Millennials are often cited as having a sense of entitlement. In many cases, they are looked at negatively surrounding this perception. As a travel and tourism marketer, I find this known trait filled with possibilities. While there was some discussion last year about millennials taking less time off partly due to vacation shaming, millennial families – defined as married or unmarried couples living with children 17 or younger – more than any other age group, take most or all their vacation time.

According to MMGY’s Portrait of the American Traveler 2017 study, millennial families intend to travel 36 percent more. Add that to the fact that travel-related searches for “tonight” and “today” have grown over 150 percent on mobile, and there is still plenty of time for marketers to capture the attention of millennial families who haven’t yet finalized their summer vacation plans.

There is still plenty of time for marketers to capture the attention of millennial families who haven’t yet finalized their summer vacation plans.Click To Tweet

Here are my top tips for capitalizing on the millennial family travel boom:

Focus on women: Eighty percent of travel decisions are made by women, and with millennial moms wanting to create memories their families will cherish, just like the fond family vacation stories they have from growing up, nostalgia goes a long way. Remind them of moments from when they were a kid and had the best vacation ever. Pulling at the heartstrings will want to make them take their kids there now too.

Market to travel agents: As we know, millennials think highly of family and friends’ recommendations. Plus, they likely have full time jobs, and many have kids in the household. This is a recipe for wanting a trusted travel coordinator (aka travel agent) to curate and book a vacation, which many millennials are rediscovering more so than any other age group. As millennial families continue to increase their travel spending, travel agents should be heavily marketing to them. In turn, destinations and travel brands need to remember that OTAs and Google might be first in search, but that incentivizing travel agents can lead to a wealth of business opportunities currently untapped.

Deliver substance: According to AARP, millennials say health travel is not a focus and adventure travel is on the down turn. Transformative experiences are driving travel now. You can buy your child a stuffed elephant that will no doubt end up in the bottom of a toy box or you can take them on a safari to Africa, something never to be forgotten. That means that even though cost is still the number one travel barrier, marketers must find the right balance of promoting incentives and last-minute deals and persuading visitors with ideas about impactful experiences millennial families are craving.

Let others tell their truth: This one really goes without say, but with more than half of travelers using search for at least some part of the travel planning journey, and millennials saying that user generated content in some way influenced their vacation decision, the key is authenticity. There’s no better way than engaging influencers and encouraging visitors to share their experiences on social, review sites and online travel agency forums because word of mouth can help seal the deal. And, after all, vacations are still about bragging rights.

Interested in learning how Padilla can help your brand lure millennial families? Send me an email.

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