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Boomers vs. millennials: How do their vacation habits compare?

August 12, 2012
Boomers and Millennials have different ideas about their vacations

Boomers and millennials have distinctly different ideas about their vacations.

If you’re a boomer planning a multigenerational vacation with adult children, you may find that although you’re headed in the same direction, you may be taking different trips metaphorically.

According to a new Princess Cruises “Relaxation Report,” boomers (48-66 years of age) have distinctly different ideas about vacations than millennials (18-31 years old). Here’s how the two compare:

  • Need to work on vacation: One-third of the boomers surveyed couldn’t resist doing something work-related on vacation compared to 60 percent of millennials, who are more tethered to their work.
  • Use of vacation time: Of those earning paid vacation time, boomers used nearly 60 percent of their time last year while millennials used less than half.
  •  Need to remain socially connected: Fewer than half of boomers would update social media profiles on vacation compared to 85 percent of millennials.

The same study revealed other findings about the ways in which all Americans, regardless of their generation, view their vacations:

  • Sixty percent would prefer to go without social media than without alcohol.
  • Nearly half tend to make new friends on their vacations.
  • When it comes to vacation styles, 57 percent characterize themselves as “relaxers” who prefer to lay back; 43 percent describe themselves as “doers” who prefer active vacations.
  • When asked what they need to escape at the end of summer, 50 percent said hot weather, 38 percent said high gas prices, and 36 percent said political campaigns.

On the topic of politics, about half of those surveyed thought that President Obama is most in need of a relaxing getaway; only 20 percent thought Mitt Romney needed a break. In terms of pop culture fantasies, the generations differed again: Millennials would prefer to hang out with late night hosts Chelsea Handler (33 percent) or Jimmy Fallon (26 percent) while boomers would prefer to pal around with Jay Leno (29 percent).

Conducted by Wakefield Research, the Princess Cruises Relaxation Report surveyed a representative sample of 1000 adults online, ages 18 and over, between June 28 and July 5, 2012.

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