How Generation Y Does Business Travel

We’ve all seen them: the adventurous 20-something/early 30-something travelers, but how much do you know about how they travel for business? Although there’s no clearly defined cutoff, the Millennial generation refers to the people born between 1982 and 2004–but ‘Millennial’ is also an attitude toward life that can directly impact how anyone travels. These young business travelers are changing the way the travel world operates, maybe even for good.

Why do you want to know the m.o. of Millennials? For one thing, they’re traveling more than any other age group right now (approximately 5 times per year), says an Expedia research study. Second, their innovative approach to travel inspires older generations, hotel chains, and corporations to catch up. It all comes back to the ultimate Millennial fear–of missing out (FOMO). FOMO motivates faster, techier travel to every segment of the travelscape because no one wants to be left behind as huge industries such as technology and travel advance. Think about which business travel trends have you noticed on recent business trips that reflect the Millennial philosophy. If you want a complete picture (literally) of a young traveler, check out Millennial Matt from our fun travel personality SlideShare.

On the move–First, you should know that Millennials love to travel. According to stats by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Association, ““By 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by youth travelers each year, a staggering 47% increase from 217 million in 2013,” says David Chapman, director general of WYSE. There’s a reason for this. Millennials are said to be the biggest proponents of work/life balance. It’s so important to them, in fact, that most of them would take a 15% pay cut in order to travel more frequently, according to a recent Net Impact survey. Not surprisingly, this generation is apt to extend their business trips so they can sample the local culture and implement elements of ‘bleisure’ travel. They’re also more likely to enjoy ride sharing services like Uber or food sharing apps like the appropriately-named EatWith.

Hey, big spender–Millennials have created a reputation for themselves for being the worst wallet drainers during business trips–as long as they’re not paying; but don’t just take our word for it! According to Forbes, “Thirty-seven percent of business travelers aged 18 to 30 claim they spend more of their company’s money on room service than they would of their own, compared with 21 percent of their peers between the ages of 46 and 65.” They also like to spend so much on company dining (don’t forget drinks and nightlife!) that Forbes suggests that their employer research business travel expense reports to monitor expenditures whenever Millennial workers are traveling. Ouch!

Impromptu moves–The newest group of business travelers takes a more spontaneous approach to travel. Apps like Jetsetter can help facilitate their last minute trips. Mobile apps catalyze more of what Millennials love–fun, frequent travel.

Tuned into tech–A love of convenience drives this generation toward technology, especially the fastest, newest cell phones and wearable tech, such as the Apple Watch. Partly due to the appeal to Millennial travelers, many hotels unveiled mobile check-ins to escape the key card system of old. Many of them are using tech to book lodging, too. According to an Expedia study, 32% of Millennials use a smart phone to book their reservations.

So, if you spontaneously book your week away on your smart phone or take an Uber to the trendiest local restaurant, you’re traveling more like a Millennial than you thought. But that’s not such a bad idea, right?

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