There’s a generation gap when it comes to the sharing economy. According to an AARP survey, just 9 percent of Boomers plan to use services like Airbnb and VRBO when they travel this year, versus 22 percent of Millennials. In fact, there are several big differences in the way that Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials vacation, the survey found.
Destination is an example. According to AARP Travel, while all generations are big fans of domestic trips, international trips are clearly more popular among younger travelers than they are among their older counterparts. Thirteen percent of Millennials are planning vacations to international destinations in 2016, compared with just 5 percent of Boomers.
And the reasons for travel vary, too. Perhaps a reflection of their different stages in life, older and younger travelers will be packing their bags for dissimilar reasons in 2016, says the survey. For Boomers, this will be a big year to check off bucket list spots: Nearly one-quarter of Boomers are planning vacations to “trip-of-a-lifetime” destinations. Family travel is in order for Gen Xers, with more than four in 10 planning multi-generational trips involving three or more generations of family. And Millennials are looking for love via romantic getaways, with almost one-third opting for this kind of trip in the new year.
“This new survey shows that there is a clear generation gap among Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials when it comes to taking a vacation, from planning to trip experiences to sharing memories,” says Stephanie Miles, VP, Products & Platforms, AARP. “While everyone wants to travel, they have differing tastes and ways of making their trips their own.”
* How they book their trip: Younger travelers are more likely to use online travel booking sites to make their trip arrangements. Nearly eight in 10 Millennials use sites like Expedia and Priceline to book their vacations, while just half of Boomers use such sites. Gen Xers are more in line with Millennials: around three-quarters of them are using booking sites.
* What they pack: Given that Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials have differing opinions on the types of trips they want to take, it’s not surprising that they’re also packing different “must have” items in their luggage. Boomers say that a good book and a list of emergency contact information are among the most important items to take with them on vacation. Gen Xers take a camera to document their trip, while Millennials are more interested in kicking back, with jeans and flip-flops in their suitcases.
* How they share the trip via social media: One-third of Boomers say they post to social media sites while on vacation. Younger generations are far more frequent social media sharers: more than half of Gen Xers and eight in 10 Millennials post at least once during their trips.
* How much cost matters: For older travelers, cost affects travel plans less than it does for younger travelers. Thirty-seven percent of Boomers say increased air fare affects their vacation plans, compared with 57 percent of Gen Xers and 63 percent of Millennials. Younger trip-takers are also more likely to establish a budget than older ones: 63 percent of Gen Xers and 65 percent of Millennials say they make a trip budget, while just 42 percent of Boomers make one.
The online survey was conducted in September among males and females 18 and older who had taken at least one trip 50 miles or more away from home, with a two-night stay, in the past two years.