TRAVEL ENVY: Social Media and Millennials are Inspiring Me To Travel More


After reading how millennials are making the Antarctica the hottest travel destination for 2018, I might have to book one of the Nat Geo Antarctica Cruises.

  • There has been a 325% increase in bookings to Antarctica by millennials. (Source: Intrepid Travel)
  • Overall tourist numbers to Antarctica are up 30%. (Source: Antarctica Tour Operators)

Here are more Luxury and Millennial Travel Trends from the recent Virtuoso Travel Week Conference in Vegas:

  • Grown-up digital nomads. This will be me next summer in Scandinavia!! Longer getaways for boomers traveling abroad while working. Luxury travel consultants, Brownell Travel have launched “sojourns”; 3-month trips including short-term-let apartments, and access to co-working spaces.
  • Travel agents are back. Very surprising, but they’ve reinvented themselves to appeal to millennials who are used to paying for personalized experiences such as trainers, yoga instructors and stylists. So why not travel agents? Especially when you want to experience some really obscure destinations.
  • Private jet travel is the only way to fly. Surf Air (, a sort-of Uber for private jets, just launched in Europe. And there’s also Crystal Skye, from the aviation arm of Crystal Cruises (
  • Cruises for millennials: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises with sleek all-black vessels, international DJs and adventurous excursions including rock climbing and whitewater rafting (
  • Skip-gen trips. As boomers retire, two of their top priorities are family and travel. Skip-gen trips combine the two, and allow milestones to be marked, even if parents can’t take time off. Top destinations for grandparents/grandkids are Alaska and East Africa.
  • Break-up breaks. People are tapping into the transformative power of travel to get through difficult times whether it’s after a divorce, times of grief or when children leave home.

Read on below for more millennial travel trends for 2018 – including some big surprises.

Millenials are now the biggest group of business travelers

  • 7.7 business trips over the last 12-months
  • 77% extend work trips into vacations (vs. 58% of GenX or 43% of Boomers)
  • They believe in spending a little more to get a whole lot more versus previous generations who just want to spend the absolute least amount of money.
  • Twice as confident in booking all their travel on mobile than those over 35
  • HotelTonight has seen the number of business travelers using their app increase 53% year over year.
  • HotelTonight redesigned its app with the millennial traveler in mind.
  • Updated features include a larger map view so people can tell where the hotel is located, more calls to action so users can create lists of favorite hotels and making it faster to scroll through the list of available hotels and switch between features. See below.


Uber Dominates Business Travel

  • Uber claims 55% of ground transportation receipts/expenses (Source: Certify SpendSmart)
  • Uber is the most expensed brand for the second quarter in a row.
  • Lyft claims 8%
  • Taxis dropped to 8% and are projected to fall under 1% by 2018.
  • Car rental represents 29% of receipts and continues to decline.

14 million mentions of travel on social media each month (Source: Adobe Digital Insights)

  • 97% of millennials post to social media while traveling, generally once a day.
  • Millennials prefer boutique hotels with a unique vibe where locals hang out vs. existing name-brand chains.
  • Millennials get their inspiration from social media vs. magazines
  • Millennials use social media while traveling to experience new places e.g. Instagram or Snapchat stories.

Millennial families are traveling/spending more

(Source: MMGY Global’s 2017–2018 Portrait of American Travelers survey)

  • 26% of millennial families with kids plan to travel abroad in the next 12 months.
  • 85% of American vacations are domestic, up 7% from last year.
  • Road trips are back: 39% of trips vs. 22% last year
  • 53% of road trips include at least one attraction. Most popular are art and history museums (65%), aquariums (59%), science museums (56%), and theme parks (55%).
  • Google’s new tourism products are affecting how U.S. travelers are consuming content

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