each distinctly aligning with a specific reason for travel. In the early 1800s, the advent of commercial travel altered the future of travel. This began with the invention of the locomotive and was followed by the airplane and automobile. With this onset of commercial travel, transportation arrives to its current state in 2018 with a new type of traveler: the Modern Traveler. This is a turning point in the history of travel, as prior to commercial travel, groups of individuals could be grouped under one specific reason. Post commercial travel, human motivations and drivers become diverse and discrete, with no two individuals sharing the same motivations. To further understand this human desire for travel in a modern sense, a survey was administered to uncover these drivers. The findings revealed one broad reason: humans travel for the experience. With this overarching view of travel, five drivers were also apparent. First, humans travel to visit friends and family. Secondly, family vacations are an important factor in the motivation to travel. Third, humans desire the ability to experience a culture different than their own. Fourth, humans are intrigued by new places and can be motivated to travel by the ability to have new experiences. Fifth and finally, rest and relaxation are a key driver in human travel. With a greater understanding as to "why humans travel," and the drivers behind the "experience" individuals seek through travel, such understandings could be used to segment these individuals into distinct traveler profiles. These segments, the Backpacker, the Solo-Traveler, the Groupie, the Cultural Traveler and the Party Lover, were used to better group motivations for travel. One conclusion can be drawn from this research: travel is diverse and so are travelers. One reason cannot define the motivations of a modern traveler, rather today's traveler is bound by multiple. However, segmenting an individual provides valuable insights into their own diverse traveler persona.
- Why Travel? A Historical and Modern Day Approach to Understanding the Human Desire to Travel
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