Millennials Aren't Going on Vacation — and Here's the Sad Reason Why

Millennials couldn't afford a vacation this year
Photo: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Millennials are stressed, overworked, underpaid, and in desperate need of a vacation.

Even for young people who work at companies that offer paid time off, the cost of traveling can be a real burden — especially when they have to balance their budgets to take care of bills, student debt, and pricey rentals. So it should come as no surprise that more than half of Millennials cannot afford to take a vacation.

According to a new study by DepositAccounts, 55 percent of Millennials said they did not go on vacation in the past year for financial reasons, as opposed to 49 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of Baby Boomers.

It’s not like Millennials aren’t working hard to save money for travel. In fact, 76 percent of Millennials are trying to do just that. In order to cut down on the cost of traveling, nearly half (46 percent) of all respondents in the study said they like to keep their travel budget under $1,000. Only 22 percent of those surveyed said they keep their budget under $2,000.

Perhaps the most disheartening figures reveal that 74 percent of Millennials wish they could save more money to spend on vacations, and 37 percent said they have gone into vacation-related debt. One in 10 of this group is still paying off their last trip.

The study notes that Baby Boomer travelers, especially those on the cusp of retirement, have generally higher salaries and are usually at a point in their lives where their mortgages (and other major expenses) are paid off. Many Millennials, however, are generally burdened by student debt and are still in the process of saving for a home.

According to a 2019 study from Deloitte, the net worth of Gen Z and Millennial Americans (anyone between 18 and 35) has dropped 34% since 1996, with the net worth of many Millennials being under $8,000. Since a good chunk of Americans set their vacation budget to $2,000 maximum, taking a vacation just may seem impossible. Who wants to spend up to a quarter of their net worth in less than a week?

But the vacation issue is not all bleak for Millennials. The rise of the micro-cation, or extremely short stays of less than four days, has become increasingly popular since it allows Millennials to go somewhere for less money and fewer days out of the office.

The study also showed that all respondents — not just Millennials — who actually did take a vacation went somewhere more affordable than your typical trip.

So, it seems like Millennials, and to a degree other generations, are simply being frugal across the board, regardless of whether they’re staying home or traveling.

More information on the study can be found on the DepositAccounts website.

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