Exploring Travel Habits By Generation

    Travel habits by generation

    Different generations have different priorities and values, and this also applies to the way they choose to holiday. But what are some of the generational contrasts when it comes to travelling?

    From how people go about booking their holiday, to what they’re willing to spend extra money on, we’ve uncovered the ways that travel habits vary across generations.

    Almost one in five over 55s would rather visit a travel agent to book their holiday

    Nowadays, it’s relatively straightforward to sort out your hotel and flights independently. In fact, we discovered that all age groups would rather shop around online and even book flights and hotels separately if it works out cheaper.

    However, this doesn’t mean it’s the preferred method for everyone. According to our research, 20% of those between 55-64 and 18% of over 65s still prefer to do it the more traditional way by visiting a travel agent in person to get their recommendations before shopping around.

    Obviously, there are both pros and cons when it comes to either booking yourself or using a travel agent. Doing it yourself isn’t only more convenient, as you don’t have to rely on open hours, but you’ll likely have more choice than what a travel agency could offer. On the other hand, a travel agent can offer expert advice, find deals you might not know about, and ultimately save you time and effort.

    What extras willing to pay for when travelling

    Being able to choose a plane seat is a top priority for older generations

    When booking a holiday, there are often several optional add-ons that you can choose to pay extra for. These may include extra legroom, additional luggage, and being able to choose your own specific plane seat.

    As we mentioned, priorities will usually vary across age groups, and it turns out that there is a generational gap when it comes to what add-ons people are happy to spend more money on when booking.

    Looking into the younger generations first, we found that 18-24-year-olds are most likely to splurge on having food on the plane and taking additional luggage, with private airport transfers being the add-on they care least about. For both 25-34 and 35-44-year-olds, having additional luggage seems to still be a priority given that it’s their second add-on choice, but they would be more likely to spend extra on a bigger hotel room first.

    As for the older generations, over 65s would rather choose where they’re sitting on the plane, and don’t seem all that bothered about being able to take additional luggage. Being able to pick your own plane seat does seem to be a popular add-on choice for other more experienced travellers, with both 55-64-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds also choosing this as their preferred add-on.

    Who would you rather go on holiday with

    Nearly all age groups would rather go on holiday with a romantic partner

    Something that both younger and older generations can agree on is that when it comes to travelling, they’d rather go with their partner than anyone else.

    But this isn’t the case for every age group we surveyed, and for adults between 35 and 44, it appears as though family life takes over. 43% of respondents in this age group said that they’d prefer to go on holiday with the whole family compared to only 28% who would prefer a trip with their romantic partner.

    It’s somewhat of a similar story for the generation above of 45-54-year-olds with romantic partners and the whole family both receiving the same number of responses at 34%. The reason for this may be as simple as the fact that these are typically the years when parents have young children to take abroad.

    Younger generations are partial to an all-inclusive holiday

    As part of our survey, we also asked what kind of accommodation and board basis people would prefer, and it turns out that all age groups would rather stay in a hotel followed by an apartment or Airbnb.

    Whilst all age groups said that they’d rather stay in a hotel followed by an apartment or Airbnb, we found that 18-24-year-olds had the biggest gap between the number of responses for those who would rather stay at a hotel (59%) versus an apartment or Airbnb (24%). Interestingly though, they’re also the age group most likely to end up staying at a hostel (11%) but this may just be down to affordability.

    As for what type of board basis holidaymakers would rather go for, most age groups responded that they’d go for all inclusive. This is probably because it not only covers all meals but also snacks and drinks.

    An all-inclusive holiday wasn’t the top choice for older generations, in this case those aged between 55-64 and 65+, who responded said that they’d prefer bed and breakfast. Perhaps this is because they’re keen to go out and try local restaurants and other food places whilst on holiday?

    Going out and exploring is a priority for all age groups

    Something that all generations can agree on is that when you’re on holiday, you need to try and explore the location as much as possible. From immersing yourself in the local culture and sightseeing to just wandering about and seeing new things and places, you might as well make the most of being there.

    However, not everyone wants to be up and about, especially if you’ve already done this in your younger years and just under a third of 45-54-year-olds and over 65s (29%) claimed that their main reason for going on holiday is to relax and not do much, with a quarter of 55-64-year-olds also saying the same.

    Over 55s would rather go on holiday for a fortnight

    Another section of our survey asked about how long people would ideally go on holiday for and if they tend to go back to the same destination or prefer to try somewhere new.

    Whether it’s due to having more money to splurge out or enjoying an early retirement, most 55-64-year-olds (45%) and over 65s (54%) would rather go away for a fortnight. Of course, a two-week holiday isn’t for everybody and the most popular choice for every other age group was a one-week getaway.

    Overall, all age ranges said that they’re more likely to visit a new location they’ve never been to before. Although in saying that, almost a quarter of over 65s (24%) said they’d be happy to stay in the exact same accommodation they’ve already been to or at least go to a location they’ve previously been but instead stay somewhere different.

    As we can see throughout our research, travel habits do appear to vary by generation, but do you agree with the preferences we discovered for your age range?

    No matter how old you are, if you’re planning a holiday, you’ll want to be able to get to the airport without much fuss. Luckily, we can help with just that, and have cheap airport parking rates meaning you can get the added convenience for a great price. And, if you want to start your holiday in style, don’t forget to get a great deal on airport lounges, too.


    Responses were gathered from a survey of 1,000 Brits that was conducted by 3Gem in February 2024.