Millennials are the fastest-growing cohort of travelers. People aged 21-37 take an average of five vacations a year. That’s even more than baby boomers! Between the rise of social media, flight finders, and third-party OTAs, the travel industry is quickly fitting the mold that new generations of travelers have cast. Follow our guide below to the top 8 millennial and Gen Z travel trends, and keep up with the demands of the modern traveler! If you’re looking for more information or need help implementing your updated business strategy, our team of digital marketing professionals is just one call away.
Millennial and Gen Z Travel Trends
Taking a deep dive into millennial travel statistics is the perfect way to start thinking about how to cater to your business strategy to one of the world’s largest demographics of travelers.
Luckily, we’ve already done the work for you. Continue reading below for everything you need to know about the latest millennial and Gen Z travel trends as well as the habits of millennial travelers. (In case you’re wondering, millennials were generally born between 1980 and 1994 and Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2012. These age groups are often lumped together.)
1. Online Booking (Make Sure It’s Easy)
When’s the last time you made a phone call? If you’re a millennial the answer is probably circa 2007 when your mom forced you to start making your own doctor’s appointments because “you need to learn how to talk on the phone.” Well, now doctor’s appointments (and everything else required to be a functioning adult) can be done online. If your hotel, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental service doesn’t have easy, online booking options, say goodbye to your millennial customers. To further capitalize on the trend of online booking, learn more about the benefits of booking direct.
2. Cash-Free Getaways
Millennials prefer things to be simple, which is to say electronically. It’s okay if a property has a historic look and feel, but millennials don’t want to have to carry around hundreds of dollars in cash. Nor do they want to write a check. A card swipe is a necessity for the 20-something traveler.
3. Weekend Getaway Packages & Promotions
Millennial travelers are in a hurry. Whether they’re preserving limited vacation days or taking advantage of a three-day weekend, millennial and Gen Z travelers are quick to spring for weekend getaway packages and promotional offers. Be sure to have some interesting options. Not sure where to begin? We can help suggest packages and campaigns that have proven successful.
4. Sustainable Travel
Millennials are more conscious of their global footprint than any other class of travelers. In addition to putting holes in your pockets, traveling also costs the planet vital resources and contributes to pollution. Tourism alone accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Younger generations — who are stuck with the planet their parents handed to them — are increasingly looking for environmentally friendly accommodations. Options for recycling, LEED-certified buildings, and reduced use of plastics are all at the top of the checklist list for modern travelers.
5. Experiential Travel
They may book trips at greater frequency, but that doesn’t mean millennials are spending more money. Millennials prioritize destinations and experiences over luxurious getaways. For instance, a room that comes with a discounted excursion or a guide to the area’s best things to do is always a draw for the experiential traveler.
6. Internet Access
Millennials and Gen Z travelers don’t just want high-speed internet access. They need high-speed internet access. This is non-negotiable, as almost all trip planning takes place online. Whether or not accommodations have a strong internet connection can make or break the millennial getaway.
7. What’s for Dinner?
Food tourism is a millennial trend that should not be overlooked or undervalued. It may sound ridiculous, but millennials will travel hundreds of miles to dine at world-class restaurants and high-profile eateries. Even if food isn’t the primary motivation for the getaway, food is important. Worldfoodtravel.org reports that, on average, somewhere between 25% of travel budgets are spent on food. In some destinations, that figure can reach as high as 35%!
8. Flying Solo
You’ve heard of going to a movie theater or a restaurant without company, but how about flying solo on your next vacation? When scheduling a trip with friends or family falls through or a getaway offer appears that’s too good to pass up, hitting the road alone is sometimes the only option. As highlighted by Forbes, a 2017 Princeton University study found that 58% of millennials are willing to travel alone, compared to 47% of older generations. The same study reports that 27% of millennial women have already gone on a vacation for one!
Need Help Reaching Your Target Audience?
Understanding millennial and Gen Z travel trends are one thing, but understanding how to reach them with your digital marketing efforts is another. As mentioned, millennials and Gen Z are generations that almost exclusively deal with planning their vacations online. As a result, your online presence is critical in drawing a younger audience.
Our team of digital marketing experts at Q4Launch has all of the tools you need to turn your ideas and business goals into actionable marketing strategies. Need help reaching millennials on Instagram? Use our free Social Media Grader to assess the health of your social media channels right now!