A microcation is considered to be any trip lasting four nights or less – think planned long weekends. These shorter vacations are replacing the traditional, week-long breaks. For many these shorter trips are a better fit for their busy lives. One rationale for the trend is that shorter trips are easier to fit with contemporary work and lifestyle demands. The idea of taking more trips, but shorter in length taps into the experience economy and also addresses the potential for FOMO – Fear of Missing Out in work or social life. Microcations also have the potential to cost less than longer vacations, with domestic destinations making more sense than exotic far-away locations.
According to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index released by Allianz Global Assistance, 57% of Americans chose not to take a leisure trip longer than four nights in 2018. These microcations increased in popularity last year among all age groups—Millennials (72%), Gen-Xers (69%) and Baby Boomers (60%). Travelers are taking several microcations over the course of a year instead of a week or two-week vacation in one fell swoop because they can’t take that much time off. A study by Bankrate.com found that 39 million Americans say they’re skipping vacations because they can’t afford them. Short trips are easier to plan, more affordable and less stressful being away from the office for too long.
The microcation trend has the potential to disrupt the travel industry, which at the same time creates opportunities for players willing and able to meet this changing demand. Bundling experiences around a four day get away for domestic audiences is a real opportunity.