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Shorter Vacations Replacing Weeklong Getaways

Tamara E. Holmes
Shorter Vacations Replacing Weeklong Getaways

More consumers are opting for short getaways over lengthy travel excursions, a new survey has found.

Travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance commissioned opinion research company Ipsos to survey a sample of 1,005 adults for its 2019 Vacation Confidence Index, and found that shorter vacations are the way to go for an increasing number of younger consumers, in particular. Allianz uses the term ‘micro-cation’ to describe any leisure trip that lasts fewer than five nights.

According to the survey, 57% of respondents said all of their trips in the past year were micro-cations, lasting four nights or less. Eighteen percent said their longest trip lasted three to four nights and 11% said their longest trip lasted one to two nights.

Shorter vacations popular among younger generations

The trend is particularly popular with millennials, defined by the study as adults between 18-34. In fact, 72% of millennials said they had taken at least one micro-cation in the past year and 29% said they had taken at least three. Among members of Generation X — those between 35 and 54 — 69% have taken a micro-cation in the last year, and among baby boomers — those 55 and over — 60% have done so. Approximately 25% of all respondents said they had taken three or more micro-cations in the last year.

Yet older generations still seem to be partial to longer getaways, as 40% of baby boomers said they avoided trips that lasted fewer than five nights in the past year, compared with 34% of the general population who felt that way. Millennials were also less likely than older generations to take longer trips, with only 17% having taken a vacation that lasted longer than seven days in the last year, compared with 21% of Gen Xers and 22% of baby boomers.

Major reason cited for shorter vacations: Easier to get time off work

Respondents gave a number of reasons for choosing micro-cations over longer excursions. Topping the list, 32% of respondents said it was easier to get off of work for shorter periods of time while another 32% said they didn’t need more time than that to accomplish the goal of their trip, such as visiting friends and family. Approximately 26% said they preferred to take more frequent shorter trips than fewer longer trips, 19% said they didn’t want to spend the amount of money longer trips would require and 10% said it was easier to find a travel partner for a shorter trip. Millennials were most likely to cite financial concerns as their reason for favoring micro-cations, while Gen Xers were more concerned about taking off of work for longer periods of time.

Once you know the average cost of a vacation, you can determine how to make a getaway fit into your travel budget. If cost is a concern, you might choose to stay away for a shorter period of time or look for other ways to cut down on travel costs, such as setting up price alerts on travel websites. If traveling is a priority, consider getting a credit card that offers generous travel rewards.