Once upon a time, Generation X was considered a cohort of apathetic, grungy loners blasting angry music, Today, they're working professionals and mature adults raising families. Sandwiched between the baby boomers and millennials, Gen X is sometimes considered the "Lost Generation," but they're about 68 million strong and account for 25 percent of the population—and 31 percent of total income, according to OpenForum. Gen X is at a point where they have money to spend on travel. Here are a few trends shaping their plans.
1. School's out for summer.
Family life shapes Gen X's travel preferences, so the timing of their trips closely aligns with school calendars. Gen X is more likely to travel during summer vacations, spring breaks or long holiday weekends.
2. We are family.
MMGY Global reports that 40 percent of Gen Xers travel to visit family and friends. Or, they're traveling with family and friends. According to the 2016 Travel Trends report by AARP, 35 percent of Gen Xers plan multigenerational trips, but it's popular for Gen X to travel to celebrate special occasions—such as birthday's and anniversaries—or commemorate other mile markers, including divorce. And Travel Agent Central notes it's increasingly popular for them to travel and celebrate with groups of friends, or other couples.
3. What's in it for the kids?
With families in tow, Gen X often look for destinations with great experiences for kids. Resorts or cruise lines with kids' clubs are popular to keep the kids engaged and entertained.
4. The shorter, the better.
Between demanding careers, raising children and caring for aging parents, Gen X is busy. AARP reports that weekend getaways are the most popular trips for Gen Xers, at 37 percent.
5. Just a little R&R.
Rest and relaxation are popular reasons for travel across the generational board. However, MMGY Global found 35 percent of Gen X named unwinding as the primary purpose of their trip—the largest percentage of any generation. As such, beach vacations are a high priority, and wellness travel is also emerging.
6. Home is never too far away.
Gen X travels mostly in North America, preferring locations in the Sun Belt, including Orlando, Miami, Los Angeles, Mexico and the Caribbean. When traveling internationally, destinations in Europe that are easy for families to navigate are popular, such as London, Paris and Italy.
7. They spend money.
While Gen X doesn't spend as much money as baby boomers on trips, they do spend more money per day than other generation. According to Virtuoso, they spend $627 per day, on average.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.