A new report by Resonance Consultancy points to the increasing importance of Millennials to the family travel market. 44 percent of Millennial travelers take their vacations with the kids in tow, according to the firm’s new Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report.
More than half (58%) of U.S. Millennials who traveled overnight last year have children under the age of 18 in the household, Resonance said. Once kids enter the picture, Millennial parents continue to travel. In fact, in the next two years, close to half of Millennial travelers plan to take family vacations, according to the report. Family travel is the most popular type of vacation among this demographic.
In terms of preferred trip types, 41 percent of Millennials with children visit beach resorts, followed closely (36%) by major metropolitan cities as primary destinations. One quarter of Millennial families choose to vacation internationally.
“Millennials with children are traveling more internationally than any other demographic group and taking more than one vacation, often an adventure trip,” said a report from the 2016 TMS Family Travel Summit cited by Resonance.
Like their peers without kids, Millennial parents peruse their fair share (37%) of online peer reviews and ratings on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp as well as social media postings (29%) by family members and friends to help them figure out where to travel. For them, safety is the #1 concern when choosing a vacation destination.
Considering that most of these Millennial parents have only recently had children, the most surprising revelation isn’t where they’re going but that 62 percent of Millennial parents are traveling with kids under the age of five, according to insights by D.K. Shifflet & Associates. It makes sense though, since kids under five aren’t yet bound by a school calendar and its limited vacation times.
According to MMGY’s 2016 Portrait of American Travelers, Millennial families represent 16 percent of all active travelers and account for around 9.5 million households in the U.S.
Millennial families reported that they intend to spend more on vacations, and they also tend to spend more on leisure travel than their single and couple counterparts.
In 2016, Millennial families went on 36.9 million vacations, spending $50.4 billion, according to MMGY. According to their research, U.S. travelers in general intended to travel 6 percent more in 2017, but Millennial families intended to travel a whopping 35% more.
Millennials, who themselves seek different types of travel experiences, are eager to share those experiences with their kids, Resonance said. Family trips are one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry, and even though the average vacation in the United States costs $4,580 for a family of four (according to American Express Spending and Saving Tracker), parents are willing to spend that money on something they feel is important to their family. Of those who take family trips, 34 percent go on multi-generational vacations, which might mean grandparents are the ones footing the bill, said Resonance.
But as Millennial families acquire wealth and the kids in the household get more curious about the world, they’re likely to venture out even more and their bucket list will grow, Resonance said. African safaris, Arctic cruises (“Before it melts, Mom!”) or Inca Trail treks become more doable and desirable.
After all, many networked parents subsist on a daily feed of single and kid-less friends posting from coveted locations around the globe. Do not underestimate the Millennial FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) or, for that matter, the bragging rights that come from showing friends (and every follower) that hard-earned GoPro photo of little Declan posing at the top of the Eiffel Tower, Resonance said. Or that drone shot of the family finally making landfall on the Galapagos.
That’s not to say that the days of making the obligatory pilgrimage to The Magic Kingdom are over—far from it. But this next generation of family travelers is sure to travel more often and further afield than any other generation of families before.