When it comes to travel, Millennials are as confusing as ever. Are they throwing caution (and savings) to the wind, or doomed to stay stuck behind their screens envying other people’s lives?
Millennials killed a lot of industries in 2017, if you trust the headlines – from diamond rings to department stores – but travel is not one of them. If anything, their globetrotting dreams are less a hobby for the wealthy and more of an essential facet of a healthy, rounded life. And when it comes to how they travel, Millennials continue to be as confusing and contradictory as they’re made out to be in mainstream media. Are they progressive global citizens? Narcissists who take selfies with their fidget spinners? Or both?
In 2010, Millennial travel represented 187 million international visits (a number expected to rise to 300 million visits by 2020), and in a recent survey on long-term life goals, the desire to travel and to own a home was equally strong (22 percent) – though it remains to be seen whether that is influenced by a refreshingly global vision of the world… or local housing bubbles. (After all, if YOLO, then why do it all in one place?)
Also important to note: Millennials don’t travel in the same way as their parents or grandparents. For one, they’re more eager to go off the beaten track. They don’t want to visit this year’s hottest destination, as announced by glossy magazines and travel sites – they want to explore the spots that will make it onto next year’s Top 10 lists. They are also more likely to stay connected– 43 percent say they check their phone every five minutes while travelling. But even this stat can be misleading (but convenient for a bit of Millennial-bashing). Because what is a mobile phone to a Millennial but a compact version of all the gear bogging down the fanny packs of a group tour: a camera, map and diary in one.
And even if Millennials feel the need to broadcast every cliff dive and taco truck on social media, don’t forget: In 2017, no one is stuck in a basement forced to watch their fuzzy vacation slides. Now when we get bored or feel FOMO, we can just unfollow.
To better understand Canadian Millennials’ travel habits and trends, get your copy of our latest data-driven white paper on the behaviors and interests of this generation.