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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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