Meet the New Generation of Vacationers

Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) are the largest spending generation in America. With $200 billion in annual buying power, they’re looking for ways to spend it on traveling.

Since the economy started recovering, Millennials have been slow to jump back into their travel habits. Instead, they are re-examining how they want to travel and where they want to go.

That means a whole new wave of vacationers for everyone from family-owned inns to popular international destinations.

It’s time to get ready for an influx of Millennials taking “vacation” like never before!

We are in the midst of a new generation of vacationing. The Millennials, or Generation Y, are the largest spending generation in America, with a combined buying power of $170 billion and counting.

As the Baby Boomers age out of the workforce, they are beginning to retire and will have more time and resources to travel. These generations have different attitudes toward vacations, too. Where Baby Boomers tend to feel guilty about taking time off, Millennials believe that their vacation days should be used or they will lose them. In fact, 1 in 3 Millennials won’t take all of their vacation days unless they use them all.

With so much money and time available for leisure travel, it’s no surprise that vacations are changing. Here’s how:

Millennials want a “real” experience when they travel. While Baby Boomers tend to stay at resorts where everything is included, this generation wants to immerse themselves in local culture and cuisine wherever they go.

There’s no better way to do this than by staying with a host who can show you around town and share insider tips about things like where to get the best street food or what beach has the calmest waves for swimming (and which ones have dangerous riptides).

This generation also doesn

The 18- to 34-year-old age group is known for its love of social media, and in order to reach them, hotels are beginning to use Instagram to market themselves. “I think we’re the largest spending generation in America,” says Jason Dorsey, a millennial expert with the Center of Generational Kinetics. “We have more money, even though we have all this student loan debt.”

Hotels are putting out ads on Instagram to draw millennials in and it’s working. One study showed that 25 percent of U.S. millennials had booked a hotel room directly because of an Instagram ad.

“This generation wants to be inspired through pictures,” says Dorsey. “They’re not reading a 50-page travel guide.”

A new study by HotelsCombined shows some other interesting facts about how millennials like to vacation:

Millennials spend up to 20 hours researching their trip online before booking it

They want their hotel room to feel like home

They want a memorable experience, not just a place to sleep

The millennial generation is the largest spending generation in America. In a recent study, it was revealed that millennials are more likely to take two or three trips a year, spending $2,000 to $3,000 per vacation, than any other age group. The average millennial traveler is 30 years old and travels twice a year.

But we find that millennials want different things when they’re on vacation than previous generations. They’re not interested in a one-size-fits-all experience. Instead of going for the traditional all-inclusive package deal at an overcrowded resort, millennials are looking for ways to get off the beaten path and have a more authentic travel experience.

Instead of lounging by the pool with a drink in hand, millennials want to go hiking and mountain biking. Rather than eating at the same restaurants every night for an entire week, they’re searching for new spots to try out every night. And rather than putting up with subpar accommodations just because you’re on vacation and “it doesn’t matter,” millennials want their lodging to be as well thought out and designed as their own homes would be.

While Millennials are the largest spending generation in America, they aren’t willing to spend money on just anything. Compared to previous generations, this generation is less willing to pay full price for anything.

But how do you create a quality vacation on a budget? Here are three tips.

The number of Americans planning summer vacation this year is at its highest level since 2007, and the average traveler will shell out more than $1,000 on their trip, according to a recent report by the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

According to the report, 81% of Americans are taking a summer vacation this year, up from 76% in 2013. As for where they’re going, the study found that 64% of respondents plan to stay in the U.S., while 36% will travel abroad.

The survey also found that travelers will spend an average of $1,145 on their getaway. Of that amount, $381 will be spent on airfare; $335 on lodging; $207 on food; and $198 on entertainment and shopping. In total, spending on summer vacations is expected to top a record $100 billion.

Summer vacations were off during the economic downturn and have been slow to recover in part because many workers are still waiting for a raise from their employers. But Andrew Hopson says he’ll spend more this year because he’s finally starting to earn more money at his job as a database administrator in Chicago. He recently negotiated an annual salary increase of about 3% with his employer after years of no raises.

Hopson

In a time when many Americans are more interested in booking a hotel with a pool and access to a beach than an all-inclusive resort, Airbnb is betting that travelers will now flock to the company’s new Trips platform.

The home-sharing platform’s new travel service—which launched Tuesday—has been available in private beta since November and adds “Experiences,” which offer unique excursions, workshops, and events led by locals, along with “Places,” which helps users discover hidden gems around the world from local insiders. The latter two features are now available in 12 cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul.

“We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip,” Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. “To us this means recreating those special moments where we learn about someone else’s heritage or have a deeper understanding of their way of life.”

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