While on a group tour to the Middle East, my in-laws sent many of their millennial children email updates on their trip. My mother-in-law wrote, “Start saving now so that you can do this when you are 69.” Her statement came as my husband and I had just returned from a spontaneous trip to Rome and Sardinia. We found a flight deal for $600 per person from Denver to Rome and figured, why not go?
For us, travel isn’t something we save for the retirement years. Our mantra: now is as good a time as any to travel.
Being a millennial, I realize I travel a little bit differently. And yet, the travel industry is starting to take notice of millennials as they travel in droves. They are changing the travel game in the process, looking to learn, save, and experience the world not later in life but now. Even if you don’t fall in the millennial age bracket, you can learn a thing or two from their travel techniques, that frankly, aren’t all about selfie sticks and Facebook likes.
Use Social Media to Plan Your Trip
It’s no secret that millennials are a connected bunch. They want free, fast, and reliable Wi-Fi when they travel because they use social media to decide where to go and what to see. You can be a millennial traveler too by following the major travel experts and key players at your destination. You can plan things you want to see and do, not from reading from the dusty pages of a guidebook, but rather from what you see on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Millennials have no qualms with crowdsourcing their vacations, meaning they will simply ask on their Facebook page where they should eat in Rome and frequently receive a response that the guidebook can’t give.
Earn Rewards and Shop for the Best Travel Deals
Growing up with massive student loans and high unemployment rates, millennials have learned how to be thrifty when they travel. They shop around for the best travel deals, rather than settling and paying more. Travelers can take a page from the millennial travel book in this regard. Do your research. Don’t just settle for the first result. Also, millennials like to earn travel rewards. If you can earn something for that hotel night here or there, why not score more free or discounted travel at the same time? Every dollar spent on travel should help earn more travel.
Learn Something New at Your Destination
Millennials are all about culturally rich travel experiences. They want to engage in unique activities in order to gain a sense of the world, and so can you. Take a cooking class, language course, or volunteer for a day in a local community. Seek out an authentic meal rather than a tourist trap right off the main square. Millennials are curious about the world and they want to learn something when they travel. By partaking in a more unusual travel experience, you can understand your destination in a new light and make some great memories.
Stay Awhile and Slow Down Your Travels
Millennials are less interested in short trips and prefer to go away for longer periods of time. By extending your travels, you can often enjoy more enriching experiences. Rather than traveling to check things off of a list because your time is so limited, travel slower. By slowing down your travels and not focusing on seeing it all at one time, you place more value on the experiences you do have.
Many might complain about the millennial generation but there are certain appeals to how millennials travel. They’re living for the moment and prefer to see the world now than wait for retirement. Getting up and going just to see what’s on the other end has a certain ring to it.
Are you a millennial? What other perks do you see to how your generation’s travel style? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.