Rise of the flashpacker: Millennials splash more cash on holidays, less on travel insurance

Thursday 08 February 2018

Article by Tom Watson

You’ve heard of millennials, yuppies, DINKs and perhaps even HENRYs, but new research may well have unveiled a novel class of young, cashed-up, Australians who just love to travel - flashpackers.

Rise of the flashpacker: Millennials splash more cash on holidays, less on travel insurance

According to a recent study published by Tourism and Transport Forum Australia, the days of young Australian backpackers heading overseas on the smell of an oily rag are long gone.

Instead, the new group of ‘flashpackers’ - those aged between 18-24 with high disposable incomes and without major expenses like mortgage repayments - were actually found to be outspending their older travelling counterparts.

The survey revealed that 21% of travellers in the 18-24 age bracket planned to spend between $2,000 and $5,000 on their summer vacations, compared to 13% of travellers over 65 and just 8% of those aged between 45-64.

RELATED: Double-edged trouble: Social media proving inspiration and aggravation for young Aussie travellers

Margy Osmond, Chief Executive of Tourism and Transport Forum Australia, revealed the group of young globetrotters as increasingly choosing travel over tangible assets in a way that their parents never had.

“Rather than just being seen as just a leisure activity, more and more young people look to be choosing to postpone a long-term savings plan by opting to take more extensive and adventurous holidays and to increasingly look to gain ‘life experiences’ such as exploring different cultures, learning languages and gaining work experience through travel,” she said.

Biggest spenders, least covered      

While young Australians may be living it large abroad like never before, the 18-24 year old age group remain the most at-risk when it comes to travel-related mishaps overseas - this despite being the least likely to hold travel insurance.

Figures from a joint 2016 study of 1,000 Australian travellers commissioned by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) found that 15% of 18-24 year olds didn’t take out insurance on their last overseas trip compared to 6% for those over 30. 

The report noted that travellers under the age of 30 were significantly more likely to be involved in ‘risky behaviour’ such as drinking and water sports while overseas (74%), than those over the age of 30 (40%).

A fraction of the cost

Despite a significant proportion of young Australian travellers foregoing travel insurance, the Mozo Travel Insurance Calculator shows that flashpackers could grab a comprehensive level of cover, including unlimited medical assistance, for just a fraction of the $2,000 many are shelling out on their holidays.

According to the calculator, a 21 year old heading on a three week adventure of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in May could take out a top level of travel insurance cover from as little as $85 - just 4% of a $2,000 holiday.    

RELATED: Why you shouldn’t wait to book your travel insurance

Whether you’re a millennial backpacking through South-East Asia, or a family checking out the sights in Europe, don’t forget to compare travel insurance deals by plugging your travel details into the Mozo travel insurance comparison tool.

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