Millennials Aren't Coming Home for the Holidays This Year, New Data Shows

In this economy, many younger folks lack the funds for both gifts and flights.

Everybody wants to travel this holiday season, but a recent report from American Express shows that not everyone wants to travel home. According to a new study shared with Thrillist, while 69% of millennials and Gen Zers plan to travel this holiday season, a lot of the travel plans don't seem to include commuting home.

Back in September, American Express polled 1,824 millennials and Gen Zers about their winter travel plans. Because of everyone's rather tight finances right now, most people are making choices between trips and gifts. We've already heard about the data that shows that young people would rather receive trips or experiences over gifts, and Amex's polling reinforces that data.

Part of this hunger for traveling comes from a feeling that they did not travel enough during the typically busy summer travel season. Polling showed that 56% of millennial and Gen Z respondents felt like they didn't travel enough this summer. Even still, there aren't a lot of plans to take big international trips during the holiday season.

Domestic trips are expected to take up 44% of travel plans while road trips are 37% of holiday travel plans for this cohort, according to the poll. Their top reasons for taking trips include spending time with friends and family, having new experiences, and exploring new places. For respondents who don't plan on going home during the holiday season, they are still plenty on planning to go to a significant other's family, going to a friend's home, or staying home alone.

So, if you're a few siblings and cousins short this year for holiday gatherings, they could be heading out on a road trip to their mother-in-law's house, or they could be using their scarce PTO time to take a trip somewhere new. Either way, don't be surprised if there's one less place setting at Thanksgiving this year.

For ideas on your own travel, check out the most popular destinations for this winter.

Looking for more travel inspo?

If you're ready for an adventure but not sure where you'd like to go or what to do, we're on it. The best new hotels opening up around the world. The most exciting places to travel without a passport. The world's best beaches, as ranked by travel influencers. It's all here along with all the travel news you need to stay informed and inspired.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Journalism from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She's worked in digital media for seven years, and before working at Thrillist, she wrote for Mic, The Cut, The Fader, Vice, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.