We all dreamed of leaving school at 18 with pockets full of money from our part-time job and travelling the world for months on end, before actually deciding what to do with our lives. Unfortunately, those dreams are now being cut short for millennials as the financial reality of modern life hits hard.
A rite of passage for past generations, the gap year is becoming an experience for the privileged few among today’s 18-24-year-olds, as new research by International Currency Exchange shows. Despite 65% of the 2,000 young people surveyed wanting to take a gap year, almost half said “lack of funds” was holding them back, while a fifth said they were shunning travel to save for a house.
A further 22% of people were “too worried about the impact on their career” to take the plunge, while 13% said they were concerned about the impact it would have on their education.
With recent research by advocacy group Young Invincibles showing that millennials earn 20% less than the baby boomer generation did at the same age, it’s little surprise that young people are looking to get ahead in their career earlier in life. Similarly, while boomers were able to access 100% mortgages with no need for a deposit, today’s youth are having to scrimp tens of thousands of pounds together before even thinking about getting on the property ladder.
The research also showed that millennials take on more student debt than their parents’ generation — another factor that holds them back from spending cash on going away.
Speaking about the survey findings, International Currency Exchange CEO Koko Sarkari said: “Our research has shown that young people worry about getting on the property ladder and building a career – travel is simply becoming more of a luxury at the beginning of your career.”
So we’re poorer, with more debt, struggle to access housing and have less opportunity to explore the world. And people say we’re all just easily offended snowflakes…