Issue 37 / More And More Millennials Opting To Explore The World In Luxury

More And More Millennials Opting To Explore The World In Luxury

Feb 14, 2016

An increasing number of travellers – ranging in age from 20 to their early 30s – are staying at more high-end accommodations compared to older generations.

With what seems like a never-ending stretch of winter ahead, many of us have warmer temperatures on the mind. Young travellers make up 20 per cent of all international tourists, according to statistics compiled by the World Youth Student and Education Travel Confederation — and, it seems, a new trend is emerging among this travel group.

Instead of backpacking through destinations across the globe — a popular choice in the past due to cost — younger travellers are opting to ditch the hostels in favour of more luxurious travel. In fact, a recent Ipsos Reid poll found more than 20 per cent of millennials, described as the generation born between the early ‘80s and the early ‘2000s, list staying in luxury hotels as their top travel indulgence. This is followed by relaxing at the hotel spa or pool, dining at gourmet restaurants and shopping at high-end stores (a travel perk that didn’t even register for travellers age 55 and over who were surveyed).

Millennials are also seeking out new experiences and places to explore. That’s something Shivani Lahar, 31, says is number one on her checklist when planning a vacation. She caught the travel bug in her early 20s and has done everything from braving the long walk up Jamaica’s spectacular Dunns River Falls to tantalizing her tastebuds with salmon ravioli at a quaint little restaurant in Uruguay. “Don’t get me wrong . . . I do also like to sit by a beach relaxing and getting a massage every now and then,” she adds.

An increasing number of millennials consider themselves world explorers, as long as they travel in luxury.
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One of the driving forces behind luxury travel being more accessible to the younger set are travel credit cards which “offer benefits . . . like earning loyalty points they can redeem for rewards that suit their tastes and lifestyle,” explains Glenn DeSouza, vice president of RBC Retail Cards. But he notes it's important to understand the benefits your particular credit card offers, which can range from hotel upgrades to special event access.

Some millennials, like Lahar, a senior manager at the Bank of Montreal, use their travel credit cards towards flights. But she warns, you often have to deal with blackout periods, seat restrictions and ridiculous hours for layovers. Definitely an inconvenience if you have somewhere you need to be. With that in mind Lahar acknowledges certain credit card points plans are better than others because they include airfare taxes, as well as give customers the freedom to choose their own flights. “But you have to spend money to earn points," she says. "A lot of money." 
Travel credit cards offer great benefits that help younger Canadians reach their travel goals.
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Credit cards aren't the only thing helping millennials with their luxury travel. They are also taking an active role, DeSouza says, by doing their research. This savvy group of travellers is looking at the costs associated with splurging on luxury indulgences and creating budgets to help them meet these goals.

Or there’s Lahar who seldom budgets for her travel. Her tip: “don’t look at the credit card bill when you come back!”

Main Image Photo Credit: Getty Images (haveseen), from

Neetu Seupersadsingh


Neetu Seupersadsingh has loved writing for as long as she can remember. That's why Carleton University’s journalism program  was her clear choice for post-secondary studies. In Ottawa, she was able to further develop her skill in arts, entertainment and lifestyle reporting. So...


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