Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, are at the prime age to enjoy travel. However, you’ll discover that this generation has some distinct travel habits.
With advanced technology at their fingertips, they have unique advantages that earlier generations didn’t. Although older travelers can benefit from the same technological tools, some prefer doing things the “old-fashioned” way while others don’t feel comfortable using travel apps and social media.
Trends of Millennial Travel
As you’ll discover, millennials tend to follow a number of travel trends.
Top Destinations in 2019
For 2019, the five destinations listed are millennials’ favorites.
Tulum, Mexico – considering the pristine beaches, incredible shopping, the jungle, fantastic restaurants and of course, the Mayan ruins, it’s easy to understand why this destination landed at the top of the list. Tulum is also a great place to visit with its excellent selection of spas and wellness resorts
Amsterdam, Netherlands – with the quaint coffee shops, different cuisines, canals and a wonderful blend of arts and design, Amsterdam is another popular place for millennials. For those who appreciate the beautiful outdoors and biking opportunities, this city does not disappoint
Greece – especially for millennials wanting a romantic getaway, the Greek islands are a perfect choice. The combination of ocean views, white, stone-washed buildings, gorgeous beaches and crystal blue waters is mesmerizing
The Maldives – what’s not to love about this Indian Ocean location? For millennials who want a genuine beach experience, the Maldives, with clear turquoise water and plenty of sunshine, is a traveler’s paradise
Algarve, Portugal – due to its diverse geography, red sandstone cliffs, ocean water in beautiful blue tones, golden beaches and a stunning mountain region, an increasing number of millennials flock to Algarve
Some of the other top destinations include Bora Bora, Aspen, Japan, Ireland, St. Maarten and Alaska.
Along with becoming more adventurous, millennials use different travel apps to gain information about destinations and book trips. With these mobile app, people can plan trips faster and easier. Some of the other top travel apps include:
Mapify – with Mapify, millennials can research places around the globe. The app includes reviews from other travelers, it boasts information about local areas, including photos and maps and it allows family members and friends back home to follow travelers on their journeys
TripCase – hailed as a personal travel agent inside a mobile device, people can plan trips, make hotel and rental car reservations, book flights and much more without it costing a dime. TripCase also alerts users to any last-minute changes, which prevents missed flights
Social Media Used for Reviews
What better way to learn about different travel destinations than by getting information firsthand? Thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites, millennials can contact people to learn about their travel experiences or follow their posted online reviews.
Along with shared information, most travelers include a ton of photos, making it possible for millennials to visualize destinations. On Facebook, it’s extremely easy to find groups dedicated to nothing but posting about travel experiences.
Travel on a Budget
Besides traveling, millennials love saving money. Fortunately, they’ve learned how to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world while sticking to a budget.
Apps that Save Money on Travel
Millennials depend on yet another set of mobile apps that help them save money, regardless of their destination.
Couchsurfing – seldom will you find a millennial couchsurfing considering they’re always on the go. However, they do love the revolutionary Couchsurfing travel app. Millennials can either identify viable host homes around the world or offer their residences to people traveling to their country
Service – although the amount of compensation from airlines varies, this app keeps track of flights and hotel reservations. By syncing with the user’s email, Service automatically files a claim on behalf of the user whenever an airline cancels or delays a flight. Overall, people save as much as $300 annually, which is ideal for millennials who travel often
Gas Buddy – at no charge, Gas Buddy provides users with information on gas stations nearby with the lowest-priced fuel. Another excellent benefit is that millennials can use it to map out stations ahead of their travels or in real time
Kayak – for travelers who plan to fly to their preferred destination, Kayak is the ideal tool for finding the lowest fares. Users can choose to receive alerts via email or text whenever airfare decreases as well
The Top Ways Millennials Pay for Travel
While some people from other generations think of millennials as spoiled, they’re actually hard-working individuals who strive to land well-paying jobs. Thanks to this, those who enjoy traveling have several options to pay for their adventures.
Multiple jobs – remember the comment about millennials being hard-working people? They are, and in fact, it’s common for them to hold several jobs at once, perhaps bartending or driving for Uber during off-hours from their normal jobs
Overtime – some millennials take on as much overtime as possible. With time and a half at a minimum, this allows them to put money aside for several trips throughout the year
Work-related travel – it’s common for millennials to accept positions with companies that require their employees to travel. Whether in the airline industry, working for a research company or teaching English in a foreign country, this gives them a fantastic opportunity to combine work with play while seeing the world
Travel Rewards Programs
Along with thinking millennials are spoiled, some people consider them opportunists, and when it comes to traveling, they are. That means they take advantage of things like rewards programs that earn cash back or discounts on dining, renting a car, staying in a hotel, and so on. Among the many different possibilities, the following are some credit cards that millennials like the best.
Chase sapphire preferred – millennials love the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. It offers outstanding flexibility and incredible rewards, yet the annual fees are extremely low. Using a point system, users can earn 50,000 points after spending just $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account
Capital one venture – this credit card also provides several excellent rewards. While it is not quite as good as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, this Capital One credit card offers double miles for purchases made and a $500 signup bonus
Discover it – for real cash back that millennials can use for all types of travel expenses; the Discover It card makes a great choice. When making purchases through Amazon.com and even local gas stations, users can earn 5 percent cash back every quarter
Free Travel Programs
Millennials rely on different travel programs such as Reading Road Trips and Getaway. Others include Free Spirit, United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Delta SkyMiles, and Frontier Miles, although there are many others.
With these programs, users earn sky miles that at some point translate into free or significantly discounted air travel. Depending on the program, millennials can either transfer or use their miles to purchase airline tickets for family members and friends.
The Bottom Line
What it comes down to is that millennials know how to save money yet enjoy the best travel experiences. Perhaps Baby Boomers and other generations should follow their lead. You can learn more about how you’ll pay for your next trip by reading our credit card guide.