From ambitious bucket lists to travel itineraries packed with adventure, Gen Z travelers can’t wait to experience the world
- Booking.com releases the most comprehensive global research into the wants and needs of the next generation of global travelers - Gen Z
- This is the generation most excited and optimistic about their future travel and they’re ready to go at it alone
- Gen Z prioritizes travel spend over material possessions and almost half (47%) think travel is always worth spending money on
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 9, 2019 - With the power to shape the future, Gen Z (aged 16-24) are on their way to discovering the world through travel. Already the subject of much speculation, many have assumed how this generation will behave, but what do they actually have to say for themselves? In an increasingly connected world, with travel more accessible than ever before, Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travelers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, a range of must-do travel experiences and seamless transport options, has conducted global research with almost 22,000 respondents across 29 markets to get insights into the Gen Z traveler*, revealing not just their travel plans, but how these link to their wider aspirations for life.
While many US Gen Zers have only just come of age, they most certainly already know what they want when it comes to their travel plans:
- Gen Z have an optimistic outlook on travel, with 56% excited for all the places they’ll travel to in the future
- One in four (27%) plan to have visited at least three different continents over the next ten years and 22% intend to have studied or lived in a different country (39% female vs. 19% male)
- Gen Z is a daring bunch with 49% wanting an adventure experience from their travels and 44% planning on visiting or trekking to an extreme location
- 48% of Gen Z say traveling in their own country helps them to learn and discover more about themselves
Ready to go Solo
Many young travelers are already stepping out into the world with their family, with over two in five (43%) Gen Z travelers indicating they mainly do it because it allows them to go on trips that they would not otherwise have the funds for. But as Gen Z looks to fly the nest, they’re keen to do it alone.
- Independence is a priority for this generation. Over the next ten years, a third of Gen Z (33%) plan to have traveled on their own at least once (39% women vs. 32% men)
- Gen Z’s passion to ‘fly solo’ is further revealed with over a third (35%) saying they prefer to be alone when they travel (more so than all other age demographics) and 18% wanting to take a solo backpacking trip / gap year
Already Champions of the Bucket List
Two-thirds (65%) of Gen Z have already compiled a travel bucket list (a list of things to do or see before they die), with this figure rising to 79% across Gen Z females (vs. 63% men).
Reasons for having a travel bucket list are varied:
- Daydreamers: Almost two in five (38%) say it’s because they enjoy thinking about all the places that they’re going to travel to in their life
- A never-ending list: Almost one-fifth (18%) say they get satisfaction from traveling to places on their bucket list as soon as possible so they can begin adding more new places. In fact, a quarter (26%) of Gen Z plan to have checked at least five epic trips off their bucket list in the next ten years
- Keeping on top of great destinations: Over a quarter (28%) say that having a bucket list helps them keep track of amazing places to travel to that they’ve never heard of before
- Inspired by Insta: 43% have been inspired to make their own adventures by seeing influencers’ trips online
Having a travel bucket list doesn’t just reveal an intention to travel to new places, it also provides a deeper insight on the generation’s broader travel behaviors. For the 35% of Gen Z without a bucket list, the reasons also vary:
- 11% feel their preferences change too frequently which is bound to affect their travel destinations
- One quarter (25%) say it’s because they opt to travel impulsively and don’t plan in advance
- In fact, Gen Z are the most likely of all age demographics to say they don’t have a bucket list because they like to travel impulsively
- Of the 49% of Baby Boomers (those 55+) who don’t have a bucket list, 16% say they prefer to travel impulsively. Millennials (those aged 25-39) and Gen X (those aged 40-54) also travel more impulsively than Gen Z (20% and 17% respectively).
Travel vs. Life Goals
Gen Z have grown up in a world where over the last decade or so, global financial and economic turbulence has become almost the norm, and so understanding their stance on finances (specifically how they plan to spend their money over the next five years), is a useful barometer for their overall outlook on life.
More than half (53%) of Gen Zers think that travel is always worth investing in. And when it comes to prioritization, “travel and seeing the world” ranked as most important to this generation when thinking about how they spend their money. Saving for ‘a down payment on a house’ came a close second and interestingly, more material possessions ranked lowest.
What Gen Z plans to spend their money over the next 5 years
% of global Gen Z travelers
% of US Gen Z travelers
Traveling and seeing the world
Saving for a down payment on a house / property
Investing in higher education / professional training
Saving for retirement
Spending money on experiences or products that are environmentally friendly
Saving for wedding/civil partnership
Buying new tech
Buying designer clothes/shoes/accessories
Unpacking Gen Z priorities
When questioned about how they’d prioritize spending their money, travel came out top in six out of seven choices for Gen Z, especially when compared to material possessions or more fleeting experiences. Travel ranked above the likes of furniture and homewares, clothes and fashion, tech and gadgets, eating at restaurants and spa and beauty treatments.
When thinking about how Gen Z would like to spend their money, this is how they would prioritize:
Spa / beauty treatments (25%)
Eating out at restaurants (43%)
Furniture / homewares (40%)
Clothes / fashion/shoes (44%)
Tech / gadgets (47%)
Out of office: On
Whether still contemplating their future vocation, or having just ventured into the workforce, the notion of a career is still pretty fresh, so it's unsurprising Gen Z rank getting a job as their most important life experience (73%). But with travel being such a passion point for this generation, prospective employers should take note, as 44% of Gen Z say the opportunity to travel for work is important when selecting a job and almost half (48%) say a job where they get to experience other cultures is attractive to them.
“As the first generation of digital natives comes of age, it’s exciting to see this research reveal that Gen Z travelers are a determined generation whose excitement to explore means that they have mapped out many of their future travel plans already,” said Ram Papatla, Vice President of Global Experiences at Booking.com. “Their affinity and comfort with technology dovetails perfectly with our ambition to learn and deliver an even more seamless, connected trip experience. We want to empower people of all ages to make the most out of every adventure, with their device as a powerful resource instead of a dependency - something Gen Z truly appreciates.”
To delve deeper into Booking.com’s insights of the Gen Z traveler, visit http://destinationgenz.com/
For further information, contact the Booking.com US Press Office;
BookingUS@hs-pr.com / 917-351-8600
NOTE TO EDITORS
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample size of 21,807 respondents aged 16 or over (25% of whom were aged 16-24) in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Brazil, India, US, UK; and 600 each from Russia, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between May 1st and May 16th, 2019. The survey was carried out online. All research and recruitment, unless otherwise stated, was carried out by Vitreous World, with analysis by Ketchum Analytics.
Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,500 employees in 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide.
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