3 Trends Impacting Millennial Travel

Millennial money is pouring into the travel industry, the majority of the generation is trying to cross items off their wanderlust bucketlist—and these three trends are impacting where they go…

Considering 96% of Millennials and Gen Z are interested in travel, it’s no wonder they’re changing the rules when it comes to where to go, what to see, when to plan, and how to budget. As Ypulse explored in our recent Generation Wanderlust trend, this generation has lofty goals—they want to visit far off destinations and continually explore new places. The average Millennial will take more than three trips this year—and research from G Adventures, which plans trips targeted at Millennials, says the group isn’t as frugal as one may believe when travelling. With money from the generation pouring into the travel industry, it’s no surprise that brands are racing to keep up with them, as we’ve covered before. We’ve seen chains remodel their locations, begin to focus on incorporating local culture, create social experience marketing, offer exclusive events, create Millennialized spin-off brands, and experiment with more and more advanced technology to impress Millennial travelers. But to keep up, you also need to know the trends that are impacting their decisions. Here are three that are changing up where they go and what they do:

1. INSTAGRAMMABILITY

In our Instagrammable world, Millennials drool over destination photos as much as they do food porn on social media. Natural wonders, exotic cities, local watering holes, even #vanlife seems incredibly appealing when it’s depicted in the dreamlike context of vacation, and it’s all available on their feeds, making them aware of new locations to visit, and hungry for their own post-worthy escapes. According to our Instagrammability research, 70% of…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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