Boomers, Millennials, Gen X & Gen Z Plan Travel Differently

by SharonKurheg

If there’s one thing that’s never changed, it’s generation gaps. Different age groups naturally look at the world differently from those before and after them, and it shows in just about every aspect of life – musically, socially, in their adherence to religion, you name it.

The differences between Baby Boomers (born circa 1946 to 1964), Generation X (born circa 1965 to 1980), Millennials (born circa 1981 to 1996) and Gen Z (born circa 1997 to 2010) even vary in how they travel.

We’ve reviewed how other “different” groups travel differently:

We even went over how different generations view travel but that’s not necessarily the same as how they plan and do that travel. But:

  • InsureMyTrip, an online travel insurance company, crunched the numbers and determined that Boomers, Generation Xers, Millennials and members of Gen Z all plan travel differently.
  • GWI Travel, a global travel data company, also studied how the different generations are traveling, well, differently.
  • YouGov also shows some differences in some of the traveling habits of the different generations

Everyone loves a deal

It appears that, regardless of what generation people are, they all love to save money. Mexico tends to be a “cheaper” vacation, with an average trip cost of about $3,323. While Millennials and Gen Z continue with the trend of spending less, Boomers and Generation X seem to be more willing to splurge, with trips to Italy (average cost of $6,984).

This trend would make more sense since it would be assumed travelers who are Boomers and Generation X have worked longer, potentially saved more, and may not necessarily have the same everyday spending requirements of younger generations (student debt, mortgages, costs associated with having younger children, etc.)

Here are the most popular vacation spots for the different generations, according to InsureMyTrip:

Baby Boomer:

  1. Mexico
  2. Italy
  3. United Kingdom

Gen X:

  1. Mexico
  2. Bahamas
  3. Italy


  1. Mexico
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Bahamas

Gen Z:

  1. Mexico
  2. Costa Rica
  3. United Kingdom

And here is the average expenditure per trip, according to GWI:

  • Boomers: $6126
  • Gen X: $5060
  • Millennials: $4141
  • Gen Z: 2788

Motivation to travel

Everyone has a different reason for traveling, but Millennials tend to focus more on experiences than anything else.

Both Millennials and Gen Z prioritize personal wellness during their travels. They also tend to look for hotels with spas and wellness services more often than the older generations.

Travels of the younger generations are also more likely to be inspired by TV shows, movies, and social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram/

Motivation to Travel Millennials & Gen Z Everyone else
Personal Wellness 61% 48%
Hotel with spa 60% 43%
Eat at a specific restaurant 47% 37%
Go to places that “look great” in photos & videos 61% 49%
Explore places seen on Instagram 46% 31%

Who stays at Airbnbs

Millennials are also the ones who tend to stay at peoples’ houses (i.e. Airbnb, VBRO). 49% of U.S. Airbnb customers in 2022 identified as Millennials.

a pie chart with numbers and textIt’s thought this is because they’re the generation currently more likely to have children in tow, and private homes have more space, more bedrooms, some are equipped with things babies or children might need, such as cribs, high chairs, toys, etc.

Don’t count out hotels just yet

So yeah…Airbnb has gotten almost half of traveling Millennials and hotel brands have noticed. With that, you may have noticed certain newer hotel brands:

  • Hilton’s Canopy and Curio Collection
  • Hyatt Centric
  • IHG’s Even, Kimpton and voco
  • Marriott’s Aloft, Moxy, Element and W
  • Radisson Red
  • Virgin Hotels
  • The entire Curator Hotel & Resort Collection and Cormorant Boutique Hotels

All are meant to appear to younger travelers and offer one or more wellness services, high tech, free cocktails, chic atmosphere, spaces specifically made for Inst snaps, etc. And Kimpton is specifically going for those young families, complete with infant, baby and kid-friendly equipment, and on-demand refrigerators that can store breast milk safely.

Why buys travel insurance & who doesn’t

According to InsureMyTrip, 39% of Baby Boomers buy travel insurance. 23% of Gen Xers do, along with 26% of Millennials. Gen Zs, though? Only 7% of them buy travel insurance.

There could be a couple of reasons for that last one:

  • They don’t want to spend more money, so they’re willing to take the risk.
  • They’re still at an age where they think bad things happen to other people.

So yeah…some pretty interesting statistics, there. I’m a Gen Xer and some of what they discovered for my age group definitely applies to me. Although I did love our stay at the Moxy in Tempe, AZ, forever ago, even though it was obvious we were not their intended demographic LOL!

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Rich April 5, 2023 - 8:26 pm

You’ve conflated two concepts. On the one hand, you say “49% of U.S. Airbnb customers in 2022 identified as Millennials.” (The pie chart says 45%, but leave that aside.) Then you say “Airbnb has gotten almost half of traveling Millennials.” That might also be true, but it’s not justified by the first statement.

“45% of Airbnb customers are Millennials” and “45% of Millennials are Airbnb customers” are not at all the same thing. For example, Airbnb might have 100 customers, of whom 45 are Millennials, and the first statement would be true but not the second.

Dawn April 11, 2023 - 10:59 am

As gen X, I’m always astonished at how we represented. There are fewer gen xers than any other generation, so while the average abnb customer is millennial, that doesn’t mean genx is less likely to rent one. Could be true, but not necessarily so.

SharonKurheg April 11, 2023 - 11:06 am

Well, you know what they say, “Of Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z, which is the generation most forgotten?” Love, a fellow Gen Xer.


Leave a Comment