Traveling: Has The Younger Generation Been Spoiled?

Face it. We all know the stories about “When I was a kid…”.  If your younger years were lived before 1983, then you did not have the internet or many other things while growing up. The younger generation today doesn’t know the hardships and inconveniences many of us grew up with.

Younger people today can’t imagine not having video games, cell phones, iPads and all the other instant gadgets they live on daily. Back then we talked on telephones, or even walkie talkies if you wanted to have “private” conversations. Video games consisted of “Pong”… hitting a ball back and forth with a paddle on a basic blue screen. If you went somewhere you told people where you were going and when you would return. There was no constant contact with anyone.

Today’s young business travelers have grown to love the same conveniences. Studies show they are willing to pay more than their older counterparts for many things while traveling. Room service, alcohol, first class seats and entertainment are just a few of the things they splurge on. They have matured with the idea that they can get what they want immediately. From microwave food that is ready in an instant to messages and pictures that appear on their phone in seconds.

How many of them would be able to survive if they were thrown back into the old days where you had to gather wood to start a fire and hunt for your meal before you could cook it and finally enjoy dinner? What about having to send a letter through what they now call “snail mail” and wait for weeks sometimes for a reply?

Technology has grown in leaps and bounds for most of the younger generation and they expect it to go faster and have even more at their fingertips. This has made for stress-filled traveling and impatience on the part of those who have to wait in lines, at restaurants or fight through crowds.

Some of them may never know the feeling of waiting for a slow cooked meal at a restaurant while spending the time enjoying friends and family. Or the excitement of going to the mailbox and finally getting a letter back from your best friend.

Business travel has sped up through the years as well. We want to be connected at all times, whether we are waiting at the airport, in flight, or in our taxi or hotel room. Even the older travelers are used to more conveniences and quicker service, though they don’t seem to spend as much on frivolous extras as the young crowd.

Business travelers who book a hotel ranked the location of the hotel as their number one priority. Personal travelers are more concerned with the price of the trip.

Younger travelers generally spend much more on flights, hotels and transportation. They are also more likely to extend their business trip into a personal holiday.

On the bright side, most business travelers still agree they would rather hold a face-to-face meeting than a video chat. Now if only the younger crowd would realize that talking in person, or even on the phone is much more “real” than just sending texts back and forth, we may see the “social network” actually turn back into socializing, face-to-face and with real live people.