Connecting with Gen Alpha and Family: Insights for Travel Marketers

Jennifer McCarthy, Director of Industry Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions
June 5, 2019

Over the past decade, Millennials have changed the way the industry thinks about travel. They crave flexibility and variety, seek value for money, and feel less brand loyalty than previous generations. They also travel – a lot. We studied them and adapted to their needs, but can’t stop there, as Millennials are becoming adults and having children, who are already shifting how families travel.

In our recent post, we revealed how the children of Millennials—Generation Alpha—is already influencing the travel industry. Born after 2010, Gen Alpha is expected to be the longest-lived, most digitally-savvy population the world has ever seen—and are already exerting huge influence on how their families make decisions.

A study by a global communications agency of 8,000 Millennial parents around the world (with children between 4 and 9 years old) found that 65% of these parents said the habits of their children influenced their last purchase—a number that increased to more than 80% among U.S. Millennial parents.

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We recently conducted our own research on how adults with Gen Alphas in their family (including parents and grandparents) plan, book, and experience travel. Nearly ten thousand global survey respondents from nine countries indicated that, when traveling, nothing tops an entertained and happy family. Although they are cost-conscious (nearly 80% say budget is a factor that they consider), experience beats expense. Significantly, they report being willing to spend nearly a quarter of their travel budget on their hotel—and once there, relaxation is a high priority. Most importantly, seven in ten travelers are 'destination undecided,' which is to say: they are deciding between two or more destinations when planning a family trip. 

Alphas are also like their Millennial parents—only more so. Henry Rose Lee, an intergenerational speaker and author, describes Alphas as “Millennials on steroids.” Both generations seek out activities, value experiences, and demand “Insta-worthiness” from their trips—the last being especially important to the thousands of Alpha-aged influencers on Instagram (and the parents who run their accounts). Expect Millennials’ values to show up strongly in their kids, with an added level of digital-savviness, thanks to Alphas being the first generation entirely comprised of digital natives. 

Want to know more about the influence of Gen Alpha on family travel? Check out our new study, Gen Alpha & family travel trends.


Picture of Jennifer McCarthy, Director of Industry Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Jennifer McCarthy
Director of Industry Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Jennifer McCarthy is the global director of Industry Marketing, responsible for driving awareness in the marketplace of Expedia Group Media Solutions through press, influencer, speaking, content, branding and social programs. With more than 15 years of experience, she leads the global team in managing and bringing to market custom research projects and content, and communicating innovative campaigns, which have resulted in travel and marketing industry coverage, recognition and accolades. Before joining Expedia Group Media Solutions in 2015, for five years Jennifer led the Waggener Edstrom (WE) agency teams in Seattle driving the technology and digital marketing industry PR for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Advertising. Prior to that, she managed teams at leading PR agencies in New York focused on award-winning technology and corporate communications programs for key Fortune 500 brands. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound, and lives in Seattle with her family and feisty terrier.
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