Spring Break – which occurs between March 17 and April 28, depending on school schedules – kicks off the travel season for most Americans. It is one of the most popular travel times for college students and families alike. Booking.com predicts that this year’s spring break travel costs will be 2% more expensive than last year, but after a long winter, most travelers won’t be deterred.

Travel is a way of life

According to data gathered by Expedia for Skift, travel is popular across the generations. Although 30% of Baby Boomers travel in the Spring, this generation is least likely to travel for Spring break (only 6%, according to the AARP) compared to more than 50% of Millennials and Gen Z who will travel for Spring break. Throughout the year, Millennials travel the most, with 35 travel days a year and Gen Xers – who are busy working and caring for kids and parents – travel the least, with 26-29 travel days a year. Gen X is most likely to travel by car, while Millennials are most likely to travel outside the country.

Experience Rules

Overall, every generation of traveler is more focused on experiences. Yet similar to their differences in focus on college campuses, Millennials and Gen Z seek different things with travel, too: Millennials seek comfort and want the best place to stay, while Gen Z seek the best food and experiences.  AirBnB now offers experiences at most destinations; not only can you find a home to stay in but you can also reserve a half day with local artist, guide, or famous chef. Hotels and online travel agencies are trying to compete by offering experiences, packages that include the room and activities, and other enticements.

Pictures are still worth 1,000 words

The younger generations – Gen Z and Millennials – are far more influenced by social media, while older generations – Baby Boomers and Gen X – are influenced by direct advertising. 90% of Gen Z travel decisions are influenced by social media, with the most popular platforms being SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook.

Spring break is an American experience

When it comes to kicking off the travel season with a Spring break trip, American destinations come out on top. Orlando is the most popular spring break destination this year, but according to Kayak, the top 10 destinations for this year’s travel are dominated by U.S. cities, including Las Vegas, New York, LA, Orlando, Chicago, Denver, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle. The only international city to break the top 10 is London. Other international trending cities, according to Kayak, include Barcelona, Bali, Amsterdam, and Lisbon.

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