Airbnb & Writer Alain de Botton Unveil the Key to Happy Holidays
In a bid to enrich Britons’ travelling experiences, Alain de Botton’s bestselling The Art of Travel has been re-released as The New Art of Travel by Airbnb and Penguin Books, with a new chapter by de Botton and foreword by Airbnb CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky.
Few things seem to promise as much happiness as going on holiday. A new survey of 2,000 UK respondents shows that 67 per cent of people take a trip as a way to overcome daily stresses and almost half (49 per cent) do it to help them feel rested. Yet 64 per cent of Brits have been on a holiday that didn’t meet their expectations, and almost half find them stressful. With this in mind, The New Art of Travel suggests why some of us take holidays, and how we might make them more fulfilling.
The Art of Travel, published six years before the founding of Airbnb, has long been an inspiration to Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky. Calling for more meaningful and transformative travel, it helped to lay the foundations for a company that offers a different way to travel through staying in people’s homes. De Botton collaborated on a new edition of the book that is aimed at getting people to stop and think before they book a holiday. It advises travellers to base their holiday destination and itinerary on their own minds and tastes rather than following the pack.
De Botton also looks at how living in an era of mass produced travel has affected people’s aspirations and expectations when they go on holiday. The new chapter asks holiday-makers to question how they can truly appreciate other cultures in destinations they have come so far to see. He suggests that a ‘cultural experience’ might go beyond the galleries and museums recommended by guidebooks and instead be found in the most valuable centre of local culture – the people.
James McClure, General Manager of Airbnb UK, comments: “Though the aim of a holiday is to have fun and relax, of course there are times we can feel stressed, disheartened or even isolated. But there are things we can consider to reduce the chance of being disappointed by a trip away, and the destination plays a big part. Airbnb is passionate about breaking down barriers between strangers through home sharing.”
McClure continues: “The book is a perfect antidote to endless guides, sites and articles telling you what to do when you get there. Alain shares a theory that Airbnb has long been championing; that belonging among new people and cultures can actually help us find ourselves too. Because travel has never really been about where you go. It’s about the person you’ve become when you return.”
Alain de Botton, author of The New Art of Travel, comments: “Travel is not the straightforward process often presented in the brochures. A lot of journeys go wrong, because what makes a good journey is as much about psychology as it is about material things. We invest enormous energies and sums of money in our travels, but need to get a little more strategic about what we actually want from them and what they could realistically deliver. The Art of Travel is an exploration of the ultimate meaning and purpose of travel. The goal of the book is simple: to help us have slightly more fulfilling trips.”
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