Who would have ever guessed that in your fifties or older you would be taking exotic trips to Panama, the Caribbean or even Japan?
Well, according to AARP traveling is becoming very popular with the Baby Boomers and according to their annual travel research survey “practically all Baby Boomers (99%) anticipate traveling for leisure in 2016, with approximately four or five trips in the works.” Forty five percent reported that they would take combinations of domestic and international trips, and five percent focused on international only. Everyone knows that AARP is the Organization of American Association of Retired Persons so they are very involved with knowing who Baby Boomers are and what Baby Boomers are seeking to fulfill in their lives. In a 2013 article by Stephanie Rosenbloom, the New York Times reported that the travel industry is now focusing on attracting that demographic which is between the ages of forty nine and sixty seven.
According to the article, Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1945 and 1964, and account for approximately twenty six percent of the total population. They were raised by a post war 1950’s mentality, which they rebelled against with a vengeance in the 1960’s and 1970’s and this period saw disillusionment with their parents’ desire for picket fence stability. Baby Boomers sought out and embraced a more complicated world, delving into the nuances of other cultures and inspiring a voracious interest in world travel.
AARP has summarized that the desire to travel (aka vacation) comes down to three primary motivators;
Although many trips are anticipated for 2016, approximately one in ten (12%) are completely booked by September 2015, leaving opportunity for AARP to provide resources and guidance, specifically to the 48% for whom it is “still just an idea”. Baby Boomers do not appear to be overly concerned about budgeting for personal travel, nor are they hindered by the higher airfares (approximately two-thirds claim it has no impact on their travel plans). Among those with pets, few (5%) will travel with them, but what they do tend to take with them on trips are their medications, a comfortable pair of shoes, a camera, and sunglasses. And different than the younger generations, Baby Boomers will also take a good book and emergency numbers. Moreover, AARP has found that there is no surprise why personal travel is so prevalent, as travelers say that when they are on vacation they smile and laugh more, are more likely to learn something new, and have more time to spend with those they love.
Furthermore, AARP has evaluated that Baby Boomers are significantly more likely than those of younger generations to take a cruise in international waters (26% vs. 7%, respectively). Those Baby Boomers traveling within the U.S. gravitate toward a City/Town or a Beach for their leisure travel. Other domestic locations include theme parks, second homes, staying with friends/family. Another finding is that to travel within the states, approximately half will go by air, half will travel by ground and whether international or domestic, hotels are the most popular type of accommodations as they offer amenities like free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, but for Baby Boomers AARP has found that smartphone key access and mobile check-in are the least important, at this time.
Some more trip details that AARP has evaluated is that Baby Boomers find lots of reasons to travel abroad, with the most popular trip types being Bucket List, Multi-Generational, or Summer Vacations. Europe and the Caribbean and surrounding areas are key destinations for international travelers. And AARP states that of the 95% who will travel domestically in 2016, Summer Vacations, Multi-Generational trips, and Weekend Getaways are the primary impetus behind such plans. As a matter of fact, popular domestic destinations are either a city/town or a beach, with Florida, Las Vegas, California, New York and Hawaii being mentioned the most.
So, there you have it, Baby Boomers are definitely traveling more and exploring new and exciting places for their vacations and getaways and this is all according to AARP’s Travel Research in their 2016 Travel Trends. This information is available to the public on the website of AARP and is very detailed, so if you need or want to learn more about Baby Boomer travels just go to the AARP website to do more research to see what you can find out about Baby Boomer travels.