Matador Network recently released the top 6 needs of Millennial travelers -- that is, travelers between the ages of 16 and 34, those of us born after 1980. While we all know Millennials get a bad rep, the way they are traveling these days is innovative, affordable and more practical than the generations before us.
With the recession at hand, many Millennials are taking matters into their own hands to explore the world. First, there's a connection. With our trusty iPhones at hand, we can know which hostels are safest, which views are most worth the trip, which restaurants have better service all at the click of a button. This allows us to nearly be guaranteed a positive experience no matter where we end. Connection online also helps us maintain relationships with those we've met abroad -- something that has never been available to previous generations without a hefty overseas phone charge, or month-long snail mail.
Millennials also enjoy the comforts of home, but not in a luxurious way. We enjoy a deep sense of community, and thus are more likely to rent an apartment for a month or find a friend to stay with rather than hole up in a fancy hotel for a few weeks. We love hostels, and we aren't going to let that one scary movie keep us from meeting strangers abroad.
We're interested in authenticity in travel and would enjoy spending a day in a coffee shop people-watching locals just as much as we would standing in a long line to ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Taking a week to drive across the United States to our destination rather than a four-hour flight is just fine with us because we're doing it for the experience.
Luxury takes on a new meaning for Millennials that may have previous generations scoffing, but we simply enjoy anything that isn't a part of our normal daily routine -- a decent glass of wine out to eat, a taxi ride from the airport instead of public transportation, or a complimentary Fiji water. We really don't need much to make us happy.
Perhaps the biggest no-brainer Millennial desire is a sense of independence. We're the first generation to really be taking our lives into our own hands at an early age, despite the direction our parents intend because we have the freedom to do so. And that freedom extends to travel. You can keep your tour guides and strict itineraries -- we want to roam free of guidebooks and buses to learn about the city we're in in the way that we want to.
Finally, we yearn for a connection to the creativity and style of a city. We love the unique decoration of a hostel, the fine architecture of New York. Our souvenirs tend to be handmade crafts and arts, rather than trinkets.
Millennials are changing the way travel happens, and we'll keep going until we've traveled the world.