7 Millennials Travel Trends & Their Travel Destinations in 2017
“We millennials simply travel a little differently than our predecessors.”
Whether exploring exciting travel destinations locally or abroad, we want the most authentic experience possible on our budget. Voyageurs in our early twenties to thirties prioritize experience over ownership and budget more for trips and vacations. Over 23 percent more likely to go on trips than older generations, we are projected to spend $1.4 trillion annually on travel by 2020.
So we are changing the market, but just how different are millennials travel habits? Growing trends include:
1. Solo travel within a group
Taking off and seeing the sights on your own becomes a little less scary when you can book a group travel guide. Young women in particular travel on their own more frequently as more women-only retreats and companies pop up all over.
2. Business or leisure?
Why choose? Millennials increasingly extend their business trips to enjoy and explore our destination. With fewer responsibilities like children or spouses at home, we can take these "bleisure" trips without guilt. The prevalence of Airbnb now makes it easier to extend stays.
3. Hot Hostels
Despite the terrifying film franchise, millennials are far more likely to use hostels than other-aged travelers, making up as much as 70% of hostel guests. Hostels have responded by stepping up their game, many now offering private rooms, bars, and recreation centers.
4. Keep it local
Just because millennials love to travel doesn't mean we always jet set across the world! To stretch our dollars further, young travelers often visit nearby cities.
5. Avoid tourist traps
Sustaining the so-called "experience economy", 72% of millennials prefer experiences to possessions, according to a study performed by the Harris group. Travel expert Kendra Thornton says this generation values unique experiences. "They avoid 'tourist traps' and prefer longer and more frequent trips to make use of their vacation time." According to Thornton, we also do this because we want "the most authentic experience possible."
Young travelers know and, importantly, care about the environment and the impact their travel may have on it. More and more of us use sustainable, low-waste travel options to minimize our carbon footprint.
How millennials travel is different from other age groups because of another big factor: technology. Since we use resources like Wikipedia, Google Maps, and other apps or sites to plan our trips, we rely less on assistance from travel agents or other old-school sources.
As well as changing how we travel, millennials are discovering a new set of destinations. We seek out locations that combine social aspects, authenticity, and uniqueness.
Within the United States:
Cafe culture in Portland, Oregon | © Dennis Tang/flickr
The eco-friendly, happily hipster city draws more millennials every year. Full of natural beauty, Portland offers excellent hiking in Washington Park and other landscape attractions like Lan Su Chinese Garden and Portland Japanese Garden.
Los Angeles, California
Buzzing social life attracts young people to LA. The sprawling city has a number of community-inclusive activities at any given moment, including free movies in the park, parades, and concerts. Film culture, growing out of the old Hollywood tradition, is big there-- check out Hollywood Forever Cemetery or the Hollywood Museum.
Authenticity reigns in the Windy City. With amazing festivals like the Chicago Jazz Festival and huge markets like Vintage Garbage Chicago, we can experience the culture pretty easily. And of course, your visit wouldn't be complete without a visit to Wrigley Field to show off your foam finger.
With beautiful Hawaii beaches, great hiking, and sailing, Maui offers fun-in-the-sun for days. Thrill-seekers cliff dive in the Kaanapali Beach tradition every day at sunset; nature enthusiasts explore the eastern side of the island, from the Iao Valley to Haleakala National Park. And for those of us who thrive on the water, try sailing between Hawaiian islands by booking a charter, renting a boat, or taking a sailing tour.
Outside the States:
Koh Samui | Jipe7/flickr
Big, blue lakes, towering mountains, rice terraces — The oft-overlooked Vietnam is getting noticed by millennials. Accommodation is extremely affordable (usually maxing around $15 a night) and no matter where you are you are a step away from nature. Scoot around on a motorbike to make the most of your budget
Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui features miles of sandy beaches, palm trees and pristine water that make you feel at home no matter how far you have traveled to get there. If you are up for a hike or want to see the natural beauty of the area in greater detail, spend some time at Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park. The park consists of 40 islands that are famous for their limestone monoliths. If you are interested in learning more about Buddhism, you should plan to visit Wat Plai Laem. Among one of the most famous things to do and see in Koh Samui, it has temple, massive sculptures of Buddha and other artifacts that will inspire and amaze you. There are shops on the way there as well as on-site, which means that you can take pictures and buy souvenirs at the same time.
Not only is it cheaper than many European cities, Lisbon also draws young travelers with its mix of history, museums, and authentic culture. For nightlife, the Barrio Alto is known to keep you dancing all night. History buffs and ignorants alike will stand in awe of the enormous Castelo de Sao Jorge.
The best time to travel is when you are young. This is because you have no home to pay for, no kids who depend on you or any other local connections keeping you from experiencing the wider world. The best part is that many destinations can be reached and explored without breaking your budget, so there is no reason to put off your next travel adventure.
About the author: Riya is an inspired writer. With spending her years in marketing communication, Riya is delightful to work with small business owners. She enjoys meeting new people and reading more books to get inspired for her own work. Connect with Riya here, @sanderriya.