How travelling has become the new growth quotient for millennials?

The post-pandemic era has witnessed a sudden surge in travel bookings led by millennials. Millennials are born between 1983 and 1994 and comprise about 34% of India’s population. Realising how difficult it can be to remain in the confines of home for prolonged periods has made the idea of ‘traveling’ much more appealing.

Millennials and later populations are technologically savvy, globally connected, and prioritise spending on experiences over possessions. Due to varied skill-based earning opportunities, this group is choosing quality over quantity. It has increased the need for higher-quality lodging, more comfortable transportation, and personalised packaging of travel options.

Significance of traveling for millennials 

Traveling to new places and experiencing new cultures has become the new growth mantra for millennials. This generation prefers exploring diverse cultures and learning something new to escape the daily grind. It’s a means to personal development. They are passionate about life and believe in learning through practical experiences. In other words, they seek unique travel experiences to shape their personalities and create lasting memories.

Additionally, we’re witnessing a brand-new travel trend known as “B-leisure” or “Bizcation,” which blends business and pleasure travel. The pandemic has normalized work-from-home, allowing millennials to work remotely while on vacation. The concept of working and having a good time at the same time appeals to this generation of enthusiasts. Travel for them has moved beyond the traditional sightseeing coach trips, and experiences are the currency of young India.

Unraveling the significance of ‘growth’ for millennials

In a hyper-competitive world, millennials prioritise professional growth through personal development. They believe in breaking the monotony of life and spending time away from routines to grow as individuals. Traveling becomes an excellent escape to offer that newness and a chance to unwind and explore something novel. It also provides a mental break and an opportunity to think and introspect. Traveling has evolved into a key to understanding how the external world functions and a chance to discover how the individual can cope and excel in it.

Motivating the millennials to travel

Over the past few years, millennials have become highly motivated to travel. Cited below are some key factors that encourage millennials to travel:

  • Mental well-being: Being mentally well and feeling good about life is essential. The pandemic was an eye-opening experience, and it made us realize how life can change instantly. Many people became aware of mental well-being and its significance during this time. People gradually acknowledged that mental wellness can be achieved by taking breaks from mundane things and providing freshness to the mind with refreshing views and exploring the world. 
  • Increased use of social media: Globally, the number of social media users has grown to 4.70 billion as of August 2022. This increased social media usage has upped people’s desire to travel. Travel for millennials is no longer an intimate experience. It has to be unique, and they seek experiences they can share with the world. 
  • Quality time with family and friends: The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of life and given a new meaning to value of time. Vacationing and holidays are excellent ways to invest time in relationships that matter the most. Thus, travel plans are frequently made to be nearer to friends and family and compensate for the time usually lost in making two ends meet in routine life.
  • Breaking free from daily tedium: Attention spans are shrinking, and life can sometimes seem boring compared to the hyperactive digital world. The need for continuous entertainment and excitement, paired with flexible working conditions, makes for an exciting opportunity to explore the world.

Transforming behavior of millennials 

The behavior of millennials is evolving due to the changing economy. Some key trends that are altering this are:

  • B-leisure for millennials: People have been working from home for a long time, popularising terms such as “B-leisure.” For a B-leisure trip, millennials typically add a few extra days to their business trip for leisure. This could also mean friends or family tagging along for business trips that often extend a few days solely for relaxation.
  • Travel tech: Millennials plan their vacations cost-efficiently, often leveraging technology to find the best deals. Numerous apps and platforms available today can help one discover the best time to purchase a flight ticket to last-minute hotel deals. As a technology-savvy generation, millennials are making the most of travel tech to stretch their dollar.
  • Off-the-beaten-track and Unique Experiences: Travel for millennials is no longer about visiting popular tourist spots and checking off the most famous sights. This generation is looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and capture memories with a high shareability quotient. They are seeking experiences that are off-the-beaten-path. 

Despite all the world’s challenges today, there’s never been a better time to be alive. History has repeatedly proved that whenever a civilisation has developed an explorer’s mindset, it has led to the golden age of growth. India has amongst the youngest populations in the world, with over 65% below 40 years of age, and primed to make the most of this inflection point. Access to exponentially improving technology, variety of content, and the desire to explore beyond the beaten path has created the perfect environment for millennials to leverage Travel as a means to personal growth. 

by Gaurav Chopra

(The author is Founder & CEO, IndiaLends-online marketplace for credit products)

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