Priceline Generation Travel Index reveals findings from study of America travelers

Priceline Generation Travel Index has announced findings from a study of American travelers that reveal Generation Z travelers said, if given an extra USD 100 to spend on vacation, they would spend it on an experience, the index said.

More than half (51 percent) of all respondents reported no loyalty to any one airline or hotel brand, while 22 percent said they were loyal to a small number of brands. Baby Boomers, in fact, were the least brand-loyal across all generations, with 59 percent of Boomers reporting no allegiance whatsoever.

Generation Z travelers say WiFi should be free, sustainability is critical, and the perfect photo is a vacation priority.

The study spanned four generations: Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.

The Priceline Generation Travel Index reveals that the cost of travel is the most important consideration for Americans of any age. That priority also grows over time. Three quarters (75 percent) of Millennials said cost is their top priority when planning a vacation, a figure that rises to 80 percent among Generation X, and up to 86 percent of Baby Boomers. More than two thirds (67 percent) of Gen Z travelers do believe that price is paramount, but in fact they are the least cost-sensitive generation on the whole, and also the likeliest to characterize themselves as big spenders on vacation.

Gen Z Americans were the first age group to be raised entirely online, a fact that is reflected in their relationship to social media. Nearly one in two (48 percent) Gen Z respondents report that photos posted to social media inspire them to travel, the most among all age groups. They are also the age group generation most likely to report feeling pressure to post the perfect photo while on vacation — a burden cited by nearly one in three (29 percent).

For all Americans, sustainability was cited as the most important factor when choosing an airline or hotel. It was chosen first by 52 percent of respondents in the study. The middle generations — Millennials (57 percent) and Generation X (55 percent) were the two likeliest to consider sustainability the top consideration, though that opinion was shared by nearly half of Gen Z (48 percent) and Baby Boomers (46 percent).

Nearly half (48 percent) of Gen Z respondents plan their travel within one month of departure. Nearly one in five (19 percent) actually plan and book travel one to three weeks prior. The study showed that among all respondents, 27 percent — the largest percentage — begin planning travel about 2-3 months prior to departure. About one in ten respondents (12 percent) plan vacations a full 6-12 months out.

More than eight in ten Americans (82 percent) expect WiFi to be free when they travel, within a hotel in particular. WiFi tops the list of hotel amenities that American travelers would be least willing to pay for. Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of Americans also expect their hotel to give them a free breakfast. Seven in ten Baby Boomers (70 percent) and nearly as many Gen X travelers (69 percent) expect a complimentary breakfast, as do more than six in ten Gen Z and Millennial travelers (61 percent for both).

The Priceline Generation Travel Index was commissioned by Priceline and executed by Savanta, an international research firm. Savanta surveyed 1,503 Americans between the ages of 17 and 65 years old who reported traveling for vacation at least once in the last year. The survey pool was demographically representative of the United States.

Priceline, part of Booking Holdings Inc. [NASDAQ: BKNG], is a world leader in travel deals. Priceline offers exclusive discounts on hotels, flights, alternative accommodations, rental cars, cruises and packages.