It’s hard not to make generalizations about generations but with the Millennial Generation having the privilege of the digital era, it’s a lot easier to draw conclusions about their desires and behavior. In the travel world it’s no different as we make predictions about what they want when it comes to lodging and travel experiences.
With one in four millennials planning overnight leisure trips, this is a demographic you can no longer ignore. We compiled a list of the most common millennial traveler myths and the actual millennial traveler habits.
Millennials aren’t traveling as much
Actually, millennial travelers take 4.2 vacations per year compared to 3.5 for the average U.S. travelers.
An emerging trend among millennials though is they want personalized and experience-based travel. They want to immerse themselves into the culture of the place they’re visiting and instead of buying material things; they’ll focus on buying experiences and excursions.
They’re not spending money
While millennials tend to be budget-friendly, they are spending less money per vacation but taking more vacations each year.
68% of millennials will spend less than $1,000 per trip and 33% of Gen Y will spend $1,000 - $4,999. It’s also shown that millennials are more likely to take money out of their savings account for a trip compared to older travelers that will keep a travel savings account.
Though they’re more likely to travel spontaneously, they do travel on a budget. Millennials spend about $888 per trip versus the average U.S. traveler expenditure of $1,347.
They’re not using travel agents
Millennials have grown up in the era of 24/7 access to the Internet and information but many prefer to pass off travel planning to a professional. 28% of millennials had booked with a travel agent and 30% said they would use an agent in the next two years.
Travel agents do note that millennials do a lot of research and bring general ideas to the table but want a professional to work out the fine details and find unique and off the beaten path adventures.
They’re not interactive
This myth is interesting since millennials are extremely interactive and social; they’ve just shifted to being social online. In previous years, you’d travel and return home and tell the stories of the adventures you had. Nowadays, travelers are sharing these moments in real-time.
Millennials have also shown they want experiences when it comes to travel and do not want to be pegged as tourists. They’ll be interactive out and about and then return home to share those experiences with friends and family.
As Michael Tiedy of Starwood Hotels puts it, “Millennials like to be alone, together.”
With so much of the travel conversation happening online, you can use the opportunity to reach out to them through social channels and blogging to get them to engage with your brand and eventually become a brand ambassador. With these new brand ambassadors, you can accomplish tackling the next myth.
They’re not easily influenced
With today’s travelers’ access to online reviews and recommendations right at their fingertips, they’re more informed than ever. Gen Yers do expect everything to be available at anytime from anywhere so they can plan and book travel at their leisure and generally through a smartphone or mobile device. Millennial travelers are dependent on technology to find inspiration, plan, share, and experience travel and hoteliers have a wonderful opportunity to share information to influence the traveler.
48% of travelers on Yahoo! Travel’s online survey still look to family and friends for travel inspiration and advice, though millennials were also more likely to be influenced by articles, videos, and posts on social media. In fact, 44% of millennials ask for opinions on travel on social media. Millennials also rate reviews as highly impactful of purchase decisions and are more likely to write reviews once they’re home.
How are you reaching out to millennial travelers? Share your tips in our comments section below!