Why UAE residents are turning to spontaneous travel?

by Staff Reporter
Published: Updated:
Spontaneous travel UAE.

According to global flight, car hire and hotel marketplace Skyscanner’s latest research in association with OnePoll, UAE residents embrace spontaneity, especially in travel. Savvy UAE residents have long taken pride in being adventurous at heart with 94% considering themselves spontaneous.

A whopping 80% of UAE respondents claim to be more spontaneous now than they were pre-pandemic. The whirlwind of recent events has clearly stirred up an irresistible desire for the unexpected, the unplanned, and the delightful surprises that only a spontaneous journey can deliver.

Spontaneous holidays the new travel norm

In a world reshaped by a hunger for adventure, spontaneous holidays are becoming the new norm. Almost half (42%) of UAE travellers have arrived at the airport without a destination in mind and booked then and there, whilst a staggering 60% have booked a holiday less than a mere four days before departure. And if you’re stumped on an upcoming gift idea for your loved one or friend, a resounding 63% of UAE travellers said they would feel happy, followed by grateful (23%), if a loved one surprised them with a spontaneous holiday.

Key Highlights:

  • 63% of UAE respondents shared they feel excited from making a spontaneous decision, followed by happy (55%), exhilarated (30%) and carefree (26%).
  • 52% wish they were more spontaneous when travelling; and 64% have already booked a spontaneous holiday.
  • Acclaimed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Saliha Afridi from The LightHouse Arabia – Center for Wellbeing, reveals that being more spontaneous can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • 51% say money is a factor in taking more spontaneous trips, however Skyscanner reveals deals to more than 15 holiday favourites, including Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Greece and Turkey for less than AED400 return this September!

Whilst most travellers would choose their spouse/partner for a spontaneous getaway, the study revealed that women are also leading this charge and emerging as twice as likely as their male counterparts to embark on a spontaneous solo escapade. It’s a symphony of last-minute getaways, unexpected joy, and fearless explorations that now compose the enchanting melody of travel in the modern age.

What is Spontaneous Travel

Commenting on the findings, Skyscanner’s Travel Expert Ayoub El Mamoun says: “Embracing spontaneity isn’t just about shaking up our routines, it’s about the sheer joy of discovering new horizons or reuniting with family and friends at a moment’s notice that sends ripples of excitement and creates memories that last forever.


“As the world embarks on a renewed era of global travel, countless new flight routes connect us from all corners of the globe. Add to this the growing number of visa on arrival and visa-free travel options from the UAE, and easily and quickly searching and comparing cheap flights through sites like Skyscanner, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for the soaring trend of spontaneous holidays.”

Spontaneity is good for the mind and wallet

Skyscanner’s flight pricing data shows that being flexible with where and when you travel is the key to unlocking the best prices. With 80 billion prices searched every single day, an ‘Everywhere’ search on Skyscanner for September reveals great value flights from the UAE for as little as Dhs78 to Kuwait, Dhs158 to Jordan, Dhs318 to Italy or Dhs365 to Greece in September!

Dr. Saliha Afridi, Clinical Psychologist and Managing Director of The LightHouse Arabia highlights the benefits of spontaneous holidays: “Spontaneous travel offers many benefits, including increased mental wellbeing, enhanced creativity, and improved cognitive flexibility. Breaking out of routine to immerse yourself in new environments and cultures acts as a rejuvenating reset, effectively reducing stress and anxiety and promoting a healthy mindset.”

According to Skyscanner’s latest study, UAE residents still have an average of 14 days annual leave left to take this year. So, what are you waiting for? There is no better time to embark on a spontaneous holiday.

Tips for booking spontaneous flights:

  • Consider ‘Everywhere’: “An ‘Everywhere’ search on Skyscanner is a great starting point for your next spontaneous break away! Ordered by price, an ‘everywhere’ search can inspire you to go somewhere you’ve never been before. In fact, ‘Everywhere’ is currently the 4th ‘destination’ for UAE travellers on Skyscanner right now.”
  • Flex those dates: “Searching by multiple dates and airports will give you the best chance of a bargain. Flight prices are all based on supply and demand. Because some dates are more popular than others, prices will vary. The ‘whole month’ search tool allows you to see cheap flights at a glance and pick the right deal for you. Flying on less popular days of the week is often cheaper.”
  • Mix & Match to save: “51% of UAE travellers say money is a key deciding factor in whether to organise a spontaneous trip. Being flexible in mixing up the airlines you choose to fly with can seriously cut costs. Fares don’t have to be booked as returns, look at flying out with one airline and back with another or out of one airport and back into another.”
  • Find a spontaneous friend: “If you struggle to be spontaneous and you know that you need that extra push to get you out of your comfort zone, enlist the help of your partner, friend or parent. Get them to plan some fun trips away and agree that they will only tell you where you are going a few hours before you need to set off!


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