A DASH WITH CASH
Millenials are spending up big on glam, Instagrammable holidays
Forget smashed avo on toast – it’s extravagant holidays Aussie Millennials are splashing out on, with research showing one in five 18 to 24 year olds spent up to $5000 on their summer holidays. Gone are the days of backpacks and hostel bunks – it’s opulent villas in Bali, helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon, five-star hotels in Paris and the best restaurants around the world attracting our youngsters, who are all about the “when in Rome” adage.
And the “flashpacker” holiday trend is only getting bigger, as young people justify spending their savings on holiday experiences if they won’t be able to afford Australian house prices any time soon.
Helloworld Travel Surrey Hills owner Debra Carr said young people used holidays as a reward for working and studying hard – and saved up for their “Instagrammable” holidays. “Instagrammable holidays for young people can’t happen in an ugly hostel, so hostels are becoming more luxurious with better facilities,” the Victorian agent said.
“My daughter recently stayed in Bodrum, Turkey, where the hostel had an infinity pool hanging over the main street with breakfast included and complimentary cocktail on arrival. It was only $30 a night – but we spent a lot of time researching to get something that was funky and had appeal.”
Coogee 24-year-old Grace Robinson holidays up to four times a year, and in the past 24 months has explored Bali, Japan, the US, South Africa, France, Denmark, Hungary and Ireland, as well as domestic trips to the Barossa Valley and Bowral. “Trips typically cost me between $5000 and $10,000 depending on where we go – my five-week trip to the USA was $10,000, whereas my one week trip to Bali was only about $1500,” she said. “On our last trip we went to Rome, Santorini, Crete, Mykonos and Athens.”
The graduate lawyer said she has worked and studied full time for the past six years, so saved her money to spend on lavish holidays.
“Holidays were worth saving for because they’re always the light at the end of the tunnel after a long semester,” she said. “Experiences are worth more to me than owning a house or car at this stage in my life – I always thought my money was better spent travelling while young.”
A Nielsen poll commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia found that 21 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds spent $2000 to $5000 on their summer holidays, compared with 8 per cent of 45 to 64 year olds and 13 per cent of people over 65. Armed with high disposable incomes and no mortgage repayments, they outspend their older travel counterparts and are seeing new cultures now, instead of when they retire.
“The days of young people travelling with little more than the shirt on their back are well and truly over,” TTF chief executive Margy Osmond said. “Rather than just being a leisure activity, more young people are choosing to postpone a long-term savings plan by opting to take more extensive and adventurous holidays.”
Travel expert at finder.com.au, Angus Kidman, said studies suggested Millennials valued experiences more than material things, and travel was one of the best ways to have a unique adventure. “They generally have more disposable income and no commitments, so they’re free to spend more money on travel,” Mr Kidman said.
“Splurget” holidays – which combine budget travel and luxury experiences – are also on the rise. According to Skyscanner, a splurget traveller will plan a trip around budget flights and transport to free up extra cash for indulgent experiences like a five-star hotel, a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant, private tours and time at the spa.
“Our research implies this is an emerging trend, particularly among Millennials who are willing to pay extra and splurge on ‘mustdo’ activities and occasional luxury in fivestar hotels,” Skyscanner senior growth manager Michael Grierson said.