In addition to understanding how millennials think about travel, we, as travel industry marketers, also need an accurate and comprehensive picture of the the millennial traveler. Although most marketers tend to think of millennial travel as being driven by single backpackers with a small budget and a carefree attitude, MMGY found that, in fact, the opposite is the case.
While 27% of millennial couples plan on taking more vacations in the next year, 43% of millennial families stated their desire to increase their vacation plans over the next 12 months. Moreover, millennial families plan to spend nearly twice as much as millennial couples on vacations in the next year, with the former budgeting $6,113 for the next 12 months, and the latter expecting to spend $3,534 in the same time period.
For travel marketers, millennial couples and families offer a big opportunity to tap into two affluent sub segments of the generation, which don’t at all resemble the backpacking-on-a-budget millennial traveler they typically think of when initially considering how to reach this consumer group.
The research also suggests millennials are taking vacations close to home more often, in an effort to save up for a bigger trip down the line. One-third of millennials surveyed took at least one vacation within 50 miles of their home, with the idea to do so fueled by their desire to save money for a more substantial trip in the next year.
In terms of travel planning, nearly one quarter of millennials—who took 4.6 overnight trips last year, compared with 4.2 for all U.S. households with an annual income of over $50,000—said they planned to take more overnight trips for leisure purposes in the year ahead.
There’s no question that millennials are changing the travel landscape worldwide. As the millennial travel engine continues full speed ahead, it’s important for travel marketers to understand the behaviors and unique attributes of this travel segment and ensure they develop the right strategy to reach, engage and convert their desirable segment.