Travel Like a Millennial

Travel has changed. With the increase of technology and a shift in financial habits, the annual summer vacation of time’s past has been replaced. As millennials entered adulthood they rocked the travel industry with their rebellious nature and demand for new options. They slowly changed what it meant to vacation by ditching the kinds of trips that filled their childhood scrapbooks. While there is no right or wrong way to vacation, there are stark contrasts between traditional and modern travel behavior. Here are three ways to travel like a millennial.

Frequent

The newest generation of young adults travels frequently. Just a few decades ago, many travelers planned annual vacations that centered around time-off from school. Holidays, winter, spring and summer breaks have long been the go-to times to explore the world. In recent years, ‘home state explorations’, day trips and staycations have seen an uptick in popularity. Millennials prefer to save money by taking smaller, shorter trips. Doing so also allows them to travel more freely. Without an extensive travel budget to save for or the need to book far in advance, it’s much easier to partake in last minute adventures or even travel when funds are low.  

Travel Companions

Traditionally, vacations were a family event. But with many of today’s young people deciding to marry and have children later in life than their parents, the tide has changed. While millennials do still value traveling with family, they are more willing than past generations to travel alone or with good friends. Friend groups from all walks of life reconnect through annual girls trips, jet out-of-state to celebrate upcoming nuptials or even to meet up with friends they’ve made online. If their friends lack the time or funds, millennials are willing to venture out alone. According to SoloTraveler’s statistics, 96% of people aged 25-34 are likely to travel independently. With overwhelming data like that it’s easy to see why traveling trends have headed in a new direction.

App Dependent

In 2008, technology tycoon Apple launched its App Store to accompany its latest iPhone, changing the world as we knew it. Like almost every other aspect of life, apps quickly began to affect travel. To start, instead of needing to hire a travel agent or pour hours into researching the perfect vacation package, travelers gained the ability to book trips directly from their phones. The introduction of apps also ushered in the popularity of social media. Many millennials spend a significant amount of time scrolling through feeds that are filled with their friends’ and family’s vacation pictures, sparking their desire to take a similar trip of their own. Lastly, apps opened the door to ride sharing services, review sites and coupon applications that make both planning and enjoying vacations (nearly) effortless. Today, travel and technology go hand-in-hand.

It’s no secret that millennials are known for their departure from tradition. They travel alone, use their phones to hunt down deals and are passionate about exploring without restrictions. They love being on the go and documenting every second of their adventures. Millennials have carved their own lane into the travel world and the industry has taken note. Before setting off on your next trip, keep these three millennial travel trends in mind. You just may discover that doing things differently isn’t a bad thing.

Brad and Julie DuncanTravel Like a Millennial
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Three Ways to Travel Respectfully

Travel is a luxury that brings great joy. Setting foot on unexplored land can create unmatched feelings of wonder and excitement. Learning about new cultures, people and environments is a life changing experience for those who travel. But that exchange of knowledge is best accomplished when done respectfully. Local residents and native lands should be observed with the utmost care. Here are three ways to travel respectfully.

Do Your Research

Before the wheels of your plane ever touchdown on the runway, you should first learn all you can about your destination of choice. Study the people, the terrain and the cultural differences. If you are visiting a foreign country where most residents speak a language unfamiliar to you, study it. Learn common phrases to help you communicate greetings, directions, travel questions, and niceties. Check the weather and make adjustments to your packing list with climate in mind. The goal of researching and preparing in advance is to lighten the burden on your fellow travel companions, the residents of your destination and the environment. Asking questions will always be a great way to seek information. However, people are much more open to offering assistance to those who’ve put in at least a little effort to assimilate. Instead of expecting everyone to do the heavy lifting of keeping you informed and safe, take the initiative by coming prepared.

Follow the Rules

When researching your destination, you most likely will encounter a few do’s and don’ts. As tempting as it is to downgrade hard-and-fast rules to mere suggestions, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Many places around the world have both implied rules, as well as outline laws that prohibit certain actions. As a guest, it’s your job to adhere to both. If signs say to stay on the marked path, do so. If the local custom is to leave nature untouched, keep your hands to yourself. As simple as this sounds, many tourists still behave as if they are allowed to discard whichever rules don’t fit their desires. Don’t be that traveler. Lastly, remember to give the same level of courtesy you’d give at home. Ask for permission before taking pictures of strangers, don’t stand too closely to others and mind your p’s and q’s.  

Respect the Environment

Protecting the environment, the last tip of traveling respectfully, often goes overlooked. Understandably, some people struggle with this concept abroad because they struggle with it at home as well. As global citizens, it’s our job to honor and nurture the planet we call home. Each of us is responsible for taking care of our little corner of the globe. However, as travelers, that responsibility follows us wherever we go. Whether lounging on the beach, exploring the backroads, or hiking the peaks, we must be mindful. Be considerate about the amount of water, electricity and other raw and natural resources you consume. Tread lightly, limit your contribution to air, noise and water pollution and remember not to litter. Do your best to leave your destination in a better state than you found it – if that’s not possible, leave no footprint at all.

(For more information on environmental impacts, click here)

The rule of respectful travel is to be on your absolute best behavior. Be a worthy representative of your hometown and leave the locals feeling happy you visited. Think of the impression you leave as the determining factor of whether tourist like yourself should continue to be welcomed with open arms. Use the three travel tips above to exercise humility and gratitude. Set an example for other visitors by being the gold standard of respect.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways to Travel Respectfully
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