When booking travel you’ll need to know what Millennials are searching for. They are not interested in what your website says unless it is also what they want.

You may be losing business if you are not painfully aware of how these people decide to travel.

Millennials look for new experiences, but the fear of going on a budget without having the opportunity to spend their money on what they really want to do is what haunts them the most.

According to Lindsay, Stone & Briggs Insights on Millennial Travel Behavior infographic, Millennials were 82% of people booking vacations.  Of those, 72% said they would like to spend more on experiences. Given that Millennials are such a large percentage of your client base, it is definitely in your best interest to get to know them better.

Who Is the Me-Me Generation?

They’re the generation born between 1980s and 2000s. The label “Millennial” is not synonymous with lack of experienced or life skills as many people tend to assume.

The Me-Me Generation? Simple. They are Millennials who knew their own needs before anyone else. For example, this generation always wants to personalize their trips. Travel companies such as yours need to take this into account,

(I prefer to) personalize (my own booking experience) because I have different taste than the general mass tourist.

– Annette Esquibel, 29, Anthropologist.

How US Millennials Book Their Activities When Traveling

According to TripAdvisor, there are important things that describe how this generation travels,

  1. Millennials plan their trips ahead.  They book their travel weeks or  months in advance.
  2. Online reviews and ratings are some of the elements that  influences them.
  3. Offers that include transportation or accommodation are better received than brand-based offers.
  4. They prefer to compare reviews on travel websites.
  5. Even if Millennials live by technology, they prefer the old-fashioned things like having info printed.
  6. They like to save money by booking cheaper transport and accommodations so they can take longer trips and enjoy a wider array of activities.

Exploring Millennials Booking Activities Experience

Most of the time these people are on a budget. Their booking are based on dates, price, and offers. Feeling like a tourist, also, make them feel anxious when traveling.

To this day, US Millennials would rather prefer to “discover” what to do at their destination. They like to ask locals, view ratings, and read reviews. They want to understand other cultures when traveling.

According to Airbnb, over 80% of Millennials say the best way to learn about a place is to live like the locals do.

Mapping their journey

To understand Millennials better I interviewed five of them characterized as “travel junkies.” These are people who travel more than three times a year.

I used Card Sorting to pin down what drove their selection. I discovered that they wanted to have new experiences, different than what they’ve had in the past. A little bit of culture shock, but not too much.

Afterwards, I created a journey map based on how they book an activity when traveling,

War and Love and the Tech Lifestyle

The main things Millennials use the technology for is,

Millennials mobile devices are part of their sharing and planning.

There is a bit of tension whether to live the experience without their tech gadgets or not.

Keeping their gadgets usually wins.

The Power of Social Media and FOMO

Millennials like to say that Social Media is not part of their travel experience. But it is a must have before they book a trip. It influences their behavior and needs.

When researching for activities I use social media as a first or second step, but not the final decider, it’s part of the process.

—Amanda Gelb, 31

For example, if they see something cool one of their friends posted, they would be influenced by it. It makes them want to do it, too.

Social media has become a big part of travel ‘Oh I want to do what she did on her IG.

What’s Next for Your Website

Here are four simple improvements you can make to attract Millennials,

  1. Present offers that fit their dates. Understand which dates Millennials are willing to travel, don’t just drop random offers. Millennials will feel overwhelmed if it doesn’t fit their schedule.
  2. Testimonials. Let them know how the experience will feel. Not only by showing them photos and rating made, but also reviews by real people work. Video testimonials work best.
  3. Be authentic. Offer them activities that makes them want to share new experiences to the world. Different cultures or nature. Anything that they would find remarkable.
  4. Booking toolbox. They will be willing to take your app anywhere if it helps them experience new activities. They may even use it for booking side-trips.

Finding themselves in every experience is a must. Being part of the experiencing is a way of living. Feeling like locals when traveling makes them feel part it all.

Upcoming Webinar

If you’d like to know more about this topic be sure to register for our free webinar “Millennials Trip-To-Toe Travel Experience” on December 11 at 11:00 am PST.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at dunzueta@nearsoft.com.