By: Ric Dickens, Media Planner

Traveling has become a tremendous part of the lifestyle of 18- to 24-year-olds. As these consumers begin to earn salaries for the first time, many are looking to explore the globe as a way to spend it. This unique life stage is currently caught between millennials and Gen Z, so it’s become increasingly difficult for marketers to target them. At MOJO Ad, we call this group the Youth and Young Adult (YAYA™) market. The YAYA demographic currently commands $82.4 billion in spending power and it’s crucial for marketers to tap into that.

According to our research conducted for the 2018 State of the YAYA Report, 62 percent of YAYA travelers have taken at least one vacation within their state in the last year. Additionally, we found that 72 percent have taken at least one out-of-state vacation in the past 12 months. But in the eyes of YAYA consumers, travel is not just about the destination.

For the YAYA market one of the best parts of travelling is instantly sharing the special moments with the world. As a member of this market, I often think back to my childhood vacations. My mom would take picture after picture of my brothers and me. She’d take pictures of the hotel, the food we were eating and just about every action we took.

To my adolescent mind, it was annoying – but it was what my mom wanted so I went along with it. As soon as she got home, she would run over to Walgreens to get the pictures printed, put them into a scrapbook and keep them there to show off to guests. What took my mom several days back then is something I can do in seconds. My phone serves as my camera and scrapbook, allowing me to share them all with my social media “guests” in seconds.

Sharing is Part of the Experience

Like me, YAYA consumers have traded in old photo albums for a digital album.

If they can’t share their experiences, it’s a big problem. We found that nearly half (47 percent) of YAYA vacationers agree that a vacation isn’t worth taking if they can’t take photos. Similarly, 54 percent of YAYA vacationers wouldn’t want to take a vacation without technology. Technology gives them comfort and security when travelling, while also letting everyone checkout the latest sunrise over that hidden beach in Phuket.

We Do Our Research, But Don’t Mind Being Spontaneous

Additionally, YAYA travelers want to ensure they will have a worthwhile experience. According to Mintel, 77 percent of YAYA consumers conducted online research when planning a vacation in the past 12 months. On top of that, our research shows that a majority of the YAYA demographic agrees that they need at least one month to plan a vacation. This presents an opportunity for marketers to cash in on the YAYA demographic, who is seeking inspiration and is open to suggestion during this month-long planning window. If the YAYA demographic is marketed to effectively, you’ll be able to turn that openness into an act of impulsivity. According to our research, 54 percent of YAYA travelers like to take spur of the moment vacations, probably spurred on by the 25 percent that prefer to book those trips at the last minute to get the best deals. Given the YAYA traveler’s knack for research combined with a desire for a spur-of-the-moment trip, marketers may be able to drive purchases with limited offers and or deals.

Despite Expanding Budgets, YAYA Consumers Can Still be Cheap

Though they’re starting to see their wallet grow, this doesn’t stop YAYA travelers from being price conscious. We found that 54 percent of YAYA vacationers travel to locations where they can get the best deal. This indicates that even if your destination or resort is the nicest option, a value-oriented strategy may be necessary, such as bundling multiple destinations within a single trip. In fact, our research revealed that three out of four YAYAs prefer to visit to multiple cities or locations when traveling.

Another way to win the YAYA traveler over is to add value to the trip, with more destinations or sites for them to see. Almost three of four of our respondents preferred to travel to multiple cities or locations when traveling. If this is something you can’t offer, all hope isn’t lost. Marketers can entice YAYA consumers to bring someone with them to drive down the price. Our research indicates that 64 percent of this demographic will travel with others to offset the cost.

So what does all of this mean? YAYA consumers look for the next great thing to share, especially when it comes to a vacation destination. In doing so, they can generate earned media for you and your brand with every post and like on their social accounts. But to win them over and create a loyal YAYA customer, you’ll have to break through the clutter and entice them with a deal that makes sense for their wallet.

Learn more about YAYA consumers, MOJO Ad and the 2018 State of the YAYA webcast here.