As millennials are turning into parents, their traveling styles greatly affect the traveling styles of the whole family and potentially create a new type of family travel.
Although millennials, in general, remain a focused market for the travel industry, the term of ‘millennial parent’ or ‘millennial family’ is not often received appropriate consideration.
However, they are changing the way we perceive travel. The traditional travel is slowly shifting into a dynamic experience-driven facility and experiences.
Why you should care?
As most of millennial travelers (born between 1981 and 1995) are reaching the end of their early adulthood (25-39), they are now becoming parents. Besides, their maturation is coming along with their peak earning and spending years. Therefore, they are slated to drive the next wave of global family travel and tourism growth.
What has been characterized as the ‘me, myself and I’ generation is transitioning into a ‘me and my child’ generation. And these young parents do not flinch to travel with their children. In fact, according to D.K. Shifflet & Associates in 2017, 62% of millennial parents are traveling with kids under 5 years old.
How millennial parents are shaping a new type of family travel?
- Have the need to experience
Millennials are a different breed of consumers from boomers and Gen-Xers. They are known to have a special need to see and feel new things. They consider travel as a priority in life to spend time with family, explore new cultures and take a break from city life. As a result, when becoming parents, they are continuing their ‘experience over stuff’ and globetrotting lifestyle. Millennial parents want their children to become citizens of the world, and family travel is moving beyond water parks and pony rides.
The parents in this generation value healthy outdoor activities and have a desire to expose their kids to travel from a young age. For them, when it comes to family travel, experience beats expense. The most important factor is keeping all the members entertained and happy (Expedia Group, 2019). Therefore, travel marketers should look to highlight what they are offering rather than solely the price.
- Want personal service, attention and expert advice from informed sources
They are digital natives and, perhaps, the first truly global generation to have been brought together by the internet. They are educated consumers, willing to put in the time and having the know-how to conduct extensive research before making purchases. They attach great importance to individuality and self-expression, often sharing their opinions through the internet, particularly on social media sites. What is more, they continuously seek authentic, word-of-mouth information through these same channels, not just from family and friends, but also anonymous reviewers and bloggers. Therefore, the travel industry must be prepared to communicate with them in both online & offline through various channels like social media, online news, reviews, etc.
- Seek for safety & convenience
Since they travel with children, safety is the number one factor (60.9%) in developing their travel plans (Resonance Consultancy, 2018). A destination that is kid-friendly and where the parents may not have to worry about their children’s safety will be the top priorities for family travel.
Besides, the convenience of the whole trip from transport to accommodation will be considered because of the children. The complexity in travel international with kids like obtaining visas or long/connection flights in foreign airports might contribute to domestic or nearby-region travel. Another aspect of convenience can be the distance from the hotel to the attractions or the beach, the quality and quantity of nearby restaurants or the utilities in the hotel itself like playgrounds or swimming pools.
- Affected by generation Alpha (born after 2010)
Millennial parents find travel is one way to raise well-rounded children. Through adventure and experience new things together, they can teach their kids about other cultures and keep great memories. While generation Alpha (generally known as the baby of Millennials) is growing up, they have started involved in family travel plans. Besides other resources like review sites, friends, search engines or social media, the kid’s ideas have great impacts on their parents. According to a study by Phocuswright Europe in 2019, many of the travel decisions that families make are due to trying to satisfy the younger Generation Alpha and 60% of those surveyed said that travel ideas come from both children and adults.
As generation alpha was born after 2010 and growing up with digital technology, their travel opinions will be influenced not only by things they see in real life or hear from friends in school but also the travel-related imagery or information they see online or on television. The imagery they see that highlights children-friendly activities or attractions will definitely catch their attention. Thus, travel businesses need to embrace a dynamic approach that appeals to the whole family.
According to research by GlobalData, family travel is set to grow by 25% in 2022, around 376-million trips and millennials families will account for a major proportion. When deciding their travel plans, millennial parents tend to concentrate on their experiences and the opinions of their children (Gen Alpha). Some of them may choose to work remotely from their computer in order to spend their full-time traveling across the world and living a nomadic life.
Once recognizing the potential from this target market, hoteliers and service suppliers should consider them seriously to design the right products, services as well as marketing actions to satisfy these travelers in the future.