Industry NewsStudy Shows U.S. Consumers Prefer Experiences Over Possessions

Study Shows U.S. Consumers Prefer Experiences Over Possessions

BELLEVUE, Wash.—Expedia has released the results of a multi-generational travel study that explores consumer behavior and travel preferences of U.S. adults from Generation Z (age 18-22) to Baby Boomers (age 55-65). The results illustrate that people are shifting away from a society of stuff (products like clothes, electronics, jewelry) and toward a society of experiences, specifically saving for travel.

“Insights into younger generations’ preferences are as good as a crystal ball, and currently their trends are pointing towards a great future for the travel space,” said Sarah Gavin, vice president of Expedia, Inc. global communications.

Experiences Over Possessions

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. However, priorities are shifting from posting a new handbag to live streaming a ziplining experience. Of all U.S. respondents in the survey, 74 percent 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 20 percent of Gen-Z respondents said they have stayed at a specific hotel or destination in order to score a positive response from followers on posts on their own social media channels. Nearly half of Millennials said they would sell their clothes or furniture to travel more. A majority of Gen-Z respondents (71 percent) said they would get a part-time job to save up for a leisure trip and 11 percent even reported postponing a breakup due to a previously planned trip with their partner.

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by The Center for Generational Kinetics and surveyed a total of 1,254 U.S. respondents ages 18-65 from August 8 through 17, 2017.