According to the 2018 Atlas Van Lines Corporate Relocation Survey of 435 corporate relocation
professionals, 38% of all corporations expect their international relocation volume to increase, 41%
expect relocations to stay the same, and only 20% expect relocations to decrease. In addition, there
has been a steady rise in international business travel.
Let’s focus on the increase. Millennials are now making up a large portion of international
relocations and global business travel. Flexible short assignments are replacing long-term relocation.
Millennial employees can fill skills gaps around the world. Assignments of less than 12 months are
growing, as is the business travel population.
What are some of the habits of this group?
1. Prioritize travel and international living over buying a home or paying off debt.
2. View travel as important to personal identity.
3. Combine work and leisure travel into “bleisure.”
4. Seek out different, open-minded, and socially engaged brands.
5. Pursue meeting new people.
Millennials prioritize value and experiences, and they bring this mentality to business travel and
relocation. For instance, a direct flight for $575 may seem like a better value than a connecting flight
for $450. They want the best bang for the buck, rather than the cheapest options available.
Does this mean millennials are taking advantage of their employers? Not really. All the available
research suggests that millennials would continue to blend work and play during business trips even
if their companies cracked down. Since millennials tend to start families later, they can trade home
responsibilities for the lifestyle experiences afforded by travel. Their position tends to be, why not
hack a grueling travel plan or a relocation to a remote location to make it more enriching, rewarding,
For one thing, “bleisure” prevents burnout. After 14 straight days on the road, signs of fatigue and
stress develop. Normally, long frequent business trips are considered a burden, but millennials are
turning them into unique experiences, which makes them more willing to travel and relocate for
work in the first place. And they’ll be more productive, engaged, and loyal in the long run. As more
companies do business with global clients, their travel needs will likely expand. Employers that
embrace the millennial approach to business trips will have an edge on recruiting top talent.
Finally, while millennials will likely spend more on certain travel features, they’re willing to consider
a wider range of options that can actually reduce the burden on the companies. Because they
typically avoid the conventional business travel schedule, millennial travelers are more likely to
dodge peak prices. They may even choose to stay in a lower-cost accommodations.
Employers that allow millennials to make choices based on value and experience often save money.
They also have happier employees, and reap all of the benefits of business success.
Written by Cathy Heyne, Managing Director