Just another 20 something’s rant.

Hey Y’all, what’s up?

Before I move on to the body of the post, I’ve rediscovered a new word, and I’m seriously considering it as a strong contender for “word of the day” of course the other words are far less related and brobdingnagian in every sense (which means gigantic, just in case you were wondering). But the word I was referring to is Millennial in the sense Millennial Generation, or the Gen Y as we are.

This Millennial Generation that spans from the 1980s – 2000s, and as a 1991 kid, I find myself sandwiched in the middle. The reason I’m telling you this, is because not only does our generation kiss handwritten letter and snail mail good-bye, we even have a very fussy need for customization. Which essentially could be a good thing, but not for the conventional accommodation options available in the market. Addressing this very need (among others) is the alternative accommodation industry that is mushrooming in all corners of the globe. Even with all the big names in the BnB sphere, the market scene is all but monopolized.

As a generation who’s seen the boom of technology, and used the sturdiest Nokia phones (which could destroy a war-tank, really) we’ve grown used to customization and constantly need to fit in with and/or stand out from the rest. So, as brand conscious we are, we also want to be different – what does that say about our preferences? Well, if you can customize it, we’ll take it – something that extends to every sphere of our lives, especially travel.

We want all want to see the lesser visited places, the non-touristy spots, we all are somewhat uncomfortable with Hotels and the absurd level of formal communication that’s required. We’ve grown so accustomed to our chilled out homes, we have no qualms in expecting everything to be like that (okay, well not everyone, but some of us, yes.) Thus paving the way for the concept of couch surfing, and alternative accommodation, which is great, because it gives us the opportunity to extend our connections – find people who are more or less like us, in a place far away from home, to welcome people into our homes and lives, and make a quick buck on the side, which can be earned, or saved.

Of course we also love to share our “healthy” criticisms on social media platforms, which could make or break the people who serve us. But that’s the way God made us – craving instant gratification, chronicling every moment of our “eventful” lives, and sometimes we would rather text you than meet you in person or even converse over the phone. Not only are we perennially curious, most of our plans are entirely circumstantial, best defined as spontaneous. We’d like to think of ourselves as smart spenders, and believers of a just cause. It’s a big mouthful of food for thought that we are and in fact will be the core target audience for the next 5 – 10 years, on an average.

This could be a good thing, and majorly scary, for the accommodation sector.

Good for the mushrooming alternative accommodation sector and not that great for the conventional accommodation sector – the way I see it, there’s a lot of untapped potential for the alternative accommodation market, with people opening up their homes, hearts and lives, to other people; the need to stay in an expensive hotel will be soon done away with, regardless of the softest linens, exotic complimentary welcome drinks and free WiFi. Because who wants to live in a hotel when you can all the same things within a lower price-band and with the home-y vibe? The amenities are the same, the guest gets to save, the host gets to earn, it’s a safe and secure setting, classic case of a win-win! and that’s particularly bad for the conventional market because :
1. Lack of the “homely” feeling.
2. The exorbitant prices.
3. Every hotel is basically the same.

To sum it all up, my dad is no Ambani or Tata, but that’s only one reason why I make the budget choices that I do, more often I’m driven to answer the question – does it really matter all that much?
Is it such a big deal – how much I spend for merely a roof on my head, with all the same things, one could possibly fit in the confines of four walls?

Most of the times – hotels, high end or otherwise, don’t ring the “Yes” bell in my mind.

So I end up finding relatives and living on their couches and having the time of my life.

In conclusion to this rant – My fellow Millennials I ask you, would you rather live in a hotel where you pay more and learn close to nothing, or would you rather live in someone’s home, where you pay less but teach and learn so much more?

Until next time,

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