A new study from Airbnb — which just might have a bit of a vested interested here — says millennials are more interested in spending money on experiences than ownership. Meaning, they'd rather travel than own a home. The study labels this group "Generation Experience." Millennials in the U.S. and U.K. rank travel as more important than buying a home. U.K. millennials actually rank travel above paying off debt, while those in the U.S. are balancing a desire to travel with concern for reducing their levels of debt. Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, with more than 7 million college grads defaulting on their exorbitant loan payments.
And the way they travel has changed, too, with 75% of millennials in the study reporting they are not interested in pre-packaged tours or trips. More than eight in 10 millennials said they are looking for unique travel experiences, ideally creating their own itineraries, rather than leaving it up to a tour company.
With the advent of smartphones and worldwide connectivity, millennials are less inclined to be packed on a bus going from one tourist attraction to another — and who can blame them? Not surprisingly, this spills over into what travelers do when they get to their destinations. Eating well is a priority, with 75% of American millennials preferring to dine at local restaurants, rather than something they can get at home, and nearly 60% are looking for adventure, rather than relaxation.