Seventy-four percent of Americans prioritize experiences
over material goods, which bodes well for the travel industry, according to a
study by Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics.
The study, "Generations on the Move," was
administered to a total of 1,254 U.S. adults ages 18-65. It breaks down the
generations by birth years as follows: baby boomers, 1946-1964; Generation X,
1965-1976; millennials, 1977-1995; and Generation Z, 1996 and beyond.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans are saving money for travel,
a percentage that jumps to 65% with millennials.
Among the survey's Generation Z respondents, 71% said they
would get a part-time job to save money for a trip. Forty-nine percent of both
millennials and Generation Z would sell clothes or furniture for travel money.
While the study found all generations like hotel reviews
when they are shopping and booking, preferred trip type, activities and the
accommodations vary by generations.
Generation Z likes "adventure experiences such as
exploring and trying new things more than anyone else," according to the
study. They also want connectivity, with one-third of Generation Z respondents
saying Wi-Fi is an "absolute necessity." They also prefer long
weekends, a trait they share with millennials and Generation X.
Boomers will travel for a week or longer. They prefer
traditional travel experiences like sightseeing. Millennials and Generation X
prefer more relaxing vacations, like trips to the beach or a spa.
Income brackets also affect what travel experiences an
"Lower-income travelers prioritize spending time with
loved ones the most, while middle-income travelers place a priority on
sightseeing or tourism," the study found. "Higher-income travelers
just want to relax."
Unsurprisingly, social media is playing an increased role in
younger generations' travel decisions. According to the study, both Generation
Z and millennials are heavily influenced by social media. Twenty-seven percent
of millennials posted a potential trip on a social media platform to get
opinions before booking, and 36% of Generation Z travelers have picked a
destination based on postings about it on social media.
As far as travel companions, 54% of the Generation Z
respondents said they usually or always travel with their family, and 55% said
their parents pay for their travel when traveling together. Millennials, too,
benefit from their parents' likely deeper pockets, with 24% saying their
parents paid for their joint travel.
The study also looked at booking convenience, and 80% of
respondents said being able to book all components of their travel on one
website is helpful. That number rises with the youngest generation -- 87% of Generation
Z said it is helpful.
Half of Generation Z and 48% of millennials prefer to use
OTAs. Of all respondents, 55% said they would consider booking an entire trip
on an OTA without visiting any other websites, and 15% said they would definitely
book an entire trip on an OTA without visiting other websites.