Seasoned travelers know that no two trips are exactly the same, even when revisiting the same location. The weather changes, your personal life and perspective evolve and any combination of factors makes each experience unique. However, if you’re like most travelers, your preferences guide your journeys no matter how far you venture from home.
According to a survey of American travelers from vacation rental app and website Vrbo, people are united by a common desire to travel with friends and family. In fact, 52% of respondents said a family vacation is their reason for travel in 2019, and more people said they will travel with a group of four or more this year than last year. That’s where the generational similarities end, however.
Determining where to go and what you’ll do depends quite a bit on your age. Your stage of life significantly impacts the places you dream about visiting, the reasons you travel and what you look for when you get there, according to the survey.
What to look for in a destination
Your definition of a dream vacation is likely to shift along with variables like your life stage, income and available free time. Limitations in any of those areas may make a certain destination a far-off dream during one stage of life but an attainable retreat during another.
The disparity between dream and reality signals that barriers of time and money are the deciding factors for whether Americans will take that dream vacation. This holds true for every age group, although millennials (37%) are more likely to go into debt for travel than Generation Xers (27%) and baby boomers (15%).
Reasons for traveling
Relaxation is a primary reason for traveling, which can help you disconnect from the stress of daily life and reconnect with family and friends. Whether it’s curiosity or a much-anticipated trip to celebrate a special occasion with a family member, many trips have a specific purpose. Understanding why you want to travel can make it much easier to plan.
Although younger travelers are most likely to make exploration a priority on their journeys, the Vrbo survey revealed that travel isn’t always about adventure, as 20% of travelers ages 35-54 are likely to travel for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. In addition, only 6% of baby boomers said they would travel for a hobby or activity like skiing, surfing or hiking, compared with 23% of millennial respondents.
Amenities that matter
The amenities you can access during your getaway may vary greatly depending on where you go and the type of trip you plan. From electronics and fully stocked kitchens to swimming pools and pet-friendly features, plenty of options are available to help ensure your perfect vacation lodging includes all the amenities you require.
If you’re like most travelers, keeping connected is a major requirement. In fact, 75% of respondents listed access to the internet via WiFi as an important amenity when traveling, outranking traditional must-haves like TV and air-conditioning, according to the survey.
Amenities like WiFi aside, accommodation preferences reflect the starkest generational differences among American travelers. Millennials (71%) are most likely to consider unique lodging options such as boats or treehouses. They also represent the age group most likely to take into account design and architecture when choosing a place to stay. Generation Xers voiced the strongest preference for having ample space for everyone in the party. For baby boomers, more than other age groups, noise level is important when selecting lodging.
Find getaway accommodations perfect for every stage of life at vrbo.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Vrbo, Family Features