August 17, 2021

GetYourGuide Travel Study Reveals Clashes and Alignments Amongst Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X

Travel was the highest ranked activity respondents were looking forward to post-pandemic - above eating in restaurants, attending parties and going to bars/clubs.

Nearly half of Millennials (48%) and more than half of Gen Xers (60%) are planning domestic trips, while more than half (51%) of Gen Zers are taking a more adventurous route and opting for international travels.

Most Millennials (63%) are willing to spend more to have excursions planned for them. is releasing a new study that reveals American travel is at the top of everyone's mind, although generations are divided in their approach to travel plans. There are certain elements of travel and planning Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X agree on – safety concerns, the annoyance of budgeting and a desire for more outdoor adventures. However, there are divisions amongst these groups – how far they are looking to go, frequency of travel, budget and what they are willing to spend more money on for their trips.

Below are key findings from GetYourGuide's survey and insights around what to expect for the duration of summer, and into the fall and holiday season as restrictions fluctuate.

As Americans Look Forward to Travel, Millennials and Gen X Stay Closer to Home While Gen Z Looks International

Americans have been in quarantine awaiting the day travel restrictions ease and they can begin planning getaways again.

  • The majority of respondents across generations (70%) have started planning their vacations, but where people are going varies.
    • Gen Z is the most adventurous generation with more than half (51%) planning international trips and 37% domestic.
      • The top international cities for U.S. travelers include San Juan, Dubai, Cyclades and Paris.
    • Nearly half of Millennials (48%) and more than half of Gen Xers (61%) are planning to stay domestic. 35% of Millennials and 20% of Gen Xers are looking to go international.

  • Gen Z and Millennials have been taking advantage of travel restrictions lifting – 37% of Gen Zers and 34% of Millennials traveled to another city in the last month. On the other hand, Gen X is more hesitant with 33% not having traveled to another city in more than a year.

  • All generations are most looking forward to traveling to the beach – ranking it first, above mountains, cities and countryside. The desired beaches of Miami and San Diego are likely what landed those locations in the top four U.S. cities for Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X.
    • In addition to the beach, Gen Z and Millennials are also excited to explore new cities – the places they plan to visit within the U.S. include New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego.
    • Gen X is looking to plan a visit to New York City, Miami, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Safety Remains Top Concern, Creating High Demand for Outdoor Activities

Despite rising vaccination rates, the impact of COVID-19 is still very present for many. People are traveling again, but keeping a close eye on where and how to travel safely as the pandemic continues. When it comes to travel concerns, the generations are on the same page.

  • Safety remains top of mind across all generations, with a little more than half of respondents from each generation saying it is their top concern surrounding travel plans – Gen Z (57%), Millennials (54%) and Gen X (55%).
  • In an effort to stay safe while venturing out into the world, outdoor excursions are the most in-demand activities. All three generations ranked outdoor adventures as the top experience they are excited to plan.
  • Twenty-four percent of total respondents ranked flexibility regarding cancelations as their top concern. As COVID-19 rates and regulations fluctuate, travelers will be looking for assurances they will not lose money if plans have to change at the last minute.

Consumers Trading Out Screen Time and Cryptocurrency for Real World Experiences

Throughout the pandemic, Americans picked up new habits and hobbies – binge watching was popular, but many also took advantage of the time to learn about and invest in cryptocurrencies. In hopes that they'll be able to leave their COVID bubbles, they're looking to cash in their profits and enjoy real life experiences in the outside world.

  • Millennials dabbled in cryptocurrency investing the most during the pandemic (42%).
  • Across generations of respondents that invested in cryptocurrency during the pandemic, more than one third said they were very likely to spend those earnings on real life experiences.
  • Across generations the most popular new hobbies picked up were streaming and baking or cooking. After those activities, the generations divide a bit:
    • Gen Zers took up photography (43%), which they can take to the next level with an unforgettable sunrise photo tour with a professional photo guide in Oahu, Hawaii
    • Millennials prioritized fitness (45%), which they can now enjoy outdoors with a yoga & walking tour in Central Park, NY
    • Gen Xers watched documentaries (40%) and will now be able to experience nature in real life with a sunset whale watching tour in Monterey, California

Budgeting Proves Most Annoying Aspect of Travel Planning – Millennials Willing to Spend More

The goal of travel is always fun, but there are of course annoyances, especially in terms of the planning. People are looking to go all out on their post-pandemic revenge travel trips, but financial realities can be a rude awakening. While the generations may agree on the greatest annoyance and what makes a trip memorable, some are more willing to spend more to enhance their trips and trip planning experiences.

  • All three generational groups cited budgeting for trips as the most annoying aspect of planning a trip.
    • However, Millennials are more willing than Gen Z or Gen X to pay to have someone else plan excursions for them (63%).
    • Across generations, respondents cited unique experiences as having the greatest impact on their favorite vacations (38% of Gen Zers, 48% of Millennials and 43% of Gen Xers). However, only Millennials are budgeting more for that element of their trips.
      • Millennials are budgeting more for experiences than Gen Z and Gen X; 20% of Millennials are spending $51 - $100 per person for experiences each day, while only 15% of Gen Z and 14% of Gen X are budgeting that amount.

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