Recently, I was invited to be on a Club Med Panel to discuss Millennial Travel Habits. With Budget Airlines and the lure of foreign waters, everyone wants to hop onto the next flight out of Singapore. With alternative views and habits, travelers are now living out their holidays with differing spending and consumption patterns.
Although I was one of the older members on the panel, I think we all have one thing in common … We all love to travel and we would do it more if we had the money.
How has travel evolved through the years and what are some of the Millennial Travel habits that most of us have adopted into our lives.
Need for Wifi
If we are to put Wifi in Maslow’s theory of needs, Wifi plays a very important role.
Remember getting off the plane at Bangkok and what is the first thing that you do? Travelers young and old make the queue to buy a SIM Card, so that they can have Data throughout their stay in Bangkok.
The Smart phone has taken over much of our lives and we need google and of course data, to help us navigate through the streets of India to London. Technology has made travelling so much easier and Wifi is something that we all can’t live without.
And lastly, why do most of us need data … we need to do research and most importantly post about our travels! Social media is a means by which many of us remember our holidays! 🙂
Cheap Accommodation with AIRBnB
When AirBnB first came out, most of my friends were asking me if I have tried it. Now…it is a matter of who hasn’t.
AirBnB has definitely brought down travelling cost, as accommodation is one of the main expenditures that all of us fret about when travelling overseas. With AirBnB, we have said goodbye to expensive hotels and travelers can now find affordable accommodation anywhere in the world. AirBnB is definitely the best travel companion for every travel junkie!
Goodbye Travel Agents and Travel Guides
The only time that I have used a travel agent was on a family vacation when I was young boy. Other than that, the travel industry has changed. Today, we sit in front of our screens and check out the best places to eat, best places to visit and we customize our own holidays according to our own preferences.
Even if you don’t do prior research, we google destinations via our smart phones and we figure out our itineraries along the way. The only time when we use tours, is when the destination is a bit unexplored or requires the use of special vehicles. Recently, we visited a active Volcano (Mount Pinatubo) and this was the only time in the recent years, where we had to book a local guide to help us.
As for travel guides, we used to value them like Guru encyclopedias which we needed to lag around. I remember when I was planning my Grad trip to Europe. I had tons of travel guides around my desk. A trip to the national library was important, as they had the biggest inventory of travel guides. Knowledge is King. Today, all we need is google … enough said!
Love Travel Sites like TripAdvisor
Before i book any hotel or visit any country, I regularly check in with Tripadvisor to check out the rating of hotels, sights and of course the pictures from fellow travelers. Looking at the pictures which recent travelers take, adds a more authentic feel to the research, as professional photographers can make anything look nice! 🙂
The Comments section is a real gold-mine, as there is nothing better than first hand, on-the-ground information. Trip Advisor plays a very important role in bringing one up-to-date with the most pertinent information that determine my traveling choices.
Document your Travels
Most of us do this or we know someone who does this! Millennial travelers … take photos … post on social media … and record their adventures and emotions online. One of the great things about Social Media is that technology makes it a norm for us to document ones’ travels.
Just don’t get overboard with social media, as you will not just be spamming your friends, but you might just be missing out on those moments. The best way to enjoy the moments is to make deliberate efforts to savor those moments for yourselves.
Travelling is not just about visiting the famous local landmarks, but it is also about sampling the culture which the country offers. As Singaporeans, we all love food and there is no better way to immerse yourself in your host country than by eating like a local.
With so many food blogs, eating like a local has never been made much easier! 🙂 Together with a Smart phone that offers GPS locations, one rarely gets lost when one goes off the beaten track. The best local dishes are usually “holed” up in the non-tourist belt and with good research, one can sample the best local delights.
Our travels will never be complete, until we have sampled the best local delights for ourselves! 🙂
Niche Travel Needs
From the rise of the Female Solo Traveler, adventure sports to staycations, the Millennial traveler has varied needs and desires. They are spontaneous travelers and they don’t mind re-using services which reward returning customers with points and the occasional price bargains.
To put it simply … we all want to travel, and do it in the most affordable way!
We all have our travel checklist and Millennials will research online to get the best bargains and get their bucket list accomplished via their travels.
Having a family that travels, we are always looking out for the best bargains before we fly. We don’t just want the cheapest flights but the cheapest accommodation at the same time.
In terms of servicing our needs, we don’t just love visiting the cities with their historical landmarks, but we also love the all-inclusive adventure packages found at Club Med. They don’t just provide scheduled sports with child care services, but food, drinks and entertainment for the whole family.
Therefore, it is not surprising that every 2-3 years, we have made a pilgrimage back to Club Med with the kids, just to basically take a break from the normal routine … let the kids do their own things in a safe environment … and just basically relax, play and eat! 🙂 … You can tell I am a fan! 🙂
Evolving Travel Trends
I am sure that many of us here can relate to the evolving travel trends, as together with Budget Airlines, Social Media and Online Travel Guides, the occasional overseas trip is becoming the new norm for everyone!