Millennial Travel Statistics 2021

Surprising Millennial Travel Stats You Didn’t Know 

Millennials (born 1981-1996) are officially entering middle-age: adults with minivans and a travel savings account. They learned from the mistakes of their elders who lost everything in the great recession: life is short. 

Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers; they make up a whopping 31.5% of the population. Their $200 billion buying power is hard to ignore, even if you still think they’re teenagers (they aren’t, that’s Gen Z, barely).

Check the search history of millennials who have been responsibly quarantined for over a year, and you’ll find fantasies like: “Top Ten Destinations for Travel,” “Epic Road-trip,” “How to travel with your family and still like them.” 

The travel industry took a major hit during the pandemic, with some curious outliers. Places like Airbnb saw an upward tick in long-term rentals, a direct result of remote workers looking for a safe change of scenery. In 2020, over 40% of their sales in 2020 were millennials. Business travel might not ever return to its pre-pandemic heights, but personal travel by remote workers might make up for the loss.

Millennials are experts in self-care, and know how to work remotely. Do you know what this means? This means that Millennials will be the leaders in re-igniting the travel industry. 

According to the 2021 Travel Trends Report by Expedia Group, among those who plan to travel, millennials and those on the West Coast and in the Northeast will splurge the most. The same report indicates that millennials are planning on spending far more than other groups on their travel in 2021.

This is key information for those in the travel industry.


How Much do Millennials Spend On Travel Experiences? 

Millennials might be budget-conscious, but according to Copyrise, each year the generation is responsible for more than 200 million tourists globally. Combined, the total spending of Millennials on travel accounts for nearly $180 billion annually. 

How Many Trips do Millennials Take Yearly? 

Growing up most millennials were used to an annual summer vacation when their parents were able to get off work (if they were lucky). Now that they are on their own, Millennials are making up for this in stride. 

Today, the average number of trips Millennials take yearly is a surprising 5.6 trips annually.  

What do millennials look for in their travel experiences? 

It’s impossible to capture every whim, but there are some key elements that make most millennials happy:

Domestic Travel

Right now, domestic travel is the safest and most affordable. Due to Covid19 restrictions, some places are not safe or even viable for travel. 

That’s more than OK with millennials. In fact, before the pandemic, millennials already favored domestic travel over international, with 79% of them staying state-side in 2019.

Weekend Trips

It’s hard to say if this trend will continue, but in 2019, 69% of millennials took weekend trips, when only 13% of the Boomer generation did. Perhaps some of this is due to the retired flexibility of Boomers and the cost and work restriction of longer stays for millennials. Now that the pandemic has moved many in the millennial workforce to remote capacity, this statistic might shift. 

Weekend trips are still a staple for millennials who seek multiple diverse experiences with a smaller budget. Remote work might allow for more extended weekends, or less emails to check on Monday. Wi-fi is a must-have now for most travel destinations. 


International Travel

Millennials are still anxious to experience what the rest of the world has to offer. Once the borders open, millennials will be ready to take advantage of their newly-appreciated freedom. 

The millennial social reach is global and interconnected, with more international connections than any generation before. Millennials are curious and ready to experience the authentic cultures of their neighbors around the world. 

When the time comes, they’ll be ready. 

In 2019, the muvTravel planning site listed the top 30 travel destinations for millennials; seven out of the top ten were international.

That’s a lot of cancelled trips that millennials have been waiting to re-book. 

How Likely Are Millennials to Travel in 2021?

Spring 2021: Millennials were a whopping 80% more likely than baby boomers and 13% more likely than GenX to travel by spring of 2021.

Summer 2021: When polled, Millennials were 36% more likely than Baby Boomers and 12% more likely than Gen-Xers to travel in summer 2021.

Fall 2021: The numbers revealed that Millennials were just 15% more likely to travel than Baby Boomers and a staggering 50% more likely than GenX to travel in fall 2021.

Winter 2021: Interestingly, the numbers came back similar here, with Millennials around 88% more likely than both baby boomers and GenX to travel in winter 2021.

Online Booking and Billing

The trend towards online travel planning has skyrocketed into a “contactless” model that many millennials have grown to love. Millennials scour websites for pictures and customer reviews to select their perfect destination.

No matter whether millennials are booking a luxury stay or a budget-friendly stop-over, they expect seamless online booking and billing. 

If they can’t take care of it over the internet, they’ll shop elsewhere.

Millennials are Ready to Travel!

No matter where you look, the evidence is clear that Millennials are ready to travel again. It’s been a long, hard year and travel is the best medicine. With the global pandemic under greater control and with vaccines and erased travel restrictions on the horizon, it appears that getting back to what they love is what Millennials look forward to most.

“Expedia Group Media Solutions survey of 11,000 individuals across 11 countries found that Millennials and Gen Z will be traveling the most this year…” Considered the ‘nomad’ generations, both millennials and Gen-X can’t sit still for long, and now they no longer will have to.

Combined with low-cost travel options and airlines seeking to earn back lost customers and bolster their own bottom lines, the future looks bright for millennial travel in 2021 and beyond. 

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