As the modern workplace continues to evolve, the typical employee benefits package has become deluged with exciting perks and flexible work options. Among the free snacks and unlimited PTO benefits, an increasingly popular offering is Summer Fridays. Common on the East Coast, Summer Fridays is the practice of giving employees half day (or if you’re lucky, a full day) off on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor day.
This practice, along with rising Millennial and Gen Z travel, has given rise to an increase in “micro-travel.” That is, shorter trips (less than five days) often occurring over a long weekend.
According to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index released by Allianz Global Assistance, 72 percent of Millennials took at least one micro-trip in the last year, closely followed by 69 percent of Gen X'ers and 60 percent of Baby Boomers.
For many, micro-travel is becoming the new norm. A growing number of younger travelers are opting for several micro-trips per year, in lieu of a traditional one-week vacation. For many reasons, micro-travel makes more sense to them. Weekend trips enable travelers to make the most of their limited vacation days, requiring only a day or two off at the end of the week. And for the budget-conscious traveler, shorter trips make more financial sense, and enable them to stretch their dollars throughout the year.
The micro-travel trend is good news for destinations, because it means that travelers are visiting more destinations each year, albeit for shorter periods of time. In fact, 25 percent of the general population (and 29 percent of Millennials) reported taking three or more micro-trips in the last year.
Due to time limitations on these trips, micro-travelers look to either fly directly into their destination, or stick to road trips within their time zone. For DMOs, this means marketing directly to in-state travelers for staycations, or promoting your destination to nearby regions as an exciting place for a weekend getaway.
Micro-travelers also prefer curated experiences with jam-packed itineraries, in order to make the most of the short time they have in a destination. By creating blog posts and social media content that speaks to the availability of these experiences in your destination, you can help to draw these audiences to your town or city.
With micro-travelers taking more frequent trips to more domestic locales, tourism on the national level wins. Has your destination moved beyond the "traditional" week-long vacation mindset and embraced the concept of micro-travel?