Research Finds 20% of Millennials Rank Social Space as the Most Important When Choosing Where to Stay

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Research Finds 20% of Millennials Rank Social Space as the Most Important When Choosing Where to Stay


New research from Hostelworld, the world’s leading hostel-focused online booking platform, reveals the latest travel trends amongst American travelers. These findings stem from the company’s recent ‘Evolution of the Hostel Traveler’ report which showcases how the budget-conscious international traveler (also known as a backpacker), and their journey has changed from generation to generation and how it will continue to evolve in the future.

American women leading solo travel globally

The report reveals that globally, three-quarters (75%) of women have gone on or are planning solo travel trips, compared to only two-thirds (67%) of men. Hostelworld’s own booking data reflects this trend with bookings made by solo female travelers increasing by 88% over the past four years.

In the United States, the disparity between women and men is the most apparent. In fact, 45% more women are going on extended hostel trips than men. Moreover, it seems that American women are leading the charge globally as the nationality making the most solo travel bookings with 20% made by American women, followed by Germany (11%), UK (10%) and Australia (8%).

Top destinations by generation: Dreams vs. Reality

Whilst Europe was popular among travelers, Hostelworld saw a 230% increase amongst younger generations in venturing to Africa. However, while one in five Millennials (18%) and Gen Z (21%) travelers reported that they would like to explore the continent, research found that these travelers are currently traveling to European countries, such as Poland, Greece, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Considering Gen Z’ers are looking to explore beyond traditional routes, with a 27% decline in trips planned to ‘tried and tested’ destinations when compared to Gen X; Hostelworld predicts that Gen Z travelers will inspire old and new generations to meet the world.

Motives behind American travel

Hostelworld found that 30% more Millennials, reported the need to escape and de-stress compared to older generations. When looking at ways in which accommodation amenities influence traveler bookings, Millennial preferences proved to be the most complex. Hostelworld found that American Millennials are more interested in accommodations that offer social, eco-friendly and co-working features, compared to the past generation of travelers.

Similarly, future travelers want to meet new people from all over the world, with a fifth (20%) ranking social space as the most important consideration when choosing where to stay – an area where hostels excel. Another strong appeal factor that’s seen a steady increase throughout the generations is the free activities hostels offer their guests. From free beach yoga to local cooking classes, the importance of free social experiences in hostels has increased by 25% for today’s backpackers, as one in five (21%) say they’re attracted to hostels offering these, over those that don’t.