By Sandy Auren, Sr. Account Planner
What comes to mind when you first hear the words millennial and traveler? Does your mind automatically get the picture of a 20 something-year-old getting knee deep in artisanal beer and backpacking their way to Budapest?
That generalization may no longer be true. Think about it, millennials have grown up, and have the money and the will to spend on travel, but they’re no longer traveling alone. Today 57% of all millennial women are moms and 43% of all millennial men are fathers. Despite the growth of responsibilities, a millennial’s desire to travel, and discover the world is still a top priority for them, and are now seeking to continue the adventure with the new additions to the family. In fact, traveling with their kids is seen as a fundamental experience to bond with them, add to their development and as a way to prepare them to engage with the world (IconoCommunities, July 2017) yet, there are very few resources for parents traveling with small children.
My husband and I are part of that millennial segment that is closer to Gen Xers than Gen Zers and traveling has always been a priority for us, as we have always thought of it as crucial for our personal growth. However, now the game has changed a little bit. We are traveling with a toddler that is demanding and, generally speaking, born unimpressed. So when I started planning our trip to Italy, anxiety started to take over me. I knew I had to find a balance between hitting the historical places my husband and I wanted to see, eating all the amazing food from local eateries we could get our hands on, and making sure our 3-year-old would be safe and had some fun in the process. So I searched everywhere! I combed through every single travel site and blog for tips on how to get the best of Italy with a toddler. I have to say that what I found was a bit outdated, some information was confusing and most didn’t really fit our lifestyle. So I went back to the original form of research. Ask a friend or a friend of a friend.
I had some interesting conversations, and I was not surprised to find out that they had also struggled to find any useful information prior to their trip. Things such as, should I rent a car or is public transportation a good choice when pushing a stroller? Are there changing stations available in public establishments? What I was looking for was simple but useful tips that would help me embark on this adventure with a little more confidence. I started to wonder why was it that nobody had come up with the idea to create a social platform like TripAdvisor, but for traveling parents? The desire to travel and discover the world that is so distinctive of the millennial generation is not going to go away simply because we became parents. We are going to continue seeing the world, only this time we come with strollers, diaper bags, phone and tablets in tow, so why isn’t anyone addressing that need? I know that just like many other parents my age, I would spend a little more money on places where I felt that the balance for me and my child would be met, but it seems like every time you set the parameters for that, you end up with a picture of some Disney resort.
We millennials continue to drive the economy, but many industries and advertisers alike have failed to evolve with us. Maybe it’s time to refresh the research and insights, time to stop using the same stereotypical traits of the millennial generation in hopes to connect with us or be relevant. We have grown up and are now responsible adults who are raising children. If you are not growing with us, you may be missing out on our business.