Much has been said about the differences between millennials and baby boomers. The two generations are often placed at odds with each other, with the common view being that baby boomers see millennials as lazy and entitled, while millennials see baby boomers as judgemental and out of touch.
The two generations do have similarities, though. Both love to travel, although there can be different motivations behind that travel. Both generations like to seek out new cultures and experiences, and both look for a good deal. But that’s not to say there aren’t differences in their motivations.
Millennials are the leading edge of a new spending trend towards materials over things. They are more likely than any other generation to be saving for travel currently. They also place priority on relaxation on their trips.
They might even choose a hotel specifically because it has free WiFi. And if a hotel has terrible reviews online, forget it– a millennial will keep searching for different accommodations. They might also use a site like mylatedeals.com to learn about the culture of a place and get the best deals they can before they go.
Many millennials are less comfortable taking vacation time than their older peers, which translates into shorter trips. They are more likely to take advantage of a three day weekend for a shorter trip without being away from work too long.
Millennials are generally self-reliant and value their independence, and are more likely than boomers to travel alone or be willing to take a solo trip. They feel comfortable booking their travel online rather than going through a travel agency or booking a group tour.
Millennials are seeking an opportunity to refresh themselves and have new experiences away from home.
Baby boomers are most likely to be interested in touring and sightseeing. They are expected to spend their trips in what may be thought of as traditional tourism, getting to know a new place and seeing the local landmarks. They are less likely to spend a trip looking purely for relaxation, although among all age groups higher income is often correlated with that kind of travel.
While millennials are actively saving from their income, many boomers are retired, and spending money for travel from savings gathered over a lifetime. Both generations are seeking experiences, but for boomers, this is a way of enriching an already full life after years of work.
They may see themselves as finally having time to travel, and are eager to take advantage of the opportunity. It is a fulfilling way to spend time and enrich their lives.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that boomers tend to book longer trips than millennials & they tend to spend more too. They are more likely to be gone for a week or even longer, seeing multiple locations or making a deep dive into the life of a particular place.
They may also choose to use a tour company. Many companies target baby boomers, although there has also been a success for some that want to market toward younger audiences.
All in All
Traveling together as a multigenerational family group is popular, and perhaps it is that image that we ought to end on. Boomer parents might take their millennial children on a trip, who in turn might have little ones of their own in tow. Or millennials might invite their parents on a trip to experience a new place together.
Although some motivations can be different, both generations are coming to value experiences more and are looking to explore new places and cultures. Both generations are making travel a priority. They may have more in common than they think.
Let us know in the comments, what are your main motivations for travel?