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Are Micro-cations the Newest Millennial Travel Trend?

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 6/3/2019 Andrea Romano
a person standing in front of a body of water © John Duarte/Getty Images

The days of the extra long, leisurely vacation are over. At least, they seem to be for Millennials.

It’s no secret that the under-40 crowd are not the best at taking vacations. Even though Millennials love to travel, they often can’t or won’t go on trips due to work-related stress, finances, or simply the overwhelming task of planning a big getaway.

Therefore, the micro-cation has become the most popular way for many Millennials to finally get out of the office. But, what is a micro-cation anyway?

According to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index, released by Allianz Global Assistance, 57 percent of Americans did not take a vacation longer than four nights last year, the company said in a statement.

Out of all the age groups studied, 72 percent of Millennials admitted that they had taken at least one of these “micro-cations” in 2018, compared to 69 percent of Gen X-ers and 60 percent of Baby Boomers.

These short getaways are basically like taking long weekends in lieu of extended vacation time, kind of like a mini-moon without the wedding. It can be a good tactic for getting the most out of your paid time off if you want to go to lots of different places in short amounts of time, especially if you use your weekends well.

According to Allianz Global Assistance, the survey also found that 21 percent of Millennials said their longest trips were three to four nights, while 12 percent said they took trips no longer than one or two nights. In addition, 29 percent said they took at least three micro-cations in the entire year. If you’re willing to be constantly on the go, this can be a pretty tempting option compared to saving up all year (or several years) for one long vacation.

“The days of the ubiquitous week-long summer vacation may be disappearing, but we're happy to see that Americans, especially Millennials, are eager to travel more frequently," said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, in a statement. Durazo also said micro-cations increase interest in domestic locations over international ones, as well.

The reason micro-cationing has become more en vogue lately comes down, for the most part, to money. According to the survey, 25 percent of Millennials said they preferred this way of traveling because they didn’t want to spend more on a longer stay. 37 percent also said that it was simply easier to take off time for a short trip, and 34 percent said they spent this time attending special events like weddings or visiting friends.

But Millennials aren’t the only group who are concerned about their vacation time. According to the survey, 40 percent of Gen X-ers also said that it was easier to take time off work for a short trip, and 38 percent of Baby Boomers said they used their time on vacation to attend an event, so they didn’t need more than five nights.

While Baby Boomers were less likely to take a micro-cation out of any other group, they were still most likely to not take a vacation at all, with 35 percent of responders saying they didn’t take a leisure trip last year, compared to 26 percent of Millennials and 24 percent of Gen X-ers.

Studies have shown that workers are in need of some quality time off, and it looks like some groups are finding less traditional ways to get it. But is it for everyone?

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