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Explore brainwave technology picks my top adventure trip

Written by Fiona

January 23 2017

I love an adventure holiday, whether it’s cycling, skiing, walking or simply exploring new places. But the choice is vast and sometimes the hardest part of booking a holiday is deciding where to go. This week, adventure travel specialists Explore are on the road, using emotion-tracking software to help holidaymakers in Scotland and England to determine their perfect holiday.

I popped along to the Gyle Shopping Centre in Edinburgh to try the brainwave technology.

Sit in the chair and watch a film… to discover your top Explore holiday.

Explore helps you to choose a perfect holiday

Research by Explore has found that 68% of people living in Scotland find choosing a destination the most challenging part of booking a holiday, while 58% say it takes more than two weeks to plan a trip from start to finish.

The emotion-tracking software has been developed to make it easier for consumers to choose their ideal holiday type – whether that be walking, cycling, cultural trips or wildlife.

The bespoke software harnesses a technique called electroencephalography, or EEG, which tracks people’s emotional reactions to visual stimuli.

Using this technology, Explore believe they can “remove the risk of disappointment for holidaymakers” – and safeguard their choices when planning a holiday.

Ashley Toft, Explore’s MD says: “We all know that the best holidays are those that include truly extraordinary moments.

“But there are so many places to go and things to see, so how do you navigate those choices and pick the perfect holiday for you?

“Even more perplexing, how can you predict it’s going to tick of all of your boxes, particularly if you have never been before?”

He adds: “Our exciting new software taps into your brain and will, quite literally, make a holiday recommendation based on your emotional reactions.”

Dr Jessamy Hibberd, a chartered clinical psychologist, believes the Explore concept is a fascinating proposition. He says: “Research shows that doing more of the things you enjoy, particularly if they are meaningful to you will make you feel good, even when life is difficult or you are stuck doing things you don’t enjoy. It’s not just about doing any old thing, because unless the activity is the right thing for you, it won’t have any effect.”

The emotion tracking software is in Edinburgh today (I tried it out at the Gyle Shopping Centre) and then in Manchester tomorrow and Reading on Wednesday.

This is what my brainwave analysis showed.

My perfect holiday as discovered by Explore

I was invited to give the emotion-tracking device a go. My brain was analysed as I watched a short film of different countries, activities and things to do on holiday.

It will come as no surprise to discover I was very engaged by the many ideas shown to me, including walking, cycling and exploring in new countries.

It turns out that landscape is something I like very much. To be specific, I liked the dramatic landscapes of places such as Iceland. I agree with this because I like to be wowed by nature and the landscape when I am on holiday.

I also gave a very positive reaction to the idea of cycling in new places, but walking wasn’t such a hit for me. I can see why the brainwave technology picked up on this. I think that cycling is a great pace for a holiday, while walking, to me, is more about reaching summits than as a pace for seeing new places on holiday.

If I had been shown people walking in the high mountains I expect my brain would have shouted: “Yes!”.

Culture seemed to interest me less than cycling, landscapes and adventure and this is probably true. I do love experiencing new cultures on holiday but, for me, it’s more about the process of travelling between new places than becoming immersed in one culture.

Somewhere in all of that was “safaris”. I do love animals and I like learning about animals and seeing them in their natural habitat. The brain analysis showed I was a bit less excited about the safari trips I saw on the film. I think this is because I would worry that the trips were a bit commercial, rather than being able to see nature at its most free and natural.

The analysis was interesting although it confirmed what I already know about my travel aspirations. I like my holidays to be adventurous and I prefer to travel by bike or to get off the beaten track.

I was surprised to see that cycling in Cambodia has come up as the first choice destination if I was to travel with Explore. It isn’t top of my own bucket list but it’s certainly somewhere that I might consider.

If you’re in Manchester tomorrow or Reading on Wednesday you can have a go yourself…

It’s a good time to book an Explore holiday

January and February can be depressing months in Scotland. Darker, colder and shorter days can leave you longing for warmth, sunshine and adventure. has more than 500 trips available in 120 countries, offering once-in-a-lifetime holidays and adventures to some of world’s most exotic locations, including Peru, India and Botswana.

Throughout January and February, Explore is offering all kinds of holiday deals. You might find something that will help you to tick off a bucket list destination.

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