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As more millennials turn 40, a generation long defined by youth transitions to a new phase in life.

And they’re bringing their tech-savviness, social consciousness and spending habits in tow, which is transforming a travel industry intent on staying ahead of the times.

For starters, millennials are traveling at higher rates than other age groups, edging out the far wealthier baby boomer generation, according to the research company Morning Consult.

“When it comes to nearly all travel behaviors, millennials are the generation most likely to engage — and they do so often,” said Lindsey Roeschke, travel and hospitality analyst at Morning Consult. “For example, 18% of millennials have taken three or more domestic flights in the past year, compared to 10% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers.”

They are also traveling differently from those who came before them, she told.

“They see travel as a right rather than a privilege, and consider their travel experiences to be a part of their identity rather than a check on a bucket list,” said Roeschke.

Spending, but not splurging

Money worries are causing millennials to delay everything from home and car purchases to marriage.

Yet, they still value “the idea of vacationing over adding a few more dollars to their savings,” according to a report from GWI Travel. They are “way out in front of other generations” in deeming vacations to be very or extremely important to them, according to its research.

The data company said that could explain their willingness to spend, but not necessarily splurge, on travel. Millennials are more likely than other generations to pay more for flights, but only one in five say they look for top-of-the-line options when traveling, according to the company’s data.

Though many millennials are saddled by student debt and squeezed by rising costs of living, they’re still spending to travel.


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