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.

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