May 30, 2019

The Rise of the Micro-cation: More Than Half of Americans Opt for Vacations Shorter Than Four Days

Three-Quarters of Millennials Took at Least One Micro-cation in the Last Year

 

RICHMOND, VA, MAY 30, 2019 — The majority (57 percent) of Americans did not take a leisure trip longer than four nights in the last year, with Millennials leading this “micro-cation” trend, according to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index* released by Allianz Global Assistance, a leading travel insurance and assistance company. A “micro-cation” is defined as a leisure trip that is fewer than five nights.

Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Millennials took at least one micro-cation in the last year, while 69 percent of Gen X’ers and 60 percent of Baby Boomers did the same.

Not only are Americans taking shorter trips, but for many, these micro-cations are replacing the traditional week-long vacation. Almost two in ten Americans (18 percent) said their longest trip in the last year was three to four nights, while one in 10 (11 percent) took no trips longer than just one to two nights.

Micro-cations may allow Americans to travel more frequently, with 25 percent of the general population and one in three (29 percent) of Millennials saying they took at least three micro-cations in the last year.

More seasoned generations still prefer longer trips, with 40 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed avoiding trips fewer than five nights in the last year, compared to 34 percent of the general population. Millennials are less likely than their older counterparts to take longer trips: only 17 percent of Millennials took a trip longer than seven days in the last year, compared to 21 percent of Gen X’ers and 22 percent of Baby Boomers. On the flipside, 12 percent of Millennials and 15 percent of Gen X’ers said their longest trip was just one to two nights, compared to 7 percent of Baby Boomers.

While the short vacations trend may be on the rise, this year’s survey also found that over one-quarter (28 percent) of all Americans have not taken a leisure trip of any length in the past year. Baby Boomers are especially guilty, with 35 percent saying they did not take a leisure trip in the last year. A quarter of their younger counterparts (26 percent of millennials and 24 percent of Gen X) said the same.

When asked why they prefer to take micro-cations, 32 percent of Americans said it was easier to take time off work for shorter periods, and another 32 percent said they did not need more than five nights for the purpose of the trip, like attending a wedding or visiting friends. Other reasons include: preferring to take more frequent shorter trips than fewer longer trips (26 percent); not wanting to spend money on longer trips (19 percent); and it being easier to find a travel companion for a shorter trip (10 percent).

The generational differences between responses demonstrate the varied reasons micro-cations appeal to different populations. For instance, one-quarter of Millennials say money is a primary reason to take shorter trips, which supports other findings that those with a higher income are more likely to vacation longer. More than half (51 percent) of people making $50,000 or more took trips longer than 5 nights in the last year, compared to 29 percent of those who make less than $50,000.

Taking less time off work was most important to Gen X’ers (40 percent), followed closely by Millennials (37 percent) and then working Baby Boomers (20 percent). Millennials (34 percent) and Baby Boomers (38 percent) take trips to attend special events or family occasions at much higher rates than Gen X’ers (23 percent), while finding a travel companion is more of a concern to Millennials (18 percent) than Gen X’ers (7 percent) and Baby Boomers (3 percent).

“The days of the ubiquitous week-long summer vacation may be disappearing, but we’re happy to see that Americans, especially Millennials, are eager to travel more frequently,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “The rise of micro-cations may also lead to increased interest in visiting vibrant domestic locales over exotic, far-flung destinations. Whether traveling for two nights or two weeks, travel insurance can protect you, your luggage and your vacation investment.”

 

2019 VACATION CONFIDENCE INDEX: MICRO-CATIONS

In the last year, how many nights was your longest leisure trip?

 

Millennials

Gen X’ers

Baby Boomers

1 – 2 nights

12%

15%

7%

3 – 4 nights

21%

16%

16%

5 – 7 nights

24%

24%

20%

More than 7 nights

17%

21%

22%

I didn’t take a leisure trip in the last year

26%

24%

35%

In the last year, how many leisure trips did you take that were fewer than five nights?

 

Millennials

Gen X’ers

Baby Boomers

1 trip

22%

21%

19%

2 trips

20%

23%

20%

3 or more trips

29%

25%

20%

I didn’t take any trips fewer than 5 nights in the last year

28%

31%

40%

Why do you take trips fewer than five nights?

 

Millennials

Gen X’ers

Baby Boomers

I don’t want to spend the money on trips longer than 5 nights

25%

21%

11%

It’s easier to take time off work for shorter trips

37%

40%

20%

It’s easier to find a travel companion for shorter trips

18%

7%

3%

I spend these trips attending a special event (e.g. a wedding) or visiting friends, so I don’t need more than 5 nights

34%

23%

38%

I’d rather take more frequent shorter trips than fewer longer trips

26%

24%

28%

Some other reason

11%

16%

20%

 

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, and other travel suppliers, as well as directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com

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*Methodology: These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from May 1st to May 2nd, 2019. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all American adults been polled. Quota sampling and weighting were employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population. For the purposes of this study, a Millennial is defined as someone between the ages of 18 and 34; a Gen X’er is between the ages of 35 and 54; and a Baby Boomer is 55+ years of age.

Allianz Global Assistance USA  

Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 40 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.  

To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS. 

 

**Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A‐" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101‐C series or 101‐P series, depending on state of residence. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, a brand of AGA Service Company or its affiliates.  AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Noninsurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.