The rise of the micro-cation

guests attend a beach wedding
Millennials and Baby Boomers often take shorter trips away for attending special occasions such as weddings.

It seems that, across the US at least, younger generations are increasingly likely to take a trip lasting no longer than four nights (also known as a ‘micro-cation’) – an interesting trend that Allianz Global Assistance shed light upon in its 2019 Vacation Confidence Index.

The study of various generations revealed that a whopping 72 per cent of Millennials took at least one micro-cation in the last year, and that only 17 per cent of the same group took a trip longer than seven days in the same time period. Additionally, the study found that 69 per cent of Gen X-ers took at least one micro-cation last year, while the ground was more level for Baby Boomers, with 40 per cent saying they avoided trips shorter than five nights.

Nonetheless, that still leaves 60 per cent of Baby Boomers who took at least one micro-cation last year, and, though a slight increase compared to the number of Millennials, still only 21 per cent and 22 per cent of Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers respectively took a trip lasting longer than seven days.

So, what do these figures tell us? Allianz noted that one-quarter of Millennials say money is a primary reason to take shorter trips, which supports other findings that those with a higher income are more likely to vacation longer. Indeed, more than half (51 per cent) of people making US$50,000 or more annually took trips longer than five nights in the last year, compared to 29 per cent of those who make less than $50,000.

Allianz also revealed that 32 per cent of Americans asked said that working life was the prime cause for shorter getaways – it being easier to take time off for shorter trips. And this train of thought was most important to Gen X-ers, 40 per cent of whom would rather take less time off work. Thirty-seven per cent of Millennials followed behind, while only a minority 20 per cent of Baby Boomers found this to be a deciding factor when planning trips.

In addition to this, 32 per cent of Americans noted that any more than five nights away was excessive for a trip – Millennials and Baby Boomers (34 per cent and 38 per cent respectively) often took trips to attend special events or family occasions, where they feel that anything longer than five days is unnecessary. Furthermore, in general, 26 per cent of Americans argued that they’d simply rather take more frequent shorter trips. You can’t argue with that. Other factors cited were not wanting to spend money on longer trips and it being easier to find a travel companion for a shorter trip.

Though there is some contrast between the holiday preferences of the younger generations compared to that of the older, there still appears to be a general overall shift towards taking shorter trips. “The days of the ubiquitous week-long summer vacation may be disappearing, but we’re happy to see that Americans, especially Millennials, are eager to travel more frequently,” said Daniel Durazo, Director of Communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA.

“The rise of micro-cations may also lead to increased interest in visiting vibrant domestic locales over exotic, far-flung destinations,” he added. “Whether travelling for two nights or two weeks, travel insurance can protect you, your luggage and your vacation investment.”