Travel today is pretty much a rite of passage for millennials. Whether it’s a gap year, working abroad or just a well-earned holiday, it’s written into our lives somewhere along the way. Be it a page, chapter or book, travel plays its role in broadening, changing, sculpting, defining and even making us who we are.
According to a report revealed by the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation, “by 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by youth travellers each year – a staggering 47% increase from 217 million in 2013.”
The survey, taken by 7,600 travelers aged 18 to 30 from over 100 countries, proves the millennial travel bug is no myth.
So just what is it that’s causing this epidemic wanderlust rapidly spreading across Generation Y, and why has travel become such an integral part of our DNA?
Travel has never been so accessible
For what some of us now see as a necessity, was once a luxury. Way back in the day before the likes of budget airlines and AirBnB, travel was a very different world indeed. An experience only accessible to the wealthy, it was a pretty serious financial investment. Today, it’s less about the money and more about how open minded you want to be. And thanks to ever evolving travel tech it doesn’t take much for us to jet off, with 41% of millennial travellers saying they’ve used a smartphone to shop for flights and 27% saying they’ve used a smartphone to shop for hotels.
The social norm has changed
Long gone are the days of settling down in your early 20’s to the thrills of marriage, kids, and mortgages. Whilst this is still favoured by some, it’s now just as acceptable to hold off on those scary life decisions and instead focus on what being in your 20’s has become all about – experiencing new places, taking every opportunity you can, making connections, learning about yourself and doing whatever the hell you want whilst you’ve got the chance.
Minimal responsibilities, financially free and the world in the palm of your hands – todays 20 something predicaments are more about where you can make the most of your care free days rather than where to collect back to school coupons.
Working abroad, studying in a new city, volunteering, gap years, summer holidays are all up for grabs. And these can often be a far richer experience then what hanging around your hometown would ever give you.
We’re pretty easily influenced (in a good way)
With travel influences coming from just about every angle it’s no wonder we’re all itching to head off on our next adventure. Friends and families account for around 76% of trusty travel source information, whilst around 80% of us rely on travel reviews as strong decisions makers. Combining this with the likes of travel bloggers and social media is a sure way to make travel right up there at the top of our agendas.
We’re more sociable then ever
Generation Y are often at the forefront of the social media attack. Whilst we’re accused of hiding behind our phones and lacking in real life connections, we’re also the most social generation when it comes to our travelling behaviour.
The rise of the solo traveller, group travel and going out of our comfort zone to experience new cultures are just some of the trends taking over the millennial travel sphere.
With 23% of us keen to hang out with as many nationalities as possible, we’re more motivated than ever to meet different types of people and experience new things.
And we’re even more spontaneous
Saving those pennies for a rainy day? Hellz no. Millennials are less about the long term plans and more about making the most of right now. Guilty of digging into your savings for a travel spree? Busted. But with experiences and memories no amount of money can compare to, it’s always worth it. And with travel being so accessible it’s easier than ever to accidentally book a long weekend away or, you know, a month exploring the Greek islands … #sorrynotsorry.