If your program is comprised of travelers from all three generations, a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t do. You need to have a blend of perks and policies that appeal to all three demographics — millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers.

Today we’ll be looking at how you can go for the trifecta and incorporate the best of all three worlds with solutions inspired by each generation’s unique personas and desires.


What they’re all about

Millennials, defined by the Pew Research Center as those born between 1981 and 1997, are an independent, adaptable, adventurous bunch. These tech-savvy, hyperconnected “digital natives” easily work on the go and conduct much of their daily tasks via their mobile devices. Because many of them have a strong desire to see the world, this generation is eager to travel for work and now are the most frequent business travelers.

What they want from a travel program

Booking technology that can keep up with them and make their travel coordination a seamless process. More specifically, they want to be able to make bookings, check itineraries, receive travel updates and arrange for ground transportation via a few swipes on their smartphone.

How you can deliver

One app that will make all the above-mentioned tasks a breeze? Neo, an award-winning self-booking tool that’s now available to our EMEA clients and being deployed globally.

Travelers will love this innovative booking tool for two main reasons (and travel managers for even more). First, booking a full trip can be done super-fast. Because Neo reduces the number of actions travelers have to take and screens they have to navigate, it can build a complete trip itinerary — including air, hotel and ground options — in literally seconds.

Second, because of Neo’s intuitive machine learning technology, travelers will see that the options it generates are based on their preferences and thus can make booking in policy an absolutely pain-free process.

Bonus tip: To further satisfy millennials’ wanderlust wishes, adopt a bleisure-friendly policy so travelers can tack on a couple of leisure days to a business trip. Here’s how you can get started.


What they’re all about

Born between 1965 and 1980, this group is often referred to as the “latchkey generation” because many were left alone after school as mothers reentered the workforce in droves. Shaped by this phenomenon, Gen Xers are independent, resourceful and self-sufficient and dislike micromanagement. From their boomer parents, they also saw the toll a workaholic attitude can have on their personal lives and developed a “work to live” kind of mentality. They crave fun in the workplace.

What they want from a travel program

Work-life balance. To feel like their lives aren’t all work and no play but that they have a healthy dose of both.

How you can deliver

Consider what aspects of your travel program put your travelers’ well-being first. Do you offer paid time off after a long trip or the ability to work from home the day before or after? How about business class seats on a long-haul flight? Do they have access to airport lounges? What other ways can your program counterbalance the friction of business travel?

If there’s pressure from the top to keep travel costs at a minimum, remind them that happier, well-rested employees equals more productive employees. And if they still need convincing, email them this report on the hidden expenses of a cost-focused travel program.

Bonus tip: Because this generation also is described as the “neglected middle child,” show them that their voice matters by soliciting their ideas and opinions via post-trip surveys, a traveler-dedicated social media page or through a pilot program that has them testing a new travel app or product.


What they’re all about

Born between 1946 and 1964, members of this larger generation had to fight to rise in the ranks when they first entered the workforce. As a result, they are extremely hardworking, are comfortable with long workweeks and define themselves by their professional achievements. They believe in a hierarchal structure and rankism and may have difficulty adapting to modern workplace flexibility trends. Although slower to adopt new technology, boomers greatly value it to stay connected while on the road.

What they want from a travel program

Tools that can enable them to remain productive and in touch during their journeys.

How you can deliver

It’s not enough to simply equip them with the proper tech tools — you also need to be sure they have the power to connect to the internet while out and about. If your company does not cover the cost of Wi-Fi for the entire duration of a business trip, from airport to hotel and in-between, look at your budget to see how you can make magic happen.

Also, review other ways you can make business trips more productive. Perhaps you might decide that paying for TSA Precheck and Global Entry is worth it so travelers are not wasting time in long airport security lines. Or maybe there’s a way to simplify your expense reporting system so they don’t have to jump through hoops to get reimbursed.

Bonus tip: To give boomers that sense of prestige they’re seeking, consider a tiered program that offers more benefits, such as a higher per diem, for those who’ve climbed their way to the top or other incentives that reward hard work.