Stats: 74 Percent of Americans Prioritize Experiences Over Products

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According to a study conducted by Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics, 74 percent of Americans now prioritize experiences over products or things. “Baby Boomers (born 1946-64 are entering a stage where ‘less is more,’ while younger generations, particularly Millennials (defined as those born from 1977-95), are leading the charge in placing a newfound value on experiences, more than things,” the report, titled Generations on the Move, states.

Atop the list of experiences that Americans are saving for is travel. The study found that 57 percent of all Americans are currently saving money specifically for travel; Millennials again are higher than the average, with 65 percent saving for travel.

While all generations value “experiences,” the nature of those vary greatly between each age group. Gen Z (born from 1996 and later) value adventurous experiences (“such as exploring and trying new things”), while Baby Boomers see traditional travel experiences such as sightseeing or touring as the top priority. Millennials and Gen X (born 1965-76) value relaxation, such as beach or spa time. The report notes, however, that age wasn’t the only defining trait amongst what travelers are looking for: age bracket also played a factor. Lower income travelers prioritized spending time with family/loved ones, middle income prioritized sightseeing, and higher income travelers want to relax.

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Good to know: Younger generations tend to make the most of long weekends (three to five days), which is the most preferred length of trip for Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X. Baby Boomers are likely to travel for over a week with trips booked much further in advance (the report also notes that Gen Z is apt to book within 30 days, and often within a week or two of travel).

The study sampled more than 1,000 adults in the United States, aged 18-65.

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