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Millennials in the USA, UK and China prioritize travel over buying a home or paying off debt [REPORT]

03 January 2017

A survey conducted by GfK for Airbnb of millennials in the USA, UK and China found that most millennials value experiences over ownership, and consider travel more important than buying a home or paying off debt.

Some key findings:

  • 93% of Chinese millennials said that travel is an important part of their identity - more important than paying off debt, investing, saving, home ownership or car ownership.
  • Given a windfall of $10,000 44% of Chinese millennials said they would spend it on travel.
  • 75% of Chinese millennials said they prefer creating their own travel itineraries to package tours, and 94% want unique travel experiences.
  • 83% of Airbnb users in China who have booked at least one trip are millennials, vs. 60% globally.
  • UK millennials said they rank travel above home ownership or paying off debt.
  • US millennials - whose student-loan debt has doubled in less than a decade - are more inclined to want to balance debt repayment with travel.
  • On average across the 3 countries, millennials take 3-4 trips a year.
  • Of those who said they can't afford to travel, nearly 90% said they would travel if they had more money.
  • 55% of millennials in the UK, 56% in the USA and 83% in China say they are spending more on travel now than a year ago.
  • A majority of respondents from all 3 countries say they'd prefer to stay in "cool local neighborhoods" even if distant from tourist attractions, and by a 3:1 margin would prefer to experience local food vs. food familiar from home.

Good stuff, but bear in mind that Airbnb paid for this research, and have not released the survey instrument. So it's possible that questions were asked in such a way as to tend to elicit the responses that Airbnb wanted to hear (like millennials favoring "cool local neighborhoods").

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