‘Buddycations’ are India’s new Holiday Mantra



Dosti ki hai toh nibhani padegi’ – a famous dialogue from a classic Bollywood movie. Sounds too cheesy? Absolutely not. 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.

Friends playing in waves on beach

The survey by ICICI Lombard suggests that school or college friends in India are more inclined to meet over an annual ‘Buddycation’ (21%) than during their annual alumni meet (16%). As per the survey, respondents in Mumbai (29%), Ahmedabad (26%) and Hyderabad (22%) are most likely to to take an annual vacation with friends, while respondents in Chennai (32%) and Delhi (22%) are more likely to meet their school or college friends at their annual alumni meet.

Friends in a fountain

Most of the respondents see a vacation in a very positive light – 72% of respondents take vacation as a way to create memorable moments and spending quality time with buddies. The survey found that 86% of Indians are likely to enjoy a vacation with their buddies over their family. Furthermore, the study also reveals that 49% 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 favour 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% millennial travellers 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 buddycations, more than two out of five respondents (45%) admitted that they frequently have to skip their preferred location and go for what their buddies choose. This is more common amongst respondents from Lucknow (52%) and Mumbai (52%). 

Partners in adventure

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.”

Way to go with friends

The study provides quantifiable proof of the growing influence friendship holds over decision making. For instance, 2 out of 5 respondents admitted that they have skipped a site/location because their friend wanted to go somewhere else. Decisions like these often create uncertainties. The survey findings indicate that while respondents are willing to face different uncertainties and adventures on the buddycation, they are hardly prepared. Only 25% admitted that they would ensure buying travel insurance before setting off on their vacation while 35% 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. 

Surfing through tough times with friends

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 study which interviewed around 1555 respondents from Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai, on a lighter note, explored the roles people assume when on ‘Buddycation’.

Friends and pranks
  • 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.
Friends on life road

What do you prefer more? Vacation with family or vacation with friends? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

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2 thoughts on “‘Buddycations’ are India’s new Holiday Mantra”

  1. “Take vacations, and go as many places as you can. You can always make money, but you can’t always make memories.” – Unknown

    1. swamiupendra says:

      Absolutely true. Can’t agree more. Your photos prove what will our travel memories will be formed of!!

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