When you think about young people traveling, you might imagine college kids in dingy hotel rooms, packed in like sardines on floors and sofas, pulling wrinkled clothing out of overstuffed duffle bags.
However, a recent survey from Chase says that picture isn’t accurate for the millennial generation. The children of Generation X, born in the mid-to-late 1980s through the 1990s, are luxury-seekers and social connectors, according to the Chase survey.
Turns out, the younger generation is the one most likely to take advantage of hotel perks like dry cleaning, massages, spa services, and Wi-Fi. Unlike their older counterparts, they prize luxury over staying within a budget. Forty-eight percent of Millennials said that when traveling, they indulge in luxury services. In contrast, 72% of travelers ages 50 – 67 said that keeping spending within their budget is the most important consideration when staying in a hotel.
Specific services desired by Millennials include dry cleaning (32%) and massage and spa services (30%). And wherever they go, many of them want to bring Fido along. Twenty-three percent named pet-friendliness as an important perk when choosing a hotel.
Some Millennials also prefer being able to get around without renting a car. Lack of easy access to public transportation is a deal-breaker for 19% of people under 35, while people ages 50 to 67 prefer to be near a landmark or an airport.
Tech savvy generation needs Wi-Fi to stay connected
Millennials are also more concerned about staying in touch with their community through social media while they’re traveling. Although 57% of Millennials said they’re interested in meeting other people at their hotel, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networking sites are a way for them to connect to people at home as well.
Seventy-three percent of young people report posting to at least one social network a day when they are away from home, and an overwhelming 97% post on social networks at some point during a trip away from home.
Even before leaving home, Millennials are more likely than older folks to take advantage of social media to plan their trips. Forty-four percent of them said they check opinions on social networks when researching a trip. Only 28% of people 35 to 49 and 11% of people 50 to 67 utilize social media for trip-planning purposes.
Elite status desired more by Millennials
When it comes to having elite status from their traveler loyalty program, those under 35 are twice as likely to prize it than people over 35. Eighteen percent of Millennials aid they prefer to have elite traveler status, while only 6% of people ages 35 to 49 and 4% of those 50 to 67 cared about elite status.
There were some differences in preferences among genders as well as ages. More women wanted free flights or hotel stays from their rewards program (49% of women versus 37% of men) and men would rather redeem points for travel-related items (35% of men versus 27% of women).
Survey respondents had stayed in a hotel for at least five nights during the previous year, either for business or pleasure. The survey was conducted in April. Just over one thousand people ages 18 to 67 participated.