Gen Z ready to travel again
They want affordable yet high-end travel experiences
The Unidays 2023 Travel Report has revealed the latest travel trends for Gen Z – those born in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Gen Z represents 40 per cent of those set on travelling this year, so knowing how to target them is essential.
The survey involved 4,395 student members of Unidays across the UK, USA and Australia.
Firstly, the report revealed that not one student said they weren’t planning to travel, with two in three actively planning to holiday this year and one in three considering it.
Low cost luxury
Gen Z wants affordable but also high-end travel experiences over the coming year. Eighty-one per cent of students said good value for money is the most important factor when booking a holiday.
However, good value doesn’t mean a budget destination. Although there is always a market for cheap travel, Gen Z’s appetite for high-end holidays is increasing, with a PYMNTS luxury travel study finding that 47 per cent of Gen Z took at least one luxury vacation in 2019.
There are multiple ways that Gen Z is affording this type of break:
- Cheap flights – one in three books via a flight comparison website or splits the costs with friends and family
- Payment flexibility – 55 per cent will use a ‘buy now pay later’ option
- Good user experiences – as digital natives, Gen Z has a zero tolerance for poor user experiences.
Excitement and safety
Safety is important to 44 per cent of students, with seven out of 10 Gen Z respondents making it their top priority.
However, this doesn’t mean they want resort destinations. Fifty-seven per cent think that a holiday should be exciting and Gen Z want to find this excitement through uncharted territories and immersing themselves in diverse cultures.
To appeal to Gen Z, both their desire for excitement and need for safety need to be accounted for, for example through live and mobile-friendly updates.
Preparation is key
Gen Z are not impulsive travellers, with nearly three in four students booking vacations one to six months before they travel. Just over one in 10 book last minute.
They are giving themselves time to save for holiday expenses, organise itineraries and plan around work or studies.
They want travel companies to help facilitate their desire to plan ahead by having the options to book everything in one plan – like through Booking.com – or by being offered personalised experiences – through online travel agencies.
As digital natives, Gen Z have always been exposed to modern technology and the use of it on holiday is an expectation. Three in four students use online services or tools to make their vacations easier.
Having user-friendly apps to make life easier is key to Gen Z’s travel experiences. For example, 41 per cent use TripAdvisor for travel.
Additionally, one in three will use a physical or digital version of a guide book to assist with their travels.
Especially in a post-Covid world, when Gen Z are looking to travel, making this as convenient, cost-effective and high-quality is vital.