Last updated: 03:57 PM ET, Thu October 13 2016

Millennial Moms Still Make the Travel Decisions

Host Agency & Consortia | Travel Planners International | Kristina Rundquist | October 13, 2016

Millennial Moms Still Make the Travel Decisions

PHOTO: Even Millennial Moms still rule the roost when it comes to family travel decisions. (Courtesy Travel Planners International)

Marketing and advertisers have long operated under the understanding that moms wear the pants in the family when it comes to making decisions about their home and family—what to buy, where to buy it and how much to spend.

That’s been especially true when talking about vacation planning: Moms rule the roost.

And still do.

Travel Planners International recently blogged about the dawn of Millennial Moms who hearken back to a time-honored practice – using travel agents to book the family vacation.

Whether you’re talking about two weeks at a Disney Resort, a family cruise in the Caribbean or a road trip to see America’s national parks, historically moms have been in charge of the planning. Travel companies recognize this and have targeted their advertising accordingly with the understanding that Baby Boomer and Gen X moms were at the helm of selecting travel products.

Then along came Millennials, and, of course, Millennial Moms, who ushered in a new definition of what it means to take a family vacation.

Conventional wisdom might be telling you that the thoroughly modern Millennial would eschew traditional travel products, and to some extent that’s correct. Whereas previous generations might skip taking a trip somewhere with their family in tow, preferring to staycation or rent a beach house with friends–or better still, leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa–Millennial Moms are packing up the Baby Bjorns and hitting the road.

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And these moms are often doing it all on their own. A recent study by Weber Shandwick found that of 32 percent of Millennial Moms are single, and a third are their household’s majority breadwinner, often simultaneously juggling the demands of a job and motherhood.

Millennial Moms, as it turns out, are financially independent decision-makers who don’t shy away from a family adventure. And that translates to big opportunities for travel companies and agents who can correctly target and engage this market.

As part of a misunderstood (and often maligned) generation, the struggle to be seen and heard by advertisers as a viable decision-making market segment is real. What’s even more of a struggle?  For marketers and advertisers, anyway, appealing to a group of women who increasingly rely on social media to learn about new products and share their experiences. (The Weber Shandwick study also found that whether it's online or during a chat with friends, 71 percent of Millennial Moms are out there sharing information about vacation and travel arrangements.)

What’s more, according to Weber Shandwick, Millennial Moms are highly connected and highly influential: They spend, on average, 17.4 hours each week on their various social media networks and are more likely than moms of other generations to “Like,” re-tweet, re-pin or recommend products or services online.

Savvy moms, of course, have turned to travel agents to take care of the details, well aware that their time is precious. Rather than spending countless hours online comparing the subtle nuances of various vacation packages or trying to reign in all the details that planning an international FIT entails, they know that without a travel agent, they truly are on their own.

The good news for travel agents is that Millennial Moms are too different in that respect. Another study, this one conducted by TNS Global for the American Society of Travel Agents, found that of the Millennials polled, 45 percent would recommend a travel agent to a friend or family member and two-thirds said that using a travel agent enhanced their overall travel experience.

So take heed, travel companies. Millennial Moms are the future.


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