More than sparking new trends, the millennial generation is changing how we view and enjoy our travels. Whether a trip is an Insta-worthy social occasion or a chance at self-fulfilment, it’s easy to see why so many young Filipinos are making travelling a higher priority in their lives. But is this a good thing? Let’s see below!
They value experiences over material objects
Let’s be real: in a perfect world, we would love to have both! But for many Filipinos who were born from 1981 to 1996, the decision is clear. We choose to invest in the experiences that matter. And for most of us, that means travel.
Statistics have shown that the millennial generation — known as Generation Y, the demographic between the ages of 24 and 39 — is more likely to spend money on travel opportunities, compared to older generations. Currently, they comprise the largest generation of travellers and make up 31.5% of the world’s population. Pretty impressive!
Shareability is a huge motivator for them
Millennial travellers grew up amidst rapid developments in technology, therefore adapting to platforms like Instagram and Airbnb with ease. When millennials travel, they gravitate towards beautiful scenery and striking backdrops. With this in mind, it makes sense that taking eye-catching photographs is such a priority for digital nomads. At times, it even borders on necessity: an itch to prove that you’ve been somewhere.
We’ve all heard of the saying: “Pics or it didn’t happen.” According to a recent study, many tech-savvy travellers do feel that abstaining from posting travel pictures on Instagram can diminish the experience. There’s a sense of urgency that comes with wanting to post as close to real time as possible.
“I sort of feel like if we don’t share the photos it’s like a tree fell down in the forest and no one heard it,” says Michelle, a millennial traveller who took part in the study. “We’ve had this amazing experience and if I don’t share them, then no one’s going to know that we had this experience.” Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Millennials are socially conscious travellers
The tide has turned for eco-friendly and sustainable tourism, as members of Gen Y and Gen Z lead the fight in mitigating the effects of climate change. This goes for respecting the needs of the host communities as well.
How does the millennial generation prefer to travel? In a study commissioned by Intrepid Travel, 86% of responders from ages 18 to 29 claim they are willing to spend more on experiences that are completely ethical. Furthermore, 90% of these adults believe that a travel company’s commitment to ethical travel is important to take note of before booking a trip.
Transformational travel is the new luxury
Gone are the times when it was enough for tour guides to shuffle their group from point to point and call it a day. Today’s generation of holiday-hunters wish to immerse themselves in a destination in meaningful ways. For the average millennial, travel means getting to the heart of a city, savouring the real sights and smells and flavours, and interacting with the locals. We care about authenticity, going beyond the pre-packaged itineraries to forge a deeper connection with a culture and its people.
Millennials also see travel as an opportunity for personal growth and fulfilment. This has led to the desire for “transformational travel,” in which travellers seek experiences that can dramatically change their lives.
For some, it might be scaling a mountain in Sagada to arrive at an epiphany. Or it’s learning to ride the waves of Baler to get over a broken heart. Other times, it’s embarking on a meditative journey that clears the mind and re-focuses calming energies. Most often, the best lessons are gleaned from places far away from home.
Some will criticise Filipino millennials and travellers for these very reasons. No doubt, there are still people who think that exploring the world at a young age is merely an indulgent escape.
But travelling, lest we forget, is also a gift that we give to ourselves. And judging by the wave of Filipinos moving throughout the world, we know this better than anyone.