The idea of travelling has transformed in the last decade. Today, millennials want to immerse themselves in life-changing experiences. Whether it is the hills or the beaches, a long break or just a short weekend getaway, travel has a profound impact on one's well-being. It rejuvenates, gives rest to the working mind and, more than anything, helps in self-reflection.
By providing such benefits, it becomes one of the most important tools for preparing ourselves for the future.
For example, there are annual expeditions to Ladakh, where responsible travellers from around the world congregate. They trek, swim and cycle to reach a village that has never seen electricity. And then, they electrify that village using solar power. There are villages in the forgotten hills, where entrepreneurs offer home stays and natural experiences such as folklore interpretation, agriculture learning, trekking and camping. Sometimes, these villages are opened to tourists to be part of their local festivities as well. Today, there are art trails, food trails and rural tours that are all experiential in nature.
In fact, a few companies which place the welfare of their employees at the core offer sabbaticals or short-term opportunities to work remotely. Even though they are few, we will see more such employee engagement programmes being adopted by companies in future. It could be offered to all employees or only to high-performing candidates. Companies would do this because they realise that travelling has become a way of life and it has a positive impact on performance outcomes.
One vacation a year is a thing of the past. Recent findings on the travel patterns of millennials suggest that they go on more vacations than their parents. Once the holiday schedule is out, travel weekends are often blocked. This is beyond the 7 to 14 days vacation during summers or winters. For them to take advantage of everything that travel has to offer, the core issue is finance. To travel frequently, to make travel an experience or to explore new destinations, good inflow of money is required. Often, travel becomes a challenge due to limited savings, lower salaries or even less credit available on credit card. But this generation is internet savvy and is open to adopting online financial services.
Holiday destination research starts on digital and social platforms and financial aid is readily available from online lending companies. Many such online financial institutions offer holiday loans that help millennials fuel their desire for travel. Without the need to submit one’s travel details and with a flexible repayment structure, these loans are a really good option to fund entire vacations. Holiday or travel loans are available from Rs50,000 to Rs5 lakh for a long tenure (12 to 24 months) to accommodate travel cost within salaries. Keeping in mind this generation’s appetite for digital processes, these platforms ensure that the loan application process is pretty straightforward. You can apply online without having to report in person anywhere. Also, holiday loans from fintechs are cheaper than a credit card.
A simple online application along with a valid identity proof, bank statement, address proof and a couple of salary slips will get the job done. Once approved, the amount is disbursed to the beneficiary within 24 to 36 hours of the initial loan application.
All Indians, and not just those in the millennial segment, are travelling more. This shows that holiday loans will become more popular. With reasons ranging from understanding different cultures to having an envious Instagram feed, millennials are determined and passionate about integrating travel into their lives. Holiday loans make sure that they do not need to maximise their credit card limits or go broke while travelling.
Kumar is cofounder and CEO of LoanTap.