Louder and leaner: That describes the millennial traveler who looks to do more with less. Fewer vacation days and skimpier paychecks mean that this generation must be creative.
However, despite earning fewer dollars, millennials are finding ways to shape a travel industry eager to cater to their every whim.
Unlike previous generations, millennials already have their own river cruise line and an airline that caters to them among other amenities. A new survey from Allianz Global Assistance has found that millennials are having a profound impact on the way people travel.
According to the 2017 Vacation Confidence Index, millennials make the least amount of money and the fewest vacation days of any other generation, receiving 12 paid vacation days per year and earning less than $73,000. They also take fewer vacation days than their counterparts: Just over 8 days in one year.
Millennials generally spend just $1,373 on a vacation while older individuals average around $2,300 and take 12 of the 15 paid vacation days that they’ve earned.
When it comes to the overall American traveler, millennials are at the lowest end of the spectrum. The average traveler makes around $80,000 per year, spends nearly $2,000 on vacation, has an average of 14 days of vacation and uses 11 of those paid days.
Looking at the data, it makes sense that this generation is out to get the most bang for their buck. They are looking for disruptors within the industry that will allow them to have the most amazing, most shareable and most affordable vacation for the money.
Eighty-three percent of millennials trust in the sharing economy, compared to just 58 percent of older generations. (Overall, 65 percent of American travelers trust in sharing services.)
A vast majority of millennials also take advantage of sharing. Seventy-seven percent of them use sharing services for accommodation, transportation and more. Older generations have a much lower usage rate of just 39 percent. Overall, the sharing economy is used by about 50 percent of American travelers.
Social media is another way in which millennials make themselves heard. Seventy-eight percent of them engage with brands on social media while just 47 percent of older generations do. With a majority of travelers (56 percent) interacting with brands through social media, it’s no wonder it has a profound overall effect.
While it appears that face-to-face contact is something that many millennials are looking for in other parts of their lives, just 34 percent want in-person interaction when it comes to customer service.
24 percent turn to online and instant messaging. In between those are disembodied human voices at a helpline or call center, preferred by 27 percent.
Overall, travel providers should still consider human interaction key, with 43 percent desiring to interact with a real person.
While millennials are the most open to the changing future of travel—such as driverless cars and flights into space—they will have the most impact on companies’ decisions to embark on these endeavors.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans are interested in future travel while 57 percent have confidence in the safety of those types of travel. In comparison, however, 72 percent of millennials feel good about future travel.