5 ways millennials are changing travel

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Millennials Travel
Millennials Travel

Millennials, those born after 1985, are changing the entire industry – in favor of the consumer. Services like AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, VRBO, and others, are changing everything. Competition is causing companies to work harder and innovate.

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5 ways Millennials are changing travel

According to a Gallup poll, millennials are spending 5% more on travel than previous generations. Millennials are buried in student debt that material things have become unobtainable. Along with that, seeing pictures of our friends on social media at concerts, festivals, or on vacation, have caused spending for experiences instead of material things. Here are 5 ways post-1985’ers are changing the travel industry.

Experience vs. Luxury

The largest myth around the subject of travel is “I can’t travel, it’s so expensive!” Well yes, traveling CAN be expensive, but it can also be affordable when planned properly.

However, millennials are looking to have the experiences be where the dollars are spent, not a hotel room. This is causing companies like AirBnB and VRBO to explode in popularity to challenge hotels.

Social Media and Millennials

Even as recent as 15 years ago, if you had a problem with poor customer service, only you would know about it. Now, with social media platforms, your complaint can become globally known within seconds.

Recently, videos have gone viral of people being forcefully removed from planes. This has caused a stir with how consumer-facing employees handle difficult situations.

Also, this adds leverage to the consumer. Even if your complaint is small, you are able to tweet at a brand such as @Delta or @Southwest. They now have more reasons to work with you for your troubles.

Millennials Travel
I was able to get a few miles out of this!

Millennial Social Influencers

For hospitality brands, they are now partnering with social influencers to continue their reach.

The Bucket List Family” is a perfect example. This family of 4 is Instagram famous as they do not have a home, and travel the world for a living. With nearly a million followers, their sponsors include brands like The Ritz-Carlton, GoPro and Disney.

Technology = lower prices

I would argue that the smartphone has been one of the most impactful devices in traveling. It is absolutely crazy to think you can book an entire vacation from a device you can fit in your pocket.

Also, you don’t have to talk to anyone!

Traveling has become increasingly affordable due to two very simple concepts – supply & demand, and transparency. For example, there are so many airlines competing for your business.

With access to travel sites like Google Flights, your cheapest flight is seconds away. The same happens with hotels, car renting services, cruises and vacation rentals. This results in “the race to the bottom” which means savings to you the traveler! However, be sure to protect your technology while traveling.

“Blesiure” Travel

For many of us, traveling for work is looked at as a drag. It means being away from your family, eating out constantly, and sleeping in a different bed. And, my biggest pet peeve, lots of wasted time!

Millennials are now looking at traveling for work as a plus, including myself. My most recent position, I was traveling every other week. WAY too much for my liking, but some though love it!

With millennials on average having lower marriage rates and lower rates of children, the opportunity of work travel is easier to take!

On average, employees under 30 years old travel about 25% more than those over 30 years old. For young people traveling for work, they see it as an opportunity to adventure outside of work hours. Approximately 62% are going to extend their business travel. (Source: Huffington Post)

The Bald Thoughts

Millennials demanded the brands work for them. Delta, AirBnB, Southwest, Hilton and others will only survive if they are giving value to their guests. Also, with current points devaluations, there is less incentive to be loyal. For myself, I’m loyal to Delta and Southwest and that’s about it.

What is the biggest change in the travel/hospitality industry in recent years? Let us know in the comments!


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