The Wanderlust Generations
By Jason Jourdan
After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, younger demographics are ready to jump at a chance to travel! Millennial and Gen Z travelers account for a rising percentage of the international travel market and are driven by a desire to experience more from life. They’re seeking adventure travel experiences that are authentic, active, and sustainable.
Millennials are considered socially conscious travelers as most under 30 are more likely to consider the environmental impact of trips more than previous generations. Globetrender found Gen Zers to be equally, if not more, conscious of the environment. These demographics are also more apt to be committed to implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including equality, climate change, peace, justice, poverty, and prosperity. The COVID-19 pandemic may have provided them with more opportunities to experience authentic travel while controlling their carbon footprint than ever before!
Many Millennials and Gen Zers aspire to live the digital nomad lifestyle. The pandemic has helped many realize their dreams. It’s not uncommon for people working remotely to now spend months in various cities around the globe. Brands like Airbnb are already predicting increases in multi-month stays as previously tethered business professionals begin taking their remote offices on the road. Small cities and communities could see their economies benefit from these wanderers. As these locales witness a surge of tourism, the focus will be on what makes them unique. Airbnb already has neighborhood guides tailored to travelers interested in culturally enriching experiences and local cuisine.
The Wanderlust Generations are far more likely to spend money on travel than traditional investments, like mortgages. Pre-COVID research indicates Millennial, and Gen Z travelers were already trending toward cultural explorations and adventures instead of prepackaged vacations.
‘Real’ travel adventures will be served up in small-group and independent excursions, following COVID-19 guidelines. Large tour groups and crowded tour buses will fall by the wayside as nomadic wanders embrace small-group and independent travel preferences.
Adventure is the order of the day! A Booking.com study found 56% of Gen Zers want to stay active with an adventure travel experience such as bungee jumping or paragliding, with 52% planning an excursion to an extreme destination!
The survey also confirmed the younger generations are no longer in favor of the Spring break party atmosphere. Instead, 86% said they want culturally immersive experiences, and 69% advocating for the best in local cuisine. These were the top motivating factors cited, ahead of partying and shopping, by participants 18 to 24.
Topdeck Travel’s findings paint a positive picture of what we can expect for youth travel in 2021, with 93% of young adults polled stating that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have caused an increased desire among them to travel more post-pandemic.
• 75% of Gen Zers and Millennials plan to take longer trips abroad once travel reopens.
• Despite COVID, 81% stated they’re looking to travel further afield in 2021.
• Resilient and ready for adventure, 83% of young adults plan on some form of travel soon.
Most participants were cautiously optimistic about the prospects facing them in a new COVID-19 normal. To ease planning, the Adventure Travel Trade Association, ATTA has prepared Adventure Travel Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines. The ATTA’s technical team has in-depth industry knowledge. It focuses exclusively on the adventure travel industry and activities like Trekking, Cycling, Rafting, Camping, Culinary Experiences, Cultural Tours/Sightseeing, Small Lodges, Small Vessels Cruising, Skiing & Snowboarding, and Wildlife Experiences.
In addition to the obvious hazards associated with paragliding, bungee jumping, and cliff diving, adventure travel has inherent risks associated with travelers, hosts, and destinations that are especially prone to transmit viruses. Adventure travelers gravitate to activities not known for hygiene, like camping, hiking, and other lengthy excursions in remote locations. Limited healthcare resources and coming into contact with people from geographically diverse areas also contribute to the challenges facing young adventurers eager to escape lockdown.
Fortunately, Point Comfort® offers protection that’s made to order for any adventurer! With expertise and medical expense coverage for Covid-19 up to $100,000, Point Comfort® plans include benefits for Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation, Emergency Medical Reunion, Return of Minor Child, and Local Burial or Cremation. Most domestic policies have minimal to no international coverage.
Motivated to seek authentic, active, and sustainable experiences, Millennials and Gen Zers are modeling a path forward for the Adventure Travel Industry. Point Comfort® International Travel Medical Insurance's protection has them covered in their quest for sustainable options, cultural experiences, and localized economic benefits.
CLICK HERE to learn more about International Travel Medical Insurance, and get your free quote today!