Millennials and Travel

Expedia and Egencia just released the results of a study that looked at business travel trends among various age groups. While according to this study I’m not a Millennial, the way some of the results were presented really rubbed me the wrong way.

First of all, the title is: “Millennials Spend More Freely, Complain More Loudly and Crave Mobile Devices for Business and Leisure Travel.” That plays right along with the oft-presented message that Millennials are selfish, whiney, demanding, and otherwise terrible people. However, I think this interpretation doesn’t look at all the data.

The study found that younger travelers were freer with their company’s money when traveling. Globally, business travelers aged 18-30 more frequently report that they will spend more of their company’s money on high-end meals (42%) than they would their own money compared to those aged 46-65 (26%).”

Younger people are earlier in their career, and therefore likely not making a ton of money. So yeah, when they are traveling for work, they are going to spend more on food than they would if they were using their own money. My own family rarely eats out, but when I travel there are no other options. Therefore, I spend more money eating out while traveling. But that doesn’t mean I’m not being responsible with my company’s money, right?

“They travel slightly more on business. Worldwide, 30-and-unders report traveling 4.7 times per year on business, versus 3.6 times per year among 31-45 year-olds, and 4.2 times per year among 46-65 year-olds.”

I think this is interesting, but likely due to the fact that the thirties are the years when a lot of people have younger kids, so just can’t travel as much.

“Millennials are also more likely to voice their displeasure. 18-30 year old business travelers are likeliest to post a negative review online, as it relates to their experience with hotels, restaurants, flights, public transportation, taxis and rental cars.”

Does it surprise anyone that people under 30 are more likely to utilize review sites like Yelp? I am not surprised at all. My younger sister is much more likely than my mom to post a review. It doesn’t mean she’s a whiney complainy pants, just that she uses those sites more.

So while I found the data interesting, I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusions. Millennials as a group may have their faults, but IMO this article jumps to conclusions without looking at the broader context.

Readers, what do you think? Do you agree with the interpretation of the survey?

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  1. I agree with your conclusion about the tone set by the report and your key points As a Millennial, the only way I know to give feedback is online. I’m not used to calling my airline or hotel and giving them direct feedback (partly because I don’t trust that they will do anything about it).

    And I would love to cook for myself rather than eat out! (Even if i burn grilled cheese more often than not) On business it’s hard to find those cheaper places too.

    Also, of all the traveling I have done this year (~125 nights with 60 flight segments), the most “whiney and demanding” people are tall white middle age male execs and short frazzle hair women, who act like anyone else on the plane is a detriment to their reality.

    Great insights!

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