It’s been widely reported, and accepted as a fact that millennials aren’t driving nearly as much as past generations. They also aren’t purchasing cars at the same rate. In fact, many people old enough to drive aren’t even bothering to get their licenses nowadays. Millennials just don’t have the love affair with cars that their moms and dads did, nor do they see cars as that ultimate symbol of freedom.
Millennials having other reasons for driving less, including:
- The perception that gas is too expensive
- Ridesharing apps like Uber have reduced the need to own a car
- Choosing to live in more walkable locations
To top things off, millennials have grown up in the digital age, where technology accelerates everything. Immediate gratification is a very real characteristic of Gen-Y, and time spent in a car clashes directly with the need for instant results. Anyone who’s ever been on a roadtrip knows it’s anything but fast, which is why the phrase, “Are we there yet?” immediately brings to mind cruising along Route 66. All of this adds up to millennials enjoying the open road quite a bit less. The side-effect is that roadtripping is becoming a lost art among Gen-Y.
Millennials love new experiences, going on adventures, and seeing the world — they just do it a little differently.
Cars Are Just To Get From Point A to Point B
Millennials aren’t connected to the car or the road itself. This generation cares far more about the people they’re getting to experience this moments with. Cars once held a certain mythos that’s been rejected by millennials as a kind of show of anti-materialism.
Millennials Love To Travel…Abroad
Millennials are 23% more interest in traveling abroad than other generations. Gen-Y views hopping on a plane, and jetting across the sea as truly getting more bang for the buck. The other thing that factors in is that millennials love to be able to share epic scenes from their lives on social media. Frankly, flying to Italy is easier to romanticize, and capture in pictures than showing the beauty of a simple road trip through the heart of the U.S.
Millennials Are Also Traveling…For Business
Gen-Y travels plenty, but they look for shorter outings, and like to consolidate their time. Recent surveys have shown that millennials are frequently combining business with pleasure. In fact, the survey revealed millennials travel much more for business than Gen Xers.
62 percent of millennials surveyed also added a personal vacation into a business trip. Typical road trips don’t consist of business since they are long and leisurely by design. When mixing business and pleasure, this will naturally result in hitting the open road old fashion style.
It’s A Busier, Wilder World
In a survey by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, millennials reported having very little time for road trips. In fact, 51 percent of Gen-Y said they don’t really have the option to take road trips because they’d have to take off work.
This goes back to the prior point, and helps to explain why millennials mix business and pleasure — it’s a necessity.
Reviving the Lost Art of the Road Trip
Road trips require patience, sticking to a plan, and the persistence to work around obstacles. You might have to find your way around a flash flood, you could run out of gas — there are a million things that can happen, including getting lost, but in the best way.
Road trips are actually about getting lost. It’s an art of self-discovery. All you can do sometimes is just relax, and practice being in the moment. Cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway, touring national parks like Glacier, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, blazing on Route 66, getting weird and wild at Joshua Tree. There are countless opportunities to make lasting memories with amazing stories just by hitting the open road.
We tend to overlook the beauty that’s right here in front of us. That’s not to discourage anyone from going abroad, but consider cruising in your mom and dad’s tire tracks, and road tripping for old time’s sake.
For the additional nudge and a pragmatic argument, road trips are also a highly cost-effective way to travel. Everyone splits gas, so the more, the merrier. It’s the easiest method of cheap travel, and millennials are, after all, considered to be a frugal generation, and won’t spend their own money readily.
Millennials should embrace road trips, and use them as a chance to step away from the business of work and social media. The technology we use to keep ourselves busy, could be used instead to document your spectacular journey across the states. Need a place to eat? Yelp it. Questions about where you’re going? Google it. There’s so much to see rolling down the highways.
Road tripping is old school, but it might just be the very thing that lets you find those breathtaking adventures just hours away., places you can fall in love with, and visit again and again. The real key is that, as millennials, we need to stop looking for reasons to go on spontaneous road trips, and instead, just make them up.