Considering that millennials will make up about half the global workforce by the year 2020, it’s no surprise that when it comes to traveling for work, millennials represent the largest age group of business travelers…and those numbers are only growing. As the ratio of business travelers shifts along with this age group, so are the ways of business travel as a whole to fit their needs.
Here’s a look at some of the top trends millennials are driving within the business travel industry and how to get on board to join in on the waves of change!
Bleisure or Bust!
Yes, you read that right. Bleisure — as in business + leisure — it’s a thing and it always has been, but more and more millennials are embracing this sort of travel, and trust us, you’ll want to as well (if you haven’t already, that is). By blurring the boundary between business and leisure, millennials are not only creating a new and exciting way to travel, but also a cost-effective, easy-to-plan solution to fit more vacations into their busy schedules!
Having a solid work-life balance is hard enough as is. As a result, travel for fun often gets pushed to the backburner due to a lack of time and money. But, by adding just a few extra days at the beginning or end of a work trip, you not only take advantage of paid-for transportation (namely flights) to subsidize your costs, but it’s likely that the lodging you’re staying in will offer you some competitive rates, extra perks or even discounts and upgrades when you tack on a few nights and extend your stay.
Tapping into the Tech
Hold the eye rolls; before you think “great, another tip about downloading another app or something”, we don’t just mean use your handy-dandy mobile device just to translate, locate and post pictures (although, that stuff is really useful). We mean: do as the millennials do and use it to your competitive advantage when booking. As a tech-centric generation, when it comes to travel specifically, digital technology plays a huge role for millennials.
From initial research to booking both flights and accommodations, 20-to-30-somethings are doing most of it through mobile devices. As the demand for more mobile-friendly booking experiences increases, many companies in the business travel industry are finding new ways to keep up with this generation’s travel needs, wants and demands in order to stay competitive. Which, for you, means some sizable bargains and deals on your mobile bookings. You can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll find a ton of ways to save on everything from purchasing the latest luggage to booking the “fun” leg of your trip when you do it through an app. Add this with the perks and/or covered costs you’re likely to get through your company and voila — you just scored a vacation on a bargain!
Out with Convenience and In with Experience
One of the biggest impacts millennials have made to travel as a whole is that they’ve tilted the ratio of convenience and experience when it comes to their stay. And the impact of business travelers of this generation is no different. They’re all about experiences and view travel (yes, even business travel) as an enterprise, not just a means to an end.
At a point in time, business travel accommodation was most likely booked in a series of chain hotels. Today, more and more millennials are ditching the hotel loyalty programs and instead opting for more off-the-beaten-path type vacation rentals. That’s right — many young corporate travelers would rather book a room in a quirky, boutique hotel or other types of share-economy accommodations, than stay in a standard chain that offers points but little else of interest or experience. Authentic dining, experiential tours or classes, unique activities to fill free time — 20-to-30-something business travelers are looking for it all, and often, that means seeking those experiences outside hotel walls or even choosing to share living spaces with fellow coworkers to go out and adventure together.
As for accommodation itself, long gone are old-fashioned notions of luxury. For millennials, the new standard for travel is personalized experiences from the businesses they purchase from, including the ones they’re booking their stay with. From tailored search results when looking to book, to custom digital guidebooks based on their preferences, for young business travelers, the more customized, the better!
How else do millennials travel for business and has this changed the way you travel as well? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.