An inside look at the habits of millennial travelers
MILLENNIALS are shaking up the travel industry; as most travel and tourism studies show, no other generation is enjoying traveling as much as they are.
This could be because travel is more accessible and affordable in this day and age as compared to their predecessors’, what more with everything quite literally at their fingertips, thanks to the digital sphere.
But growing up connected also means they have been groomed and shaped to seek different things.
Unlike their parents, the millennials seek uniqueness. And travel sits pretty high on their list of priorities, much more so than buying a house or paying back their student loans.
Millennials, studies show, would go the extra mile for travel.
The Expedia Generational Study, a survey conducted by Expedia and The Center for Generational Kinetics, found that 49 percent of millennials would sell some of their clothes or furniture to save money to go on a trip.
In another survey by Realty Mogul, 47 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 would rather spend their money on traveling than buying a house, compared to only 26 percent of those ages 45 and older who said the same.
Forty-seven percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 would rather spend their money on traveling than buying a house, compared to only 26 percent of those aged 45 and older who said the same.
Here’s an inside look at the millennial’s travel habits:
The #FOMO (the fear of missing out) is real
Only millennials know how it feels to skip a dinner gathering or a party, or worse, not get invited at all. It’s an overwhelming sense of missing out, otherwise known as #FOMO (the fear of missing out).
A 2014 Eventbrite poll found that nearly 69 percent of millennials experience #FOMO. And it’s easy to see why.
“In a world where newsfeeds and social media broadcast what friends are experiencing, the fear of missing out propel millennials to show up, share and engage: a driving force behind the experience economy,” Eventbrite wrote.
After all, travel isn’t really traveling until someone has shared it on social media.
That being said, it also works to their advantage because the same poll found that 76 percent of millennials considered friends’ recommendations as the top influencing factor in their travel choices.
More experiences, fewer products
According to The Expedia Generational Study findings, 65 percent of millennials are saving money specifically for travel.
The 2014 Eventbrite poll also found that 78 percent of millennials would rather spend money on a desirable event over a desirable purchase and 55 percent said that they’re spending more on experiences than they ever have.
Hence, transformational and experiential trips are popular with millennial travelers in a big way. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) president Dean Sivley said they are looking for transformational trips, as demonstrated by the growth in adventure travel, the most popular and fastest-growing type of travel for millennials.
Rather than just visiting faraway places, millennials are looking for ways to tap into foreign cultures, get to know the locals, and do as they do.
Learn how to conduct a 1,000-year-0ld Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto? Why not? Live a day as a local batik painter in Kuala Lumpur? Just tell them where to sign up.
Personalization and customization
Not only are they adventure-seekers, many millennial travelers also have very specific travel desires.
They’re looking for trips that cater to a specific interest such as photography, paddle boarding, diving, trekking, cycling, and more. As such, tour operators and travel agents are scrambling to provide recommendations of trips and destinations that can create authentic and memorable experiences with that desired activity included.
Booking sites like Booking.com, AirAsiaGo, and Expedia have this down pat, engaging with millennials via frequent personalized e-mails and making them feel special.
They also want more choice, personalization, flexibility, and convenience.
They don’t mind forking out extra money to get a better experience be it spending a little more for a seat in the quiet zone on a flight or for more legroom, and they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere and jump on a service that will provide just what they need.
Bleisure, for when work meets play
Millennials are also more likely than older counterparts to extend a business trip into a holiday or make use of their downtime to seek experiences. The act of mixing the two up is called “bleisure” (business and leisure).
They would know how to spice up an otherwise boring business trip and try to make the best out of the trip. This means incorporating fun, education, and exploration into the “vacation time” part of the trip, be it meandering through a foreign city or learning the local culture.
Also, millennials are quite keen to work remotely, even on business trips.
Instead of rushing back to the office immediately after a business trip, they’d rather work remotely from their Airbnb rental or a nearby coffee place.
Bang for their buck
This value-hunting generation is particularly obsessed with getting more bang for their buck, so many tend to be pretty devoted to loyalty programs.
According to HotelChamp, 68 percent of millennials are most loyal to the program where they have the most rewards accumulated. These travelers appreciate rewards such as cash, freebies, upgrades, extra amenities and discounts.
Millennials also tend to stay fiercely loyal to a hotel brand if they feel like the brand speaks directly to them and they feel a connection with the brand, even if they have lost or used up all their reward points.
After all, they’re not called the most brand loyal generation for nothing.
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Source: Travels travelwireasia.com