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The Future of Travel Is in Millennials’ Hands

Millennials—those born between 1980 and 1999—are the largest generation ever, at more than 80 million in the U.S. alone. That makes them the largest group of consumers ever. Which makes what they want important, because it’s what everyone is likely to get.

So, what do millennial travelers want? Hipmunk has released the results of its second annual Millennial Travel Habits Study, which attempts to answer just that question. And some of the findings are likely to make older travelers cringe.

Most notably, millennials are more willing than Generation Xers to sacrifice comfort to save a few bucks.

  • 51% of millennials would accept less legroom for a discount, versus 38% of Gen Xers
  • 33% of millennials would stand for a discount, versus 14% of Gen Xers
  • 66% of millennials would sit next to the lavatory for a discount, versus 51% of Gen Xers
  • 13% of millennials value premium economy perks, versus 21% of Gen Xers

So, if the trend toward slimline seats with less and less legroom is going to be halted or reversed, it won’t be because of an outpouring of outrage from millennials.

Surprisingly, millennials place about the same importance on being plugged in while on the road that Gen Xers do.

In what must be heartening news for travel suppliers, millennials plan to travel more than Gen Xers in 2015. Although more Gen Xers planned 1-3 trips this year, millennials foresaw more trips in the 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and more-than-12 categories. And 93.5 percent of millennials have passports, versus just 85.2 percent of Gen Xers. All the more reason to expect that airlines and hotel companies will be tailoring their services to meet the expectations of millennials.

Baby Boomers, adjust your expectations!

This article originally appeared on

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