How have Millennials changed the way we travel?

The travel habits of Baby Boomers and Generation X have been widely studied. But who is leading the way in which the travel market moves today?, they are people that belong to Generation Y or Millennials. To this generation belong everybody born between the beginning of the 1980s and the beginning of the 2000s.

One of the first distinguishing factors of this generation is the marked use of the internet and social networks. The use of real time information, be it in comments on travel blogs, Facebook or Twitter, mark one of the most important factors when deciding on a new destination.

According to a study published by PGAV Destinations, Millennials travel with friends, they plan their trips in less time than previous generations (75 days) and they want to learn something from their time traveling.

Data published by Expedia show that people that belong to generation Y feel comfortable mixing business with pleasure when traveling, they are not afraid of complaining and they always travel with a mobile device.

Another study by Chase Card Services, based on surveys to their clients, found out that Millennials are more likely to spend in extras when staying in hotels, i.e. dry-cleaning, massages, spa services and pet care. They also consider a deal breaker if a hotel is not near public transport. Additionally, millennials are more likely to be connected to social networks while on holidays, they also post at least once a day.

A study by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, concludes that millennials are traveling more and to more places than any other previous generation, using always social networks and applications that allow them to interact with others and get updated information on destinations, hotels and transportation. Also, flashpackers and backpackers are still on the rise, diversifying the hotel/hostel market.

Several of these studies show that traveling for millennials, is not only to relax and unwind, but also to discover who they are; in that sense, traveling is part of their personal growth.

In terms of destinations for generation Y, we have to forget about Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises, all-inclusive resorts are not their favourites either.

As we have seen, Millennials prefer to travel with meaning, mixing pleasure with helping others.

The geographical zone best suited to meet these objectives, as well as accommodating backpackers is South East Asia; relatively poor countries that have an excellent infrastructure for backpackers.

Thailand, along Cambodia and Vietnam are the highlights. For those that want to travel the least beaten track, Philippines and Indonesia are only a short flight away. If the idea is to find a mystical place, Nepal is inescapable.

When we think of mixing business with pleasure, millennials prefer several key destinations across the globe: Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and Holland, besides certain regions in the US.

Another favourite destination for generation Y are the countries that offer a work and holiday visa. Australia and New Zealand are one of the preferred, they are at the other side of the world and very close to Asia. The USA and Europe are preferred by those with a classical taste. Woofing is a favoured method to learn something new and save money at the same time.

As you can see, this generation is diverse and it has distinct preferences that are very different from previous generations. The one thing that doesn’t change is the will to travel and discover the world.

Are you a millennial? How’s the way you live and travel?

This article was originally posted in Spanish at

Picture: Andrew E. Larsen

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