Gen Z_Blog

Gen Z prioritise travel over material possessions

From adventure experiences to bucket lists, global research by Booking.com has revealed what matters most for the next generation of travellers

Gen Z are shaping up to be a generation of travel enthusiasts, with 65% prioritising experiencing the world over investing in more traditional life moments such as buying a house or saving for a wedding.

Travel experiences came out top in five out of seven choices for spending prioritisation, especially when compared to material possessions or more fleeting experiences such as clothes and fashion, tech and gadgets, eating at restaurants, and spa and beauty treatments.

Grand plans vs last-minute trips

Booking.com’s Destination Gen Z research also revealed that 60% of those aged 16-24 think travel is always worth investing in. Over two thirds (69%) have already compiled a travel bucket list (a list of things to do or see before they die), with a third (32%) of respondents aiming to have checked at least five trips off their list in the next ten years.

However, for those without a bucket list, the lure of spontaneous travel is a key driver. One in five (20%) avoid chasing must-see destinations because they opt to travel impulsively and don’t plan in advance, while 22% feel their preferences change too frequently which is bound to affect their travel destinations.

Surprisingly, though, Gen Z are the least likely of all age demographics to say they don’t have a bucket list because they like to travel impulsively; of the 49% of baby boomers who don’t have a bucket list, three in ten say they prefer to travel impulsively and 26% of millennials prefer a spur-of-the-moment plan too.

Adventures and self-discovery

But what exactly are Gen Z looking for in their travel aspirations? Four in ten (39%) plan to have visited at least three different continents over the next ten years and 30% intend to have studied or lived in a different country (34% female vs. 26% male).

Adventure experiences rank highly, with 56% of those surveyed hoping for the opportunity to try the likes of paragliding or bungee jumping and 52% planning on visiting or trekking to an extreme location.

Journey’s of discovery and self-development were important too, with 33% looking to learn something new while travelling and 55% of Gen Z believing that travelling in their own country helps them to learn more about themselves. And despite their young age, solo travel was popular; a third prefer to be alone when they travel (more so than all other age demographics) and 34% of Gen Zers were considering an independent trip at least once in the next ten years.

“As the first generation of digital natives comes of age, it’s exciting to see this research reveal that Gen Z travellers are a determined generation whose excitement to explore means that they have mapped out many of their future travel plans already,” said Ram Papatla, Vice President of Global Experiences at Booking.com.

“Their affinity and comfort with technology dovetails perfectly with our ambition to learn and deliver an even more seamless, connected trip experience. We want to empower people of all ages to make the most out of every adventure, with their device as a powerful resource instead of a dependency - something Gen Z truly appreciates.”

 

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Learn more about Gen Z travel

Find out more about Booking.com's insights on the needs and wants of Gen Z travellers. 

Destination Gen Z
Takeaway
  • 65% of Gen Z would prioritise travel and experiencing the world over investing in other life moments such as buying a house or saving for a wedding
  • 69% have a travel bucket list of must-see destinations, with 32% aiming to make at least five trips from their list in the next ten years
  • 56% of those surveyed are looking for adventure experiences and 52% plan on visiting an extreme location
  • 20% of Gen Z prefer to travel impulsively and don’t plan in advance