Lonely Planet Writer

Many millennials prioritise travel over buying a house, according to research from Airbnb

Millennials around the world who feel a desperate need to travel aren’t alone – a study from Airbnb found that the majority prioritise experiences and travel over buying a home or paying off debt.

Couple reading map in remote desert.
Couple reading map in remote desert. Image by Dave and Les Jacobs/Getty Images

Airbnb released a study conducted by market research experts Gfk, which focused on the travel tendencies and opinions of millennials in the US, UK and China. In China, 93% of millennials said that travel is an important part of their identity, and ranked it as more important than other priorities like paying off debt, saving up money, buying a home or a new car. If they suddenly received $10,000, 44% said they’d use it to travel.

Live in an historic English Castle.
Live in an historic English Castle. Image by Airbnb Listing

Young people in the UK and the US felt similarly. The research found that 56% of 18 to 35-year-olds in the US spent more on travel this year than the previous one. While 49% in the US put aside money to travel, only 39% put money aside to buy a home. In the UK, more placed travel above paying off debt, while in the US millennials were concerned with balancing their desire to travel with the need to pay off debt.

A home in Costa Rica.
A home in Costa Rica. Image by Airbnb Listing

In all three countries, the average respondent said they take about three to four trips a year. What generally stops them from travelling is money, and not time. But, most are spending more on travel than they did a year ago, with 55% in the UK, 56% in the US and 83% in China agreeing with that statement.

Vintage caravan in California.
Vintage caravan in California. Image by Airbnb Listing

And, when they finally get out travelling, most are looking for something beyond a pre-packaged experience. More than 80% want to build their own itinerary and think the best way to learn about a destination is to live like the locals do. Millennials also said that food is the most memorable travel experience and top priority while travelling. Most say they want to try local food and restaurants, rather than something they can get at home.

A ranch home in California.
A ranch home in California. Image by Airbnb Listing

And if you’re wondering how millennials decide where to travel, look no further than your Instagram feed. Social media beats out recommendations from friends and families, travel websites, news articles and more.