We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.

Booking.com releases results of its Global Research on Gen Z travelers

Gen Z traveler

Booking.com releases the most comprehensive global research into the wants and needs of the next generation of global travelers - Gen Z. With the power to shape the future, Gen Z (aged 16-24) is coming of age and are on their way to discovering the world. Already the subject of much speculation, many have assumed how this generation will behave, but what do they actually have to say for themselves?

In an increasingly connected world, with travel more accessible than ever before, Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travelers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, a range of must-do travel experiences and seamless transport options, has conducted global research with almost 22,000 respondents across 29 markets to get insights into the Gen Z traveler*, revealing not just their travel plans, but how these link to their wider aspirations for life.

Ambitious Adventurers

While many Gen Zers have only just come of age they most certainly already know what they want when it comes to their travel plans:

Ready to go Solo

Many young travelers are already stepping out into the world with their family, with two fifths (42%) of Gen Z travelers indicating that they mainly do it because it allows them to go on trips that they would not otherwise have the funds for. But as Gen Z looks to fly the nest, they’re keen to do it alone.

Already Champions of the Bucket List

Over two thirds (69%) of Gen Z have already compiled a travel bucket list (a list of things to do or see before they die), with this figure rising to 74% across Gen Z females (vs. 64% men).

Reasons for having a travel bucket list are varied:

Having a travel bucket list doesn’t just reveal an intention to travel to new places, it also provides a deeper insight on the generation’s broader travel behaviors. For the 31% of Gen Z without a bucket list, the reasons also vary:

In fact, of the 49% of Baby Boomers (those 55+) who don’t have a bucket list, three in ten say they prefer to travel impulsively (30%) – the highest of all generations surveyed. Millennials (those aged 25-39) also travel more impulsively than Gen Z (26%).

Travel vs. Life Goals

Gen Z have grown up in a world where over the last decade or so, global financial and economic turbulence has become almost the norm, and so understanding their stance on finances (specifically how they plan to spend their money over the next five years), is a useful barometer for their overall outlook on life.

Six in ten (60%) Gen Zers think that travel is always worth investing in. And when it comes to prioritization, “travel and seeing the world” ranked as most important to this generation when thinking about how they spend their money (65%). Saving for ‘life’s biggest investment’ (property) came a close second and interestingly, more material possessions ranked lowest.

What Gen Z plans to spend their money over the next 5 years % of global Gen Z travelers
Traveling and seeing the world 65%
Saving for a down payment on a house / property 60%
Investing in higher education / professional training 60%
Saving for retirement 51%
Spending money on experiences or products that are environmentally friendly 46%
Saving for wedding/civil partnership 42%
Buying new tech 33%
Buying designer clothes/shoes/accessories 33%


Unpacking Gen Z priorities

When questioned about how they’d prioritize spending their money, travel came out top in five out of seven choices for Gen Z, especially when compared to material possessions or more fleeting experiences. Travel ranked above the likes of furniture and homewares, clothes and fashion, tech and gadgets, eating at restaurants and spa and beauty treatments.

When thinking about how Gen Z would like to spend their money, this is how they would prioritize:    
Travel (79%) vs. Spa / beauty treatments (21%)
Travel (68%) vs. Eating out at restaurants (32%)
Travel (62%) vs. Furniture / homewares (38%)
Travel (60%) vs. Clothes / fashion/shoes (40%)
Travel (58%) vs. Tech / gadgets (42%)

Out of office: on

Whether still contemplating their future vocation, or have just ventured into the workforce, the notion of a career is still pretty fresh, so its unsurprising that Gen Z rank getting a job as their most important life experience (80%). But with travel being such a passion point for this generation, prospective employers should take note, as 54% of Gen Z say the opportunity to travel for work is important when selecting a job and nearly six in ten (57%) say a job where they get to experience other cultures is attractive to them.

“As the first generation of digital natives comes of age, it’s exciting to see this research reveal that Gen Z travelers are a determined generation whose excitement to explore means that they have mapped out many of their future travel plans already,” said Ram Papatla, Vice President of Global Experiences at Booking.com. “Their affinity and comfort with technology dovetails perfectly with our ambition to learn and deliver an even more seamless, connected trip experience. We want to empower people of all ages to make the most out of every adventure, with their device as a powerful resource instead of a dependency - something Gen Z truly appreciates.”

To delve deeper into Booking.com’s insights of the Gen Z traveler, visit http://destinationgenz.com/

*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample size of 21,807 respondents aged 16 or over (25% of whom were aged 16-24) in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Brazil, India, US, UK; and 600 each from Russia, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 and 16 May 2019. The survey was carried out online. All research and recruitment, unless otherwise stated, was carried out by Vitreous World, with analysis by Ketchum Analytics.