- Expedia Media Solutions, the advertising group of online travel giant Expedia, reports almost 90% of Gen Z, the youngest demographic group, said social media influences their travel plans, according to a study by the company. Online searches and connections to friends and family influence Gen Z, with Facebook and Instagram emerging as the most influential platforms. This group is also more likely than older generations to be influenced by Snapchat.
- More than any other generation, over 70% of millennials said ads of deals, photos and information influence their travel decisions. Millennials travel on average about 35 days a year, more than any other generation, and seek a wider variety of trip types, including off-the-beaten-path destinations, visiting family, sightseeing, romantic getaways and leisure, the study found.
- Gen X is influenced less by social media than younger generations, but more than half say Facebook affects their decisions. They are also more likely than Gen Z to be influenced by Pinterest. Baby Boomers travel more to visit family than other generations, making their travel habits seem more predictable than other generations, per the same study conducted by Northstar Research Partners
Expedia’s findings highlight how travel tastes and booking strategies differ among four generations of American consumers, with younger generations like millennials and Gen Z more interested in seeking unique experiences they can digitally capture and share on social media. For companies trying to reach these groups with travel-related services and products, this makes a successful one-size-fits-all approach unlikely.
Baby boomers are the least likely to research travel destinations beforehand. Instead, more than 55% of the group has already decided where they are traveling to, and 43% said they don’t need help with planning. Two-thirds of boomers (66%) are influenced by ads with informative content, compared with about 60% influenced by ads with appealing deals.
Generation X, the group born from the mid-1960s until 1980, is often considered the most family-oriented among American generations. Gen Xers travel on average 26 days a year, fewer than any other generation, but they spend more on hotels and prefer relaxing trips, sightseeing and visiting family. About 90% of Gen X travels domestically with 43% opting for road trips, Expedia found, which may explain their willingness to allot more of their budget to hotels (30%) and attractions or tours (13%). Gen X is influenced less by social media than younger generations, which marketers should keep in mind when strategizing for targeting different consumer groups.
Gen Zers travel an average of 29 days a year and tend to have a preplanned budget in making plans, which could at least be partially attributed to the often lower budgets associated with young consumers. They spend about 25% of their budgets on flights while often looking for cheaper lodging, as they spend less on hotels than other generations, signaling a trend in their willingness to consider alternatives like Airbnb and hostels. Nearly 90% of Gen Z travelers said their decisions are influenced by social media, particularly Snapchat, which influences this tech-savvy group more than any other generation. This points to an advertising opportunity for marketers looking to reach this young consumer group on social platforms.