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Gen Alpha: Small Travelers. Big Influence.

Erika Ortner Marketing Communications Specialist

Now that school is back in session and extracurricular activities are in full swing, everyone looks forward to a three-day weekend. To make the most of the extra time off, parents are turning to their tiniest travel companions when it comes to planning a vacation

That’s right, it’s not parents making the decisions about when and where to travel–it’s their kids. Generation Alpha has hit the scene and are determining when and where families are taking vacations.

So who is Gen Alpha? 

Gen Alpha was born from the early 2010s to the early-to-mid 2020s and extends from kids just starting to school to those entering their teen years. Their parents are millennials and these kids are on track to become the largest generation in history, and will easily become the most connected. According to Heather Dretsch with the Poole College of Management at NC State, because of their introduction to technology so early in life, these kids know how to entertain themselves and know how to connect with people through media unlike generations before them. These are the ones who need to be impressed with the family’s weekend getaway.

Finding Balance 

As mentioned above, Gen Alpha is incredibly tech-savvy. This isn’t just because of their experiences with remote learning, but also because of their access to technology. In tandem to their access also lies their connectivity to the world. Through Kids Messenger and FaceTime, Minecraft and Roblox, kids are able to connect to the world outside their homes faster than ever before. With the introduction of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are having an even tougher time trying to find a way to get their child to unplug. They realize the importance of these tiny travelers experiencing as much as they can in the in-between moments. 

Not only do these young travelers have to be entertained, but their parents are looking for an opportunity to get them off the screens and experience the world around them. Destinations with attractions and opportunities to keep these connected kids impressed while away from the screens stand out to parents with a short amount of time to devote to travel.

Community-minded adventurers

According to research done by GWI, Gen Alpha is passionate about big issues and wants to see a better world for themselves. From being climate activists to driving an inclusive agenda before they can get behind the wheel of a car, destinations that embrace these different aspects are going to satisfy this up and coming generation.

Not only are they in tune with these ideas because of their millennial parents, but because of their access to information in the palm of their hands. Seeing a destination that welcomes these different qualities and shows it off on TikTok is going to win over many of these kids. 

When older Gen Alphas see a destination showing off their imaginative art installations and bustling food scene, that’s where they will ask to go on their free weekend. It’s not about big attractions and instagrammable moments anymore, but rather it’s about the authenticity of a destination.

Part of the conversation

While they may be young, Gen Alpha is part of the conversation when it comes to planning family getaways. Their school schedules, games, and other extracurricular events dictate when travel happens, while their interests and day-to-day lives weigh heavily on the places parents pick (no one wants an unhappy kid on vacation!). As a DMO, it can be easy to overlook these young travelers when planning marketing strategies. While we aren’t recommending targeting Gen Alpha travelers specifically with advertisement, we do think it’s important to remember who Gen Alpha is, what they find appealing, and the influence they have on their parents’ trip planning decisions.

Let's talk about how we can help your destination stand out to families!