Here’s the typical family vacation of yesteryear: leave the suburbs, whether of Chicago, New Jersey or other sprawl-laden area, indulge in some fine dining and limo service, and then settle in for a whole lot of…nothing. Not like that’s a bad thing; far from it. Until recently, the ideal American vacation was a getaway to a relaxing location where workers could take a load off, laying for hours on a beach and sipping a few cocktails.

However, as millennials come up in terms of social capital and spending power, that model is changing. Millennials are going further and deeper than their parents generation in terms of travel–and travel is one of the expenditures that they value most highly. 78% of affluent millennials choose experiences over luxury goods and objects, and the tourism industry gets $180 billion in annual revenue from millennials alone. When it comes to travel, millennials are all about the experience, which means less lounging on the beach and more biking, climbing, hiking, ziplining and exploring places unknown.

And not just any experience, either–after all, you can argue that all travel is an experience, even if it’s a boring one. Millennials of all tax brackets are on the search for vacations that put them in touch with locals, give them access to unusual experiences and, most importantly, speak to their souls.

Millennials want to see the world, leave their comfort zones and immerse themselves in unfamiliar cultures. 34% say that immersion in a local culture is their top goal for vacation, so instead of hiding away in a hotel or on a private beach, millennials are more likely to seek out outdoor activities, adventure trips, “bucket list” trips, DIY vacations and opportunities for exploring local food, wine, music and art scenes. Millennials want to feel as though they are part of a community and get in touch with themselves through unexpected experiences. 23% are also looking to travel further than their parents’ generation, meaning that they’re roving beyond the typical European vacation to locales like Iceland, Japan and even Antarctica.

But as much as millennials are all about the ephemeral, they still have pressing material needs that travel companies should aim to fulfill. Millennials like to travel in groups, so they need generous accommodations. They’re also still concerned with their health and safety while traveling in places unknown, so having a local concierge available through their travel provider eases that worry. On that point, since millennials are less likely to be familiar with the places that they visit, travel providers should move to fill the gaps between millennials’ ambitions to explore a place and their knowledge about it.

Additionally, millennials are the most tech-savvy generation, as it goes without saying. They expect a certain level of tech competence from travel providers, meaning that travel brands should have mobile-friendly sites, simple mobile transaction tools and a 24/7 availability of information to millennials researching their next adventure online.

Are you a traveler on the path to self-discovery? With personalized luxury limo services from Chicago to Shanghai, let EmpireCLS be your preferred travel provider. Learn more at http://www.empirecls.com.

Photo: flickr