Millennial Parents: The New Generation of Family Travel

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by Meghan Carty + Skift Team - Feb 2020

Skift Research Take

Families headed by Millennial parents are taking an ever larger share of the family travel market. To win them over, the industry needs to know what sets them apart from their generational peers.

Report Overview

The Millennial parent, or Millennial family, perspective is one that is not often considered, even though in many countries, the majority of those in this generational cohort have children. Millennials in general remain an appealing target market for the travel industry due to their unique values, behaviors, and preferences (and that’s not to mention the generation’s size and growing spending power). But does being a parent change what we have come to know is true about Millennials?

In this report, Skift Research tackles this question. Drawing from the data from our 2019 Millennial and Gen Z Traveler Survey, we dig into the travel habits and preferences of Millennial parents. From our survey data, we compare Millennial parents to Millennial non-parents in the five countries where responses were collected: the U.S., UK, Australia, China, and India. We identify big trends across the countries, and also point out key differences among the countries where they exist. This data analysis reveals some exciting findings, like Millennial parents are more optimistic about their future travel spending, they’re more interested in many types of trips and trip activities, and they’re more concerned about environmentally responsible travel.

In conjunction with the findings from the survey data, in-depth interviews with family travel experts allow us to contextualize how Millennial parents are changing the family travel segment. We end the report with five best practices for travel industry stakeholders who want to successfully tap into this segment.

Survey Methodology

Skift Research’s Millennial and Gen Z Traveler Survey 2019 collected responses from respondents ages 16–38 in July 2019 who reside in five countries around the world. Around 1,000 responses each were collected from the U.S. (1,046), China (1,143), and India (1,015), due to the larger size of these markets, and around 500 each were collected from the UK (509) and Australia (523).

To qualify, respondents had to indicate that they had taken at least one leisure trip in the last 12 months. For this project, a leisure trip is defined as at least one night’s paid stay 50 miles or more from home. They also had to indicate their current age as 16 to 38 years old. For all countries, our final responses came from approximately 30% Gen Z (16–22) and 70% Millennials (23–38).

When we resliced the data for this report, we excluded Gen Z respondents, leaving only those who were ages 23 to 38 at the time of the survey. This resulted in final sample sizes of: U.S. N=705, UK N=325, Australia N=353, China N=840, and India N=805.

All surveys except for China were fielded in English to English-speaking respondents, and currencies and other items were localized accordingly. The China survey was translated into simplified Chinese. The surveys were fielded by a trusted third-party consumer panel provider.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Why family travel is an attractive market from an expenditure perspective
  • The current and future scope of Millennial family travel
  • How Millennials are changing what “family” means, and therefore what family travel is
  • How Millennial parents compare to non-parents in travel spending, booking and planning behavior, and activity preferences across and between countries
  • The implications of the above findings for the family travel segment
  • Five best practices for travel industry stakeholders, including best-in-class case studies

Executives Interviewed

  • Amanda Dunning - Brand Partnership Manager, G Adventures
  • Amanda Norcross - Lead Editor of Tripadvisor’s family travel site Family Vacation Critic
  • Anne Taylor Hartzell - Founder, Hip Travel Mama and VP of Marketing for Ciao Bambino!
  • Lish Kennedy - VP of Global Brand Marketing, Vrbo
  • Richard Liddle - CEO & Founder, Two Point Four

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