Travel’s on the brain for today’s modern adult. The generation today is growing up realizing that getting married is now an option, not the inevitability, and getting a good education and a well-paying job with purpose, alongside the possibility of seeing the world is taking center stage. The World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation says that by 2020, young travelers will take around 320 million international trips. According to the American Express Business Insights, we are now the fastest growing age segment in terms of the money we spend on travel.
We all know that many are looking to spend their hard-earned vacation somewhere far from home, but what makes traveling so attractive to the younger generation today?
Blame it on the Internet
While the 70s and 80s kids are stuck on the TV, millennials are hooked on the internet. The World Wide Web gives us glimpses of places from all over the world that would have been harder to come by decades before, thanks to technology making things easier by taking leaps and bounds to help us. With this, comes an extraordinary tool that allows us to share bits of our everyday life, regardless of who’s keeping track.
The Harris Poll, a marketing research firm in New York, found that the two biggest factors that caused the spike of motivation for millennials to travel are mainly due to: F.O.M.O. and their craving for recognition. F.O.M.O. also known as ‘fear of missing out’ makes the younger generation to be constantly in-the-know, the idea of not knowing anything about something makes them paranoid. With their friends’ suggestions or whatever they see on their news feed, this makes them want to experience whatever the other person is doing.
The possibility of becoming an influencer is interesting to many: with a few simple words, they can make hundreds flock to either a common tourist destination or a remote area. Even for the simple idea of bragging rights on social media, the ordinary millennial is bound to post. According to Internet Marketing, Inc., 97% of millennials will post their experience on social media, and 75% will post at least once per day.
Life with Purpose
Instead of saving up for the future with no guarantee, millennials are now investing in travel to discover themselves and to reflect what they really want in life. What they call the “quarter-life crisis,” where due to unemployment, graduation blues, lackluster employment status, or having trouble in figuring out their dreams, many are opting to travel to remedy their “crisis.”
The millennial mindset strongly advocates work-life balance and have few troubles leaving jobs that don’t meet their expectations. In a 2012 Net Impact Survey, the younger generation is more concerned about finding happiness and fulfillment while working; 88% say that a “positive culture” is essential to their dream job, 86% say they need to find work that is “interesting,” and 58% wouldn’t mind lessening their pay cut to work in an organization with the “same values” as their own. If a millennial’s ‘purpose’ isn’t being fulfilled by their career, they wish to seek regonition elsewhere.
The Experience Economy
According to a research conducted by Topdeck Travel, 86% of millennials would rather experience a new culture, as compared to the 44% who’d rather party or the 28% who’d prefer shop. The term “experience economy” was coined by the travel industry to create events for those who want to go outside of their comfort zone and into a foreign land. In the study, it is said that many are no longer seeking the party-animal lifestyle, and instead would rather immerse themselves in the local culture and eating their local cuisine.
When compared to baby boomers and gen x (ages 34 to 71) who would want the safety of a simple tourist destination, millennials would rather go far and beyond to get the most authentic experience traveling has to offer. In the same research, half of millennials were said to pick a destination because they want to experience a particular culture, and 78% want to learn something while traveling.
Whether it’s to capture life’s adventures through the lens of a phone camera to share on Instagram, to take a break from a routine, to get a change of scenery, or to take part it many promos, all are in for that once change to take a life-changing journey. They’re finding every reason to travel, and it doesn’t look like that’s about to change.