Culture and trends

Top 3 trends for Gen Z's summer 2023

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
March 27, 2023
Last updated
January 21, 2024

What this article covers

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Young people across the world are looking forward to their summer holidays and vacations - it's a break from an education, a time to reconnect with family, and an opportunity to celebrate exam results with friends.

Because of this long holiday period, summer is a key spending time in Gen Z's calendar. Gaining an understanding of what this young generation wants and needs will help you to connect with them, secure their spending, and lock in their loyalty for much longer than hot days and warm August nights.

In the upcoming Gen Z's Guide to Summer 2023, we'll take a look at what this generation is expecting from their summer and what they'll be spending their money on, as well as providing actionable takeaways for how brands can get involved.

In this blog post, we discuss three of the key trends revealed in the guide, sharing how you can help Gen Z have the best summer yet.

1. TikTok is my travel agent

The most popular sector for young spenders this summer will be travel, with a significant 62% of Gen Z students in the UK and 50% from the US spending money on travel tickets over the coming months. It's becoming apparent that this age group want to spend their money on experiences rather than material things - wholly unsurprising given the fact that these experiences were taken away from them during the pandemic (combined with the rising cost of living).

What do Gen Z want from their summer holidays?

Staycations aren't exactly a thing of the past, but international travel is the highest priority for Gen Z. "I think now international travel is an option again, that will always be my first choice [over staycations]. I associate holidays with getting on a plane", Gen Zer Grace told Pion "My ideal type of holiday has changed over the past couple of years - I used to love slow paced holidays lounging by the pool, but now I prefer going out exploring."

Social media platforms are currently overwhelmed with aspirational, aesthetic content in regards to summer 2023. For this generation of digital natives, TikTok has almost become their very own travel agent, with users sharing tips, experiences and destination advice. European summer holidays seem to be the most popular amongst this generation, in part thanks to the calm, aesthetic, freeing nature of these locations. Greece, Italy, and Croatia appear to be particularly popular right now - trust us, if you want some holiday inspiration, TikTok is the place to go!

Remote working

It also appears that remote working won't be going anywhere soon, with young people still keen to pick up their laptops, jump on a plane and Zoom their colleagues from a café abroad. According to one source, 51% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers say remote working facilities are important to them when choosing holiday accommodation, with 34% planning to take longer trips than they did before the pandemic. We spoke to Gen Zer Hannah, an advocate of remote working: "The idea of being able to work anywhere in the world is something I will always get behind. I think it's a really big selling point for companies at the moment."

So, what are you waiting for?! Gen Z are ready to seize the day and take risks... and to keep up, so do you.

2. Peace, tranquility, and good vibes

With one long (hopefully hot) summer ahead of them, 44% of UK Gen Z students and 41% from the US will be spending on entertainment over the holidays. From nights out to days out, we once again see Gen Zers investing money on experiences over material things, spending time with their friends and family and making up for lost time.

Dining out, eating out and clubbing

As reported in A Guide to Gen Z's 2023 Summer, 46% of Gen Z students from the UK and 48% from the US will be spending money on eating out, and 30% from the UK (35% US) will be heading on nights out. And we can already see local bloggers, bars and entertainment venues hopping on to this trend and appealing to young people, using their social media platforms to build excitement.

TikTok account @lifeinmanchester is dedicated to sharing hints and tips for people living in the UK city, and has already started to share inspiration for things to do and entertainment ideas for locals, be it via user generated content or promotional activity for bars, restaurants, and local eateries (many of which are free marketing, thanks to the venues' aesthetics and 'good vibes' energy!). So, according to TikTok, what are the main things that young people want from this summer? Beer gardens, aesthetic drinks, and good times, of course

Staying in with friends

However, it's not all about the nights out for Gen Z - as already highlighted, the priority is spending quality time with friends and family.

For example, one viral TikTok video (boasting 18.7k likes and 200.6K views), celebrates the small joys that can be found in summer nights in, from Aperol Spritzes and tasty food with friends to cool soundtracks and white linen trousers. Comments on the video include 'these vibes please', 'I would literally give anything for friends like this', and 'this is perfect'. And it's not just this one video - there are thousands on the platform (and more appearing everyday) which focus on romanticizing the small things and celebrating longer nights, peace and tranquility.

Ultimately, whilst Gen Zers will still be heading out to their local bars, restaurants, and beer gardens with friends in summer 2023, it's important to note that this generation are prioritizing intimate connection.

3. Back to School with technology and homeware

Summer may be close, but so is the Back to School season, and Gen Z are getting prepared over the coming months. 16% of UK Gen Z students will be spending money on tech or mobile over the summer, alongside 21% from the US. And whilst the majority of these purchases will undoubtedly be vital for their studies, be it new mobile phones or laptops, this tech trend illustrates this generation's want, once again, for connection.

Connection through community

As revealed in our recent Gaming and Gen Z: The Ultimate Community snapshot, Gen Z is seeking personal connection, and this is something that we see continuing into the summer. This young generation are investing their hard-earned cash in the technology and platforms that support these connections, stepping away from those that house trolls (we're looking at you, Twitter), and instead favoring those that help them form relationships and friendships.

university students in a cafe on laptops

In fact, our research revealed that 25% of Gen Z students from the UK and 27% from the US use Discord, a voice, video, and text chat app that allows users to build communities and make friends . Find out how your brand can reach Gen Z on this platform and hear from a leading Discord student creator on our blog.

TikTok homeware hauls

What is back to school period without heading to the local IKEA and splashing out on cushions, kitchenware and stationery?! 15% of Gen Z students from the UK and 17% from the US will be using the summer holidays to go homeware shopping. But it's not just about being prepared for the new academic year, it’s also about the quick and easy serotonin boost (and who doesn't want that?!).

Gen Z may be watching their wallets right now thanks to rising inflation, but that doesn't mean they're averse to treating themselves to new, small purchases. In fact, content creators are using their platforms to showcase their purchases (and, perhaps surprisingly, not all of these include affiliate links), and these videos alone bring joy to thousands of Gen Zers - Newcastle-based TikToker @jack.designs has an impressive 119.5K views on his unboxing video of a new rug, whilst microinfluencer @hayleighhmc's video of her new mug set has 18.2K views.

@jack.designs I wanted to bring some brightness into the bedroom, say hello to this beauty, my new @ARKET throw… 🌞 yay or nah? #interiordesign #unboxingasmr #asmr #homestyle #anxietyrelief ♬ original sound - Jack Callaghan

Aside from TikTok, Pinterest is key when it comes to satisfying Gen Z's craving for aesthetic content. We recently caught up with Pinterest creator Tati, who specializes in travel, homeware and fashion content on the platform. Tati spoke about why Pinterest is a platform to watch, particularly when it comes to summer holiday inspiration, and how brands can work with content creators on the app to reach Gen Z Pinners. "On Pinterest, having a 'niche' is not as crucial as on other platforms, where creators would focus on a few select categories", Tati said. "I would therefore advise brands to do more research into the type of content a creator makes on Pinterest specifically and not be afraid to try new things." You can hear more from Tati on our blog.

So there you have it - three key trends that are important to Gen Z for summer 2023. Connection, aesthetics and no-drama are the key takeaways here: this generation wants an easy, carefree life and to forget their responsibilities and enjoy the freedom like they deserve.

Like what you've read? Read more about the important trends your brand needs to be aware of ahead of summer 2023 and how you can better engage, attract and connect with Gen Z consumers, in 'A Guide to Gen Z's 2023 Summer'. COMING SOON

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