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Make way for the mobile millennial traveler. While desktop still leads for travel research, a large share of 18- to 34-year-olds now rely on mobile devices as well when planning their dream vacations.
According to December 2014 research by Yahoo, nearly three-quarters of US millennial travelers had researched travel plans on both a smartphone and tablet in the past year. This trailed only PCs and laptops, cited by nine in 10 respondents. Among those loyal to one mobile device, smartphones were much more popular than tablets for planning, with respective usage rates of 62% and 46%.
Unsurprisingly, millennials were more open than older travelers to research via mobile. Yahoo found that 55% of adult travelers ages 35 to 54 researched online using both a smartphone and tablet, while four in 10 did so with a smartphone and 38% with a tablet. Meanwhile, the older group led in desktop research, at 96%.
When it came time to book, though, millennials put down their mobiles and focused on the larger screen. Nearly nine in 10 had booked travel via a PC or laptop in the past year, vs. 46% who had used a smartphone/tablet, 35% a smartphone and 28% a tablet.
However, just like with travel research, millennials were more open than older travelers to booking via mobile. Three in 10 35- to 54-year-olds had booked travel on smartphones and tablets in the past year, 21% had used a smartphone and 21% a tablet.
Similarly, in February 2015 polling by Harris Interactive for Switchfly, 66% of US smartphone owners ages 18 to 34 said they would book travel via such devices, the highest response. In comparison, the overall average across age groups was 52%.
Brands trying to reach millennial travelers should provide a consistent experience across screens to allow for seamless research and booking.
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