Lonely Planet Writer

Millennials are prioritising travel over getting on the housing ladder

If you have noticed that many young people are off travelling the world rather than putting down roots, this may be because they know they’re unlikely to get on the housing ladder at present, according to industry experts.

Many millennials are choosing to travel rather than save for a house. Image: Westend61/Getty Images

US firm Contiki, which specialises in millennial travel, has noticed an upward trend in young people spending money on travel, according to its sales & marketing director, Donna Jeavons. The average age of its customers is 26, and it saw a 10% rise in the average spend of clients aged 18 to 35 this year compared to 2016.

Group of happy friend spending some time together taking selfies using a selfie stick.
Many millennials are choosing to travel rather than save for a house. Image: LeoPatrizi

“With housing being so expensive, many young people are opting to live in the moment and pursue other goals first, knowing that buying a house could be a little further down the line than it was for previous generations,” Jeavons told the Press Association. “Saving a bit here and there isn’t really scratching the surface for millennials, so many are choosing to have the best holiday they can afford instead.”

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Contiki has noticed that young people are taking more adventurous trips to far-flung places, partly because travel has become more affordable over the past few years, which has opened up destinations that were never previously accessible. As a result, millennial travel has become an increasingly lucrative market sector for tourism providers, who try to appeal to a younger audience with better digital connectivity and Instagrammable features. Earlier this year, Contiki introduced themed trips to Canada for “avid Instagrammers,” for example, while Air France is launching an airline aimed at millennials.

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Chief executive of U by Uniworld, Ellen Bettridge, told the Press Association that it will be Europe’s first river cruise brand exclusively for young people when it launches in April 2018. It will have craft beers, mixology classes, street art tours and vintage motorbike rides. “We are targeting an active traveller between the ages of 21 and 45, with everything from the decor, dining and cocktail service to the land activities thoughtfully curated to meet the needs of this audience,” she said.