Recent Study Shows Millennials Prioritize Travel

According to a recent conducted study examining the priorities of millennials, travelling abroad ranked higher than most of what else might concern a young person – this included priorities like buying a home or car, savings and retirement funds, and even paying off debt. It seems that the up-and-coming generation of Edmontonians will be buying less Edmonton Homes and more plane tickets.

The study involved approximately 1,000 participants aged 18 to 35 in the U.S., U.K. and China. It posed a question to millennials: What are your priorities for the next five years? The study’s aim was to determine the emphasis that those of the younger generation place on travel and what will influence their travel decisions.

In the U.S., participants gave savings and investment funds the position of highest import, closely followed by travel and vehicular purchases. Also, travelling sat higher than becoming a home owner.

In the U.K., travelling and savings sat virtually equal, and, consequently, both ousted home-buying from the top spot.

Across the Pacific Ocean in China, travel was of the highest import, by far. Trailing was purchasing a car, followed by a home.

The study showed that 55% of U.K. respondents, 56% of those in the U.S. and 83 percent in China plan to spend more of travel this year than they did the year before. This seems to highlight that travel is not only the top priority but also its rise is popularity over a short period. There could be a few reasons for this, possibly a sense of limited time due to the perception of state of the world or simply a popularization of world travel. The study never touched on such topics, but one can surmise.

When it comes to accommodation, over 50% of participants claimed they prefer staying in neighbourhoods further from attractions over tourist hubs with easy access – a finding that was no doubt intriguing to Airbnb. Consequently, both the use of Airbnb and couchsurfing could find themselves on the rise.

Memories are what make travel and what push us toward more. Millennials, according to the study, said their most memorable travel experiences incorporated food as opposed to nightlife, history or tourist attractions. Also, approximately three quarters said they preferred curating their own travel experience over having a travel agent or tour operator do the same.

When many people choose where they will jet to next, they usually consider places they have heard of through various methods rather than choosing at random. Millennials are no different. Their greatest influence was social media (three in four participants), beating out recommendations from work colleagues, tourism sites or new sites.

Large scale shifts in travel styles are being seen as buying power slowly moves from one generation to the next. Living and eating like a local along with self-guided experiences have seen an increase in popularity. As a generation’s priorities shift, a new way of living is becoming apparent ­– saving for the present ahead of saving for the future. What effect will this have on the future? How will it change the way millennials view the world and how will that influence the next generation? Perhaps these philosophical questions are best left for another time or place but one thing seems certain – as with every generation before them, millennials are looking to make their own choices.

Even though this study wasn’t conducted in Canada, many of our own millennials share the same sentiments. Edmonton homes will no doubt continue to be sought and purchased in the future, they just might have to wait a little longer.

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