Written by Adriana Serna, Director of Communications, CHTA
The travel industry has greatly focused on catering to and targeting millennials. The generation born between 1982 and 2000, now approximating the ripe old age of 36, represents 83 million people in the US, according to the US Census Bureau. This powerhouse demographic is inching its way into adulthood and changing family travel as we know it.
Some 1.3 million millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015, according to recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics, raising the total number of U.S. women in this generation who have become mothers to more than 16 million.
As millennial families grow, their desire to share their love of experiential travel with their offspring is growing along with them. Travel to the Caribbean continues to be a destination of choice, but the experiences they require have changed – and they’re not what you think they are. Below are the millennial family’s top 5 travel trends to watch out for.
The Millennial Family’s Top 5 Travel Trends
1. Immersive Family Friendly Activities: Millennial families need to be treated more like explorers than families, according to research carried out by the TMS Family Travel Summit. Family-friendly activities are not what they used to be. While taking the kids for a dip in the pool or on a kayaking trip is great, our millennial family wants to explore Mexican cenotes with their 5 year old or explore the rainforest in Belize.
2. Kid Friendly Personalization: They want their families to experience unique vacation experiences based on their interests and needs. This is why 30% of Millennials have used a travel agent in the last year according to the TMS Family Travel Summit research. Pursuing hobbies and wellness programs entice them to book at one destination over another.
3. More is More: They travel frequently. The average millennial took 5.4 vacations in the last year. 64% of millennial families took at least one international vacation in the past year – significantly more than millennial couples or singles; nearly 60% say they are planning more international trips. They are also more likely to visit new destinations; more than 80% went to destinations they had never visited.
4. Farm-to-family stays: Off the grid destinations that take you back to nature, offer sustainable, locally sourced product and truly local cuisine are huge draws for the average millennial. But for the millennial family, make sure to add a family friendly twist. For example the hotel can offer kid friendly cooking classes that include a lesson in how to grow local fruits and veggies, or a turtle petting zoo at a local rescue and conservation group.
5. There’s an App for That: Having a clean, mobile friendly, modern digital presence is essential. Nearly 80 percent of millennial families who downloaded a travel related smartphone app booked a travel service through one in the last year—significantly more than millennial couples. Millennial families are more loyal to travel brands; previous experience with a brand and its website color their booking decisions. Millennial family travelers typically book accommodations through an OTA. They greatly value WiFi availability and consumer reviews.