The Millennial Traveler

selfie photo - millennials
By the year 2020, millennials* will make up 50% of the workforce. That’s half of all other generational types combined–an astounding number for companies who sell travel related services, especially since millennials are one of the highest traveling age segments too. As a destination that welcomes all ages, young and old, it’s important to routinely review our community’s offerings for the ever-changing traveler interests. Here’s what we know about millennials and their travel preferences:

Five Trends in Millennial Travel

  1. They value experiences over things. In fact, six out of ten prefer to spend their disposable income on travel rather than material items. And, they 24% plan to take more overnight trips in the coming year. In terms of spending, millennials will spend more on travel services than any other age group in the next 12 months.
  2. They use ALL or most of their vacation time. Rather than hoarding it for a rainy day like generations past (read more here), millennials believe their time is earned and should be used! Score one for the millennial mindset.
  3. Not your typical destination travelers, millennials like to experience things that are out of the norm, adventurous or hands-on. While sand and surf might be on the itinerary, a week-long beach vacay is not normally in their plans. Instead, they’re out on foodie adventures, exploring the lesser known community gems or zip lining through the woods.
  4. Have pets, will travel. As more and more destination amenities become pet-friendly, millennials expect to bring along their furry companions, so it’s a good idea to roll out the red carpet (and pet hair roller).
  5. Millennials trust their peer network. They seek out travel opinions on social networks. They’ve grown up along with new digital options that didn’t exist in the Gen X generation so their trusted resource comes from posts, likes and shares of those they know.

As we embark on the busy summer travel season, it’s important to remember that not every destination has a mountain to scale or a volcano to explore, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the millennials. Some are here for meetings and events and others are visiting friends and relatives, so they may only have time for one or two additional excursions during their visit. It’s the unique things found within our communities like food truck festivals, art walks or paddle boarding local streams and rivers that can also have an impact on millennial travel decisions. Here’s a few options for millennials (and all generations) to consider in Merriam this summer and year-round!

Go, See, Do in Merriam…

  • GoStrawberry Hill Povitica Bakery — sample the dessert bread and watch artisan bakers create this popular and tasty treat made right in Merriam!
  • See – Visit the current exhibit on display at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery, then stroll south along Merriam Drive to check-out our newest art installation, “Still Time.”
  • Do – Grab a few friends for a fun afternoon of geocaching in Merriam. Enjoy a game of seek and find along this digital treasure hunt–click here for caches placed by the CVB!

*millennial = person born between 1980-2000

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