Young adults prefer to take travel advice from digital influencers than from parents and friends, according to research by experience design agency 383. According to a report on WhatMobile, some 58% of students (18 to 24 year olds) and some 53% of millennials trust online bloggers, Facebook and Instagram more than their own parents or peers, compared with just 13% for the over-55s.

The research comes in the wake of last year’s disastrous Fyre Festival, which was promoted by social media influencers – many of whom did not initially reveal that they had been paid to do so.

Sukhi Dehal, CEO and founder of 383, said: “In an era of fake news and online scams that are increasingly difficult to identify, it’s important that travellers do their homework with a broader spectrum of trusted resources – whether that’s family and friends or reputable travel-relevant sites.

“This is especially important for those off-the-beaten-track experiences, which bring with them a set of risks due to insufficient information or knowledge.

“It’s a huge concern that the younger generation has been found to be so trusting of a source that may or may not be telling the whole truth.

“The urgent message from these survey results is yes, be inspired by social media, but be smart, responsible and safe by broadening your scope of research before making a big life decision like travelling overseas.”

The survey found that social media influences 71% of those aged between 18 and 35 planning to travel in the UK, while recommendations from family and friends sway only 36%.

Some 44% of young adults draw on Instagram rather than their own real-life contacts to influence big decisions such as foreign travel.

Jordan Brown or @hellomissjordan, an Instagram travel influencer with 38.6k followers, says that social media had inspired her to travel off the tourist track.

“While getting new content is great, safety is always the most important.”

While we can’t depend on everything we read online, our gadgets can be real lifesavers when we’re abroad, helping us with everything from finding directions to learning the lingo.

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