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The Future of Travel, According to Millennials


Like it or not, millennials, the largest generational group, continue to change travel. A new survey illuminates some of the ripple effects.

Young hiker

Like it or not, millennials, the largest generational group, continue to change travel. Solo travel, family services, staycations, and cruises are some of the vacation experiences sought by those born between 1980-2000, according to the recently released MMGY 2015 Portrait of American Travelers (POAT) by MMGY. POAT reports than 6 in 10 millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than things.

Millennials, known for their driving social needs that have motivated hotel chains to turn lobbies into gathering spots with bars, also like solo travel. The POAT survey reveals that 37% plan to take a solo, overnight leisure trip in the next six months, an increase of 5% from 2014 and 8% from 2013.

Despite the increase in solo travel, millennials with families are a force. Their travel budget averages $6,000 for the next 12 months and 43% say they're planning a trip in the next year, versus just 27% of millennial couples.

More millennials seek adventures close to home. Staycations for this age group rose 14% from 2014 and 23% since 2013, with 33% remaining within 50 miles of their homes. Why? Relaxing motivates 34%, seeing friends and family appeals to 34%, and saving money for another vacation spurs 30%.

Millennials value convenience, and cruising delivers many ports and possibilities for just one schlep of the luggage and one basic price. POAT reveals that 51% of millennials as well as mature travelers plan to cruise during the next two years.

Fathom, Carnival Corp.’s new brand, aims at millennials as well as the 55+ market by offering seven-day voyages that combine four days at sea with three days of volunteering. Fathom launches trips to the Dominican Republic in April 2016 and to Cuba in May 2016.

The thriving “sharing economy” rose to meet this age group’s desire to pay less money and claim an authentic experience such as dining or sleeping at a local’s home. Championed by millennials, the sharing economy thrives. POAT reports that 80% of millennials use Airbnb, Uber, Feastly, and other such services.

Look for more changes in travel spurred by millennials’ interests.

Are you a millennial traveler? Do you travel like one? What amenities and experience do you like and what should change about how we travel? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.

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