Using data from trips organized by MBA students on its platform since 2015, WeTravel released its first report on the travel behavior of MBA students from top US schools.
The cost of an MBA is not cheap. Students at any of the top US schools can spend more than $200K to get their degrees. Moreover, one must add the expense of travel on top of that because globetrotting around the world has been an essential part of life for MBA students in top US schools.
MBA travel trips can be divided into two categories:
(a) career-focused group travel; e.g. a 35-person trip organized by MBA Technology Club to the Bay Area to visit tech companies
(b) social-focused group travel; e.g. a 100-student trip to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate graduation
Originally starting in 2015 as a platform for MBA students at UC Berkeley to organize social-focused trips, WeTravel has since evolved to become a booking software for multi-day, small tour operators. However, it remains popular among MBA students, especially those from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and NYU.
After analyzing the aggregated data from hundreds of MBA trips on WeTravel in 2018 and interviewing 30 student trip leaders, the WeTravel team identified three main findings:
WeTravel’s 3 Key MBA Travel Statistics
(1) An MBA student at a top US school spends $21,295 over a two-year period for social-focused group travel.
There are five times throughout the school year when these group trips usually happen: before the program starts (pre-MBA), winter break, spring break, summer break (between first and second year), and graduation.
Additionally, students also go on three long weekend trips with smaller groups throughout the year.
A trip can be as large as 250 people at almost $4000 per person, including airfare.
(2) Israel, Japan, Colombia are the most popular destinations for MBAs; Morocco, Puerto Rico are on the rise.
International travel is very common in these top schools. Students who come from overseas usually lead trips to their home countries.
Japan and Israel trips are annual traditions in many schools, while Colombia is popular due to its warm weather and lively atmosphere. Over the past few years, more and more students are also traveling to Morocco and Puerto Rico.
In the US, New York City, San Francisco, and Las Vegas are the most popular destinations.
(3) On average, an MBA trip leader uses seven planning tools to manage a group trip.
For every aspect of trip planning (registration, payment collection, organization, and communication), there are a number of tools available for an MBA trip leader to use.
Because there is no single platform that covers all aspects, trip leaders use an average of seven planning tools. Google products (email, spreadsheet, forms) and WeTravel are included in the Top 3 most popular tools in three out of four trip planning aspects.
MBA students see their own travel behavior and spending as a business opportunity. In recent years, a few MBA-founded travel companies were launched to capture this market, such as Modo Travel from Chicago Booth, Bschool Travel from Michigan Ross, and GoVive from UCLA Anderson.
Zaky Prabowo, CMO/co-founder of WeTravel, explained this trend, “MBA students want travel companies that can create personalized, custom-made trips and they have group buying power to ask for the best travel experience. After all, nobody knows how to serve MBA students better than former MBA students themselves.”
Enjoy our MBA travel insights and want to create your own trip using WeTravel’s seamless booking and payment platform? You can start planning your student and MBA group travel here!