It is no secret that we are living in tough economic times. The stock market is extremely volatile; there is quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the future of Social Security benefits; and it is more difficult than ever for young adults to obtain quality, decent-paying jobs. Additionally, many young people graduate from college with obscene amounts of student debt.
So, what are many young people doing about their situation? They are choosing to travel!
Research indicates that the segment of the population referred to as millennials (those aged 16 to 34) are far more interested in traveling as much as possible than older generations. In fact, the United Nations estimates that millennials make up about 20% of international tourists. This represents 200 million people and more than $180 billion in tourism revenue each year. And rather than seek out week-long “fun in the sun” vacations, many young people are embarking on long-term experiences including months-long backpacking adventures.
These interesting facts illustrate just how differently young adults view their situations than older generations. For older Americans, it was very common to follow the traditional path to old age: start working at a company at a very young age; marry relatively young; start a family; remain working at that company for decades; retire; and then spend the golden years relaxing and doing some traveling.
Young adults follow a much different path, and the most notable difference is the lack of any clear, linear direction. Work-life balance is much more important to young adults than it was 50 years ago. Today’s young adults typically will not put up with an 60-hour work week, less than ideal working conditions and overdue work stress. Rather, they change employers frequently and spend more time with their families.
And, rather than wait until their golden years to travel, young adults view the future with such uncertainty that they choose to travel now while they still can.
After all, in this day and age, who knows what the future will hold?