With the average worker taking 17.2 days of vacation per year and spending $3,500 to $6,000 per trip, there's a lot of money in the travel industry. Millennials, in particular, travel 35 days a year and like to spend all their free time traveling.
Age is often a significant factor when it comes to making travel decisions. Since each age group has its own unique set of needs and characteristics, each one is influenced and motivated in different ways.
This report seeks to share insights on each age group and contains over 70 travel statistics.
Essential Travel Statistics by Age Group
Travel statistics by age group indicate that Millennial travelers seem to be the most diverse traveler group in terms of socioeconomic status and with whom they travel. Those who travel alone, with friends, or with partners tend to take more adventurous trip packages. However, those with children prefer family-friendly leisure activities and are increasingly likely to bring their children along with them on vacation.
Generation Z is still young and is thus limited in terms of its spending power. The younger generation seems to want to make the most out of their trips, spending the most time abroad.
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Which Age Group Spends the Most on Leisure Travel in the United States?
Baby boomers lead the way when it comes to spending on vacation. This ability to afford more on their travels comes from their financial strength and stability. Most boomers over the age of 53 no longer have children living with them at home. Many are nearing or have already reached retirement age, which means they have more time and money to spend on vacations.
However, Generation X is the group most likely to spend more on vacations. The reason may be due to their responsibilities as parents of children who are still in school. More family members and a high-traffic travel season, like spring break or summer vacation, mean additional expenses.
Generation Z is the most restricted when it comes to financing travel. Air tickets alone often account for a quarter or more of their total budget.
What are the Most Popular Travel Destinations for Different Age Demographics?
Although both domestic and international travel is popular, domestic travel remains the most accessible to all age groups, and the most cost-effective.
Since they are older, those who belong to Gen X and the boomer age groups are more likely to be able to afford an international and domestic trip. Only a small number of people from all age groups plan to travel only to international destinations in 2020, the largest group being Millennials at 7%, followed by boomers at 6%.
The youngest generation in these statistics, Gen Z, prefers to go to cities more than other groups and likes to visit well-known and accessible cities. The most organized in terms of trip planning and also considered more responsible are boomers. The vast majority of baby boomers book months in advance for a trip and are more likely to seek luxury accommodations.
What Age Group Travels the Most & How do They Compare?
Baby boomers, by far, are the group most likely to travel and be able to afford it comfortably. They are expected to travel an average of 4-5 times a year, both to national and international destinations. However, they do not stay on vacation the longest. That number belongs to Millennials, who take the most extended vacations abroad and use up most, if not all, of their vacation days on trips.
As for Generation Z, they hold the spot for the second-longest vacation times but spend little compared to Gen Xers. Gen Xers travel less frequently than Gen Z, but they spend more money and usually go on different types of vacations due to their tendency to have family accompanying them.
What Inspires Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Z & Millennials to Travel?
There are different types of travelers in the United States. Each one has unique needs and plans their trips based on their age and lifestyle.
Traveling is more than just sightseeing for the vast majority of people who expect their vacations to not only be enjoyable but memorable and bring them personal value. Being able to travel alone has several positive effects on people, such as broadening their world view. Furthermore, many people are motivated to find themselves while they rely entirely on themselves in a foreign country.
Millennials are most likely to seek options that give them the least amount of hassle and headaches as possible. Although they are not restricted to guided experiences, Millennials seem to want them to avoid any unforeseen issues along the way.
An increasing percentage of the younger generations, specifically Gen Z and Millennials, are now opting to take vacations solely for relaxation purposes.
How do Different Generations Like to Travel?
Depending on the distance, travelers have a wealth of options when it comes to choosing a mode of travel.
As the industries that cater to different travel experiences increase in number, people now have different options that range from short, one-day or weekend vacations to package deals on cruises that take them to several different countries or islands.
Air travel remains the most convenient, safe, and accessible mode of travel. Air travel is especially popular when it comes to international destinations.
In terms of where they prefer to stay, most travelers still use hotels, motels, and hostels for accommodation. These accommodations differ based on the nature of the trip since travelers on cruises sleep in their cabins.
Millennials and Gen Z are the leading groups when it comes to city-based trip experiences. While older travelers are looking for more exotic experiences, the groups who grew up with technology were more likely to seek modern forms of travel and accommodations.
What Influences Travel Plans & Booking Habits?
Based on the age group, the use of social media, the internet, and advertisements in general are touted as the most effective ways to influence travel plans. The group that is least influenced by advertisements are Gen Z, while those who are most influenced are Millennials.
Another noteworthy trend is the reliance on online reviews and social media to motivate travel decisions. Those who have been raised alongside technology are more likely to resort to online resources when planning their travels. Boomers were least likely to be influenced by social media posts or internet advertisements that cater to travelers, as they spend less time online than younger generations.
Travel agents and travel agencies still book trips, although the process has been digitized. These agencies often advertise for their own deals, and older age groups are more likely to book through them than to do so themselves.
Therefore, based on age, financial stability, and lifestyle, travel decisions are influenced by a multitude of factors. Boomers remain the biggest travel spenders, and women are quickly topping the lists for solo and group travel. When it comes to travel, each generation does it, and they all have their own ways of booking and enjoying their vacations.