The fact that millennials love travel is old news. You’ve only got to take a quick peak at a standard share house to know that unlike their parents, millennials aren’t spending their money on stuff, and a quick perusal of a 20-something year old’s Facebook or Instagram will show you where that money’s going. Travel, travel and lots more travel.
In the past, it used to be all the rage to take a year or two off uni or work and explore the world, living out of a backpack and taking irregular showers. But things are changing as millennials step out of uni and part time work and into more time-consuming responsibilities.
Recent studies have shown that millennials would actually prefer to have several short trips per year, rather than one long holiday. The sweet spot? Around seven. When I first read that number I didn’t quite believe it. I mean, that’s a lot of holidays. But then I counted how many I’ve taken this year. So far, I’ve been to Bali, Fiji, Spain and had a sweet little weekend away to Philip Island. I’ve already booked a trip to the Philippines over Christmas. So I’m almost there.
Money constraints aside, it’s the time factor that really makes things tough when it comes to millennial travel, and that’s why short holidays are becoming so popular. It might come as a surprise to read this, but millennials are actually amongst the most reluctant demographic to take time off work. We might have been lazy, no-good teenagers but we’re damn hard working adults! Even where we’re willing to take time off, not everyone can do so easily, and there are a lot of jobs out there that you can’t just leave for a month or so whenever you feel like it.
But here’s the thing: 85% of millennials regret not taking a holiday that they could have gone on.
Plus, holiday highs don’t last as long as they used to; coming back to work can be rough if you have no other trips to look forward to for the rest of the year. Having a number of small getaways plotted throughout the year means that you’ve got a carrot (rather than a stick) to keep you going, and frequent breaks from the stress of work is ace for your mental health.
Breaks from four to seven days are becoming incredibly popular for these reasons. Millennials are taking shorter and more frequent holidays and often fitting in visits to friends or family, or special events (like weddings) to their holiday plans.
So what does this mean for businesses looking to market to these new travellers? Well, you’re gonna have to make it easy for them. The thing is, short holidays are actually quite hard for us to plan. There’s a lot of stuff to worry about, and time is limited so it’s kind of a big deal if you accidentally leave going to the museum for Sunday only to realize that it’s closed on the weekend and you have to go home tomorrow. Actually, a travel agent friend of mine has often bemoaned the rise of shorter holidays because it leaves no room for error.
To avoid screwing up, millennials are happy to outsource their planning to business who can provide what they’re after. Short break packages, all-inclusive deals and curated tours are what millennials look for when they’re pressed for time, so offer these. But go a step further, too, by assisting with visas if necessary, sorting out millennial paperwork and giving information of a number of different airfares (not just the cheapest – it’s a short break so most of us would be willing to spend an extra hundy to avoid a six hour stop over).
Sometimes we only have a weekend off and can’t exactly fly long distance, and sometimes we’re a bit skint on account of the massive party we just threw, so come up with great domestic packages too. Packages to locations like Uluru, Tasmania or far north Queensland are wildly popular because they’re different enough to feel like something totally new. Not to mention, younger Australians are super keen to explore this huge country they’re lucky enough to live in.
Ultimately, business needs to make it as easy as possible for millennials to travel. If you can do all the heavy lifting for us, we’re more than happy to let you carry our bags.
Read more about millennials and travel in our YCM411 report, here.
Stats Source: Lonely Planet, 2016