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Expedia: US Travelers Choose Experiences Over Possessions

American travelers seem to be shifting away from a “society of stuff” (products like clothes, electronics, jewelry), to a “society of experiences” and are specifically saving for travel, according to a study by

Conducted on behalf of Expedia by the Center for Generational Kinetics the study aimed to explore consumer behavior and travel preferences of American adults from millennialls and generation Z (age 18-22) to baby boomers (age 55-65).

More specifically, 74 percent of all US respondents said they would prioritize spending spare change on experiences rather than products, especially millennials, with 65 percent disclosing that they are currently saving money to spend specifically on travel. Nearly half of millennials said they would sell their clothes or furniture to travel more.

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Younger generations tend to prioritize impressing their peers, along with seeking out adventure and disconnecting for relaxation.

Travel-obsessed millennials are also extremely independent, with one in every four millennials having traveled alone on a leisure trip in the past year.

Furthermore, 71 percent of Gen-Z respondents said they would get a part-time job just to save up for a leisure trip.

The shift in consumer purchasing intent from products to experiences signals a promising road ahead for the travel industry. “Knowing what travelers of all ages prioritize is important, but the younger generations’ growing love for travel is what keeps us going as we prioritize customer centricity, offering the best deals and the convenience of booking everything at once, all in one place,” said Sarah Gavin, vice president of Expedia Inc. Global Communications.

The study also showed that social media is influencing consumer purchasing decisions, with 36 percent of Gen-Z saying they’ve chosen a travel destination because they saw it on social media. Moreover, younger travelers trust online travel agencies to have a breadth of choice, technological simplicity and savings that help satisfy their increasing appetite for travel.

Expedia surveyed 1,254 US respondents between 18-65 years old, from August 8-17, 2017.

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