Valuing experiences over material items has been a growing trend and shows no signs of slowing down, according to a recent Airbnb travel trend survey, What’s Next in Travel: Nature Treks, Trips to the Past and Conscious Dining, in which 57 percent of Americans said they prefer to spend on travel rather than things.
In the study, which consisted of 17,670 travelers across the globe, participants were surveyed on the types of trips they take and what they look for during those trips. Thirty-seven percent plan to increase their spending on experiences in 2020, with millennials (48 percent) and Generation Z (46 percent) leading the pack. American Gen Zers are the likeliest to spend the most money on vacations, whereas baby boomers are likely to spend the least.
Nature Travel on the Rise
One-quarter of Americans and nearly one-third of millennials (32 percent) plan to take outdoor trips in 2020. Year over year, Gen Zers and millennials are seeking out experiences in nature, Airbnb reports. Natural settings, such as igloos and campsites, have gained much popularity, and are up 83 and 171 percent, respectively.
As people become more aware of the toll too much technology can have on the body and mind, they are seeking experiences that give them an opportunity to disconnect and slow down. The survey showed that 40 percent of Americans like to spend most of their vacation time simply relaxing and not doing much, and one-quarter of them want to engage in activities that get them away from technology.
Minimalism has not only taken hold on the domestic front, but it has also made its way into travel. Shorter trips and smaller spaces are on an upward trend.
More than half of Americans would rather spend their money taking long weekend trips, and those trips are taking place in smaller abodes. Stays in shepherd’s huts and tiny homes have been trending upward from 2019 to 2020, growing by 112 and 85 percent, respectively.
Food as a Means of Connections
Veganism has taken much of the world by storm, as shown in the study. Experiences offering vegan options are up 579 percent, while those offering vegetarian options were up 570 percent in 2019, compared to the previous year. High-carb eating is also on the rise, with baking (up 155 percent) and pasta (up 88 percent) showing an increase in bookings in 2020.
Food always has been a great way for people to connect and is one of the many reasons people travel. In fact, according to Airbnb, food and drink experiences are the ones most booked by foreign travelers to new countries and 35 percent of Americans want to spend their vacation time enjoying new food experiences.