Traveling as a millennial family in 2017
Being born in the mid-80s, my husband and I fall under the new classification of “millennials”. Millennials are often characterized as the free spirit (and free loading) generation brought up in the time of 9/11, back-to-back recessions, and crippling student debt. Due to our circumstances, we’ve learned to become thrifty and tend to use the money we earn towards experiences over possessions. This mentality has transformed the way that millennials travel. This new breed of explorers wants to be able to search for the best deals, find authentic encounters, stay in unique hotels, and forge our own paths, typically outside of our comfort zone.
We’ve also been characterized as the generation that is delaying getting married and starting families. But what happens when some of us stray from the herd? In May, my husband and I welcomed the birth of our first child. And while we knew that a baby wasn’t going to entirely stop us from traveling, we were aware that it was going to alter the way that we travel.
To fellow millennials that are thinking of starting a family, rest assured that your travel lifestyle doesn’t have to end.
Explore new destinations
Just because we have a new baby doesn’t mean we have to stop exploring the globe. We stay up-to-date on current world events and tend to be more cautious about where we travel. Due to recent conflicts, there are some countries that we have decided to put on hold.
That being said, we’ve found that so many destinations are not only baby friendly, but extremely easy to navigate with tot-in-tow. In the last month our son has been to Germany, the Czech Republic, New York, and Hawaii.
We are always on the lookout for new destinations that are somewhat off the beaten path, affordable, and baby friendly. So many European countries welcome young families but can cost an arm and a leg. A few of the places that seem to give you more bang for your buck are Estonia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.
As our son is so young, we’re careful to travel to destinations that have access to clean water and modern medicine, as well as places that don’t require additional vaccines. Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia currently top our list of countries for 2017 millennial family travel.
Find unique hotel experiences
Hostels are no longer an option for us. Before baby, it didn’t matter where we laid our heads since we spent most of our time out and about exploring. Now that we have nap times to work around, we find ourselves opting to spend a little more for extra comfort.
Viewfinder Tip: Your babe flies free on most flights until they’re two years old. Take advantage of it while you can!
Still, you won’t find us in any cookie cutter motel. We now tend to search out unique boutique hotels in the area. When searching on Expedia, I also tend to book hotels that offer breakfast included in our stay. That way, we truly are getting more for our money.
Travel with other millennial families
Group travel is on the rise. Millennial family travel is leading the charge when it comes to traveling with friends and their kids. These families are opting to either pay for larger, more spacious hotel rooms or even renting out entire homes and apartments to accommodate more people.
One of the best parts of traveling with fellow millennial families is that we can take turns babysitting the kiddos. Built-in childcare with someone you trust is an added bonus to any travels.
Technology continues to plays a big role in millennial travel. Booking last minute hotel and airfare on a smartphone or tablet allows us the flexibility that we enjoy. Sites like Expedia let us piece together our own packages and keep our itinerary all in one place.
Millennials also love sharing their experiences online. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow us to share our travels among our peers. Access to Wi-Fi is of utmost importance. Millennials that travel abroad look for hotels with free and accessible internet.
Gone are the days of gathering friends and making them sit through slideshows of your family vacay. Photos of your troop in paradise are now simply a click away. Wanderlust can strike at the swipe of a key and now travel is not only more accessible but also closer than ever before.
2017 will bring with it a new era of travel for millennials and we can’t wait to see what the new year has in store.
How do you think travel will change in 2017?
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Chris and Tawny have had articles and videos published on USA TODAY TRAVEL, BBC Travel, Matador Network, as well as appeared as guest stars on TLC Asia's Fun Taiwan television series. When not on the road, you can find Chris and Tawny nestled in their home in Tacoma, Washington fueling up on coffee and cat cuddles while planning their future adventures. You can follow their travels on their blog, Instagram, and YouTube