Millennial Minute: The Truth Behind Millennial Stereotypes

Natalia Chelnokova (far left) of Frosch; Rebecca Norrbom (middle) of Holiday Cruises & Tours and Daniela Harrison of Avenues of the World Travel discuss Millennial stereotypes.

As part of a recent roundtable conducted by Travel Agent at The New York Edition hotel in New York City, we asked some experts in the field which Millennial stereotypes have some truth behind them and which ones are completely false. 

The panelists were Ashley Lancer of Valerie Wilson Travel in New York; Andrey Zaharenko of Always Travel in San Francisco; Natalia Chelnokova of Frosch; Rebecca Norrbom of Holiday Cruises & Tours in Las Vegas; Daniela Harrison of Avenues of the World Travel in Arizona; Brad Rutta of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection in Wisconsin; Heather Christopher of Classic Travel at Tackett's Mill in Virginia; and Marisa Costa of NEXT, a program by Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group based in New York. 

Millennials: True of False?

Joe Pike, Travel Agent: What are the main stereotypes and myths involving Millennial agents and clients? Is there any element of truth these? Are they just flat out false? I will actually start. I think there's a notion that Millennial agents only book for Millennial clients. Everybody thinks a young agent is just booking bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, girls getaways, some place with a cool nightlife, etc., but I don't think a lot of people realize how many family clients you have, multi-generational clients you have. I also don’t think people realize that a lot of Millennials are becoming mothers and fathers now and they're becoming experts in family travel. 

Marisa Costa, NEXT: I hear all the time from veteran agents that we're entitled and I agree 150 percent that we are. Not that it's a bad thing, but when you think about it, we've had access to every bit of information we could ever want from when we're young, so there's no reason to just accept the status quo. You don't like your job? Back in the day you have to go knock on doors, hand out resumes. Now, you don't like your job, you go home, you go online, you send a couple resumes out and you move on. It's the same thing if a client doesn't like what their advisor provided for them. Those clients can go online and book directly. It's products. It's services. It's everything in life. We don't have to stick with something if we don't like it. A lot of people of older generations who have worked very hard to get where they are see that with us and it’s almost like they think we’re bad people or something, but we’re just really, really informed.

Rebecca Norrbom, Holiday Cruises & Tours: I do agree that (Baby Boomers) feel like it's entitlement. I feel like it's more of a confidence thing though. There's sort of a fine line sometimes where I don't want to seem like I'm being cocky or entitled or anything, but you do have to stand up and shout about how good you are nowadays because you can Google anyone else. You have to stand out.

Andrey Zaharenko, Always Travel: Parents usually have wisdom to pass on, but there's so much information that this is one of the first generations where the kids actually will be smarter than the parents because they have all this access and they grew up with all this Internet information. They know all these things. The parents can't catch up. That's very different.

Brad Rutta, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection: Millennials just believe what you say a lot more than what they're going to read. I think another myth from our perspective is that Millennials don’t buy travel insurance. It's been thought of that it's mostly going to be older people that take insurance when they’re traveling, but we're finding that Millennials also want to protect their investment. They want a unique experience, but they're willing to take insurance on that too.

Rebecca Norrbom, Holiday Cruises & Tours: One myth that I don't really like about Millennials is that they don't spend money or they’re cheap because I think we will spend money on the things that we like, but we have no problem being cheap where we don't care. I will spend where I want to spend, but I'll save where I want to save. I hate the idea that Millennials are cheap because we'll take Uber and we'll do something like that. No, we’re taking Uber to a five-star hotel. 

Daniela Harrison, Avenues of the World Travel: I feel like our generation can be pretty impatient when it comes to travel needs. I know I am. I'm very impatient. If I book a hotel and I tell them, “I'm going to be an early arrival, I want my room to be ready and I’ll pay for it,” and they still don’t have my room ready when I show up, that's the last time I'm going to that hotel. I'm sorry, that's it. They had that one shot.

Keep visiting for all your latest news and be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.