Study: Millennials Putting Marriage & Family on Hold to Travel

The average age at which Americans marry keeps creeping higher.  According to research from the Pew Research Center, in 1960 the average groom was almost 23, and his bride-to-be just 20.  Fast forward over five decades and the average marriage age has climbed to nearly 29 years for men and 26 and a half years for women.  There’s lots of data supporting the claim that millennials are delaying marriage and one reason is because of money.  It’s not necessarily that they want to save more.  One study points to the fact that young adults prefer spending money on travel than buying a home and are looking to meet new friends rather than settle down in a relationship.


New research from Topdeck Travel, a group travel agency for 18-30 something’s, found that 1 in 6 Millennials actually prefer to travel with their friends than their significant other.  Perhaps it’s because 1 in 10 say it’s easier to plan a trip with their friends than with their sweetie.  If single and looking for love, the study finds that 1 in 11 Millennials are hoping to find their significant other on the road.


It looks like the love of travel trumps the love of marriage.  For those that are in committed relationships, over one third (36%) of Millennials would lower their wedding budget if it meant they could travel around the world.  Even more shocking, 1 in 11 Millennial women would accept a smaller engagement ring to travel more!  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it looks like couples would rather invest in adventure and experiences with their S.O. than the material things. 


But where exactly is this dying urge to travel the world coming from and is it a good idea to put life on hold to explore?  Of course there is much debate about this.  Many say it comes from social media.  It’s widely known that digital connectedness is a must for Millennials and with the media constantly glorifying elaborate vacations, young people are doing all they can do to keep up with others even it means exchanging their savings account to take a fantastic voyage that they can post on Instagram.  That leads us to the question: if social media didn’t exist, would marriage and family still be first place?

>Majority Of People Would Travel With A New Lover After Just 1 Month Of Dating

They say if you really want to get to know a person take a trip together because it will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly about someone. Think about it. You’re spending a lot of time with that one person—standing in lines, splitting bills, deciding what time to get off the beach. This is the time when you see them outside their normal routine and often pushed out of their comfort zone.


“You might learn that together you’re a good team and you may return home closer than ever, says associate professor of psychology at James Madison University, Dr. Jaime Kurtz. “But traveling with someone might reveal things that you simply don’t like and never knew before: a fear of new cultural experiences and a general sense of closed-mindedness; excessive rigidity and an inability to compromise or deviate from routines,” she writes in a piece for Psychology Today.


Since traveling together can make or break a relationship, does it make more sense to wait to take that first getaway with someone new? Doesn’t appear so. According to a new survey by Expedia and the research company, GfK, a whopping 30% of people would take a trip with someone they’ve only been dating for 1 to 3 months.


The Expedia Heat Index survey of more than 1,000 American travelers also reveals:

25% would wait 4 to 8 months to travel with a new partner
15% would wait more than a full year
10% would take an overnight trip with a new partner within the first month
4% would take the trip on the first date


And, heartbreaks do happen on getaways with 4% of those surveyed having ended a relationship while traveling with their partner and another 4% say they have considered doing so.


Before going on a trip together, be honest about your “travel personality”. For example, do you sleep in or get up early to make the most of the day? Would you rather lay on the beach all day or take excursions?


Kurtz advises new travel partners to be clear about your need for alone time and also about your specific interests and goals for the trip.


“If you do find yourself in conflict while traveling, it is best to address it as soon as possible. After you’ve identified a specific problem, approach your partner with a calm, level-headed mindset,” she says.


If you let your lover know of your travel quirks ahead of time, it may help avoid arguments on the trip and a potential breakup when you both get back.