As usual, Baby Boomers travel trends set the bar

Research shows Baby Boomers travel expenses top $157 billion each year.  Not a surprise, right? 

Perfect view from Hawaiian resort

What do researchers expect from a generation of adventure-loving, thrill-seekers? It's an important part of the Baby Boomers lifestyles.

Yeah, we like to travel. It’s way high on our list of favorite things to do. In fact, for many of us, travel has moved from being a luxury to a necessity – we can’t survive without it.

We’re a curious lot – always looking for something new to do or experience, something that’s not so readily available in our normal stomping grounds. We love unique and unconventional, we salivate for exotic and we have the means (for the most part) to pursue what we want.

While we have more expendable income than those older or younger than us and we don’t mind spending our money for what we want, we still love a bargain. We need to know that we’re special enough to be offered a great deal.

Lots for Boomers to do in Nassau, Bahamas

We do like the idea of relaxing in our travels, but not to the extreme. We want ways of relaxing that are more active than just sunning on a beach chair.  Like zip-lining across a jungle gorge or white-water rafting or hiking through the rain forests.

And at the end of the day, we want our comforts – the 4- and 5-star accommodations, an authentic experience of the cultural cuisine and don’t forget Internet access. We have to stay connected to our friends, family and co-workers – if for no other reason than to share about travels.

When Baby Boomers travel, you’ll rarely find a bunch of us packed into one of those tour buses, with a full itinerary accounting for every hour of our days. We do appreciate expert guidance but with limited structure. We’re explorers at heart and need plenty of time to do that on our own.

Finally, the travel industry is starting to pay attention to what we want. They’re listening to what our priorities are and how we intend to spend our travel time.

Baby Boomers travel trends

Here’s what we’re seeing more of in travel offerings:

  • Shorter cruises
  • Shorter and less structured itineraries for tours
  • Smaller, more intimate groups
  • Connoisseur travels – i.e. winery tours, chocolatier tours, French cooking classes, antiques, fine art
  • Green travel, sometimes called ecotourism, that helps a local economy
  • Educational travel
  • Family or intergenerational packages, particularly for grandparents and grandchildren
  • Exotic locations 
  • Experiences that allow deeper immersion in the culture
  • Spiritual travel
  • Sports touring – opportunities to follow our passions in sports
  • Customized trips around a common theme
  • Voluntourism – contributing to a charitable cause

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