A Force to be Reckoned with: Money, Marketing, and… Millennials

Afraid of the M word? Yes, I mean millennials. That mysterious generation of selfies, documenting everything from photos of food to the colour of their socks on every channel available on the internet, drinkers of matcha lattes, celery juice, and oat milk. Devotees to millennial pink, online shopping, and sharing the whole of their lives with complete virtual strangers in exchange for a bump up the social media status chain.

This group is not one to be discredited, they are incredible consumers and have been trickling into your business for the past several years, becoming a monetary force to be reckoned with; not just from their own pockets, but from the overwhelming influential status they carry. In other words: millennials can make or break you.

I’ll go ahead and admit it, I am a millennial. I am in the older age range, but am just as guilty of living my life online and falling for obscure drink trends as those younger than me. When it comes to travel, I know that I behave much like the rest of my generation and think it is time to share the secrets of today’s trendsetters.

Millennial travel can be broken down into three segments:

1. Why am I going?

City breaks, couple’s getaways, girl’s trips, and summer vacays with friends. This is why we travel. We plan our vacations around holidays such as Easter Break or bank holidays to maximize the time off. Our vacations are usually centered on time with friends and a chance to explore a new city. We are often on the hunt for good deals so we can spend more in our point of destination. “I really love staying in a beautiful place when I travel, but I don’t think that means you have to spend a fortune. I will scour travel sites and blogs for hours to find something that is aesthetically unique and instagramable. It is fun to splurge on a fancy place every now and again… but a dealbreaker for me is a less than desirable location,” Malin, age 24.

2. What value does it bring to me?

Before booking any hotel, I meticulously check social media for reviews and images about the hotel. I will also check old school trusted sources such as Trip Advisor, but I admit that most of my time is spent combing through hashtags connected to the hotel to see if the images and thoughts match up to the website’s portrayal. Leah, age 30, has traveled to over 20 different countries in the past seven years, staying in as many as 50 hotels, “I can be so picky about accommodation aesthetics. I have learned that the way a space looks and feels really impacts how I feel, and when we are away from home, it’s important to feel like we are somewhere special. I do feel like our travel standards have changed a bit from travel in our 20s to how we travel in our 30s.”

3. How do I communicate?

“I often share my travel experiences on social media,” says Jill, 34, a food writer with over 25k followers on Instagram. We are a generation of sharing. We want to share what we find with our social media circles and beyond. Adding hashtags expands the number of likes we receive, we feel a certain validation in that. We will share images of the hotel, we will share our thoughts and opinions, we will share everything. In the end it’s free marketing for you and instant likes for us. It’s a win-win. Even before travelling I will ask my followers on social media about where to stay, eat, drink, and visit. I also save information about cool hotels for future trips. Nicolas, age 24, says “To be honest, the main reason why I share my travels is to show that I actually do [travel]… I know I sometimes tend to choose places because I saw it on Instagram and thought that it would look good on my feed… and I love taking photos and videos and making a small movie to share on Facebook and Instagram, it might inspire other people to travel too.”

I’ve noticed that more and more hotels are starting to cater to the millennial generation, this doesn’t mean to disregard older generations, but considering the millennial age range is from 24-39 we are a group that holds the balance of not only having an income feeding our bank accounts but we are also forward-thinking when it comes to tech, often both pioneers and trendsetters.

Note: This article will be part of a four part series diving into the travel habits of different customer groups. In our next issue we will go in depth on family travel to help you prepare for your summer guests.


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Ericka Hedlund, Content Manager- Corporate Marketing.