How Middle-Aged Millennials are Changing the Travel Landscape

As more and more millennials turn 40 and claim their place as middle-aged, their tech-savvy, social consciousness, and distinct spending habits are reshaping the travel industry in a variety of ways.

Look forward to a continued interest in vacation rentals, a shift towards spas instead of traditional gift shops, and the emergence of more pet, family, and eco-friendly restaurants and accommodations for travelers to enjoy.

Travel Spending and Engagement

Middle-aged millennials are now outpacing wealthier baby boomers, taking the lead in travel, spending about 15 percent more on summer trips than the older generation, according to our Summer Travel Survey.

Not only are they spending more, but on average they’re traveling more than a week longer than baby boomers each year.

See the most popular destinations for Millennials and find your next trip

Travel Experiences and Wellbeing

These generational shifts mark a defining moment in millennial travel behavior. They view travel as a right and intertwine it with their identity rather than treating vacations as a checkbox on a bucket list.

This lines up with their focus on traveling for experiences. Millennials are shown to prioritize experiences over consumer goods, when given a choice, 46 percent opt for experiences compared to 37 percent for goods, according to the American Express Travel 2023 Global Travel Trends Report.

Shifting away from traditional spring breaks or budget backpacking, millennials focus on trips promoting mental health and relaxation, and preferring hotels with spas and wellness services compared to older counterparts.

Inspired by movies, TV shows, and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, millennial travelers seek sustainable options. And, with limited vacation time, younger travelers meticulously plan itineraries, emphasizing local experiences, self-care, and visits to locations featured in favorite TV shows and movies. This intentional approach underscores how personal passions shape contemporary travel planning.

See how you can insure your travel experiences like events, concerts, and other activities

Vacation Rentals Preferred

Vacation homes, often equipped with extra bedrooms and child-friendly amenities, align well with the needs of millennials with young families. As a result, millennials dominated Airbnb's clientele in 2022, making up 45 percent of all renters, as reported by YouGov.

Our Summer Travel Survey backs this up, showing millennials are 17 percent more likely to book a vacation rental than other generations.

Find travel protection plans designed for vacation rental trips

From spending habits to accommodation preferences, millennials are changing the travel industry as we know it. Are your travel habits keeping up with these changing trends? Follow us and let us know on Instagram!

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