5 New Insights About Millennial Travelers

5 New Insights About Millennial Travelers

Tips for travel agents interested in serving this vacation-hungry, tech-savvy age group

By: Kendall McKinven & Mindy Poder
<p>Cruises are popular with matures and millennials alike. // © 2015 iStock </p><p>Feature image (above): Millennial families are actively taking...

Cruises are popular with matures and millennials alike. // © 2015 iStock

Feature image (above): Millennial families are actively taking vacations. // © 2015 iStock

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Millennials are savvy and resourceful travelers, according to the recent surveys conducted by MMGY Global, Allianz Travel Insurance and Networked Insights. Each institution surveyed a random group of individuals ages 18 to 34, from various income brackets, to get a better understanding of how the age group likes to travel.

Following are some key findings about millennial preferences.

Staycations Are Trending
More millennials are choosing to take time off closer to home. According to MMGY Global’s “2015 Portrait of American Travelers" (POAT), 55 percent of millennials took trips closer to home, a trend which is up 23 percent from 2013. 

Many cite the ease of staying closer to home, more time to relax and lower cost as top reasons for traveling locally. This year’s Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index found that although millennials are planning on taking more summer vacations than any other age group, they are also spending less than other groups. 

Trust in the Sharing Economy
Unconventional travel tools are more popular and trusted than ever with the millennial population. In fact, Allianz Travel Insurance cited that 60 percent of 18 to 34 year olds trust and utilize services such as Airbnb, Uber, Feastly and Lyft for summer vacationing. 

According to POAT, which found that 80 percent of millennials use the shared economy, users like not having to pay their driver directly and feel safer since the app identifies the driver and handles payment.

Millennial Families Fueling Growth
Allianz found that almost 40 percent of millennials in general plan to spend less than $400 on summer travel. POAT suggests that the significant money funding the travel economy will come from millennial families, which intend to take 43 percent more vacations over the next year, compared to millennial couples (27 percent). 

Families are also planning to spend 19 percent more on vacations than last year, with an average spend of more than $6,000 for vacations this year.  

Stress vs. Desire for Vacations
More good news for travel agents: According to Networked Insights, travel causes almost as much anxiety (25 percent) as empowerment (34 percent) for millennials. For example, going on an international flight produces both stress and desire. Agents can capitalize on this by showing millennials how they can remove the stress from the vacation planning process. Indeed, Allianz found that all age groups of travelers agree that better experiences and services are provided by established methods to organize travel, such as using a travel agent; online services Orbitz.com, Hotels.com, and Expedia.com; or booking directly with a hotel, restaurant or hire car service.

High Interest in Cruising
Yes, you read that correctly — millennials are all about cruising. In fact, they are neck and neck with matures, holding an equal 51 percent interest in cruise travel, reports the POAT survey. Cruises have become popular with the younger age group mainly due to their affordability and ease, allowing travelers to see multiple destinations with minimum effort.