The Hottest Trends In Boomer Travel

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The Hottest Trends In Boomer Travel

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How much do baby boomers love to travel? According to industry research, we spend $157 billion on trips every year and many polls rank travel as our No. 1 leisure activity.

Recently, the Preferred Hotel Group teamed up with Harrison Group, a marketing research firm, to learn more about boomers’ travel preferences. “This generation is passionate about travel and want to have fun, says Lindsey Ueberroth, hotel group president. “And for professionals that are not focusing on this, it will be their mistake.”

While it’s hard to make generalizations about 78 million individuals (especially this trailblazing demographic), pundits do point to certain trends among boomer travelers. To give you some inspiration for the 3.7 statistical trips you’ll take in the next year, here are seven of the hottest trends among our peers.

1Ecotourism
Green is the new black when it comes to vacations. The U.N. World Tourism Organization predicts there will be some 1.6 billion eco-inspired trips taken by 2020. But all operators are not created equal. It’s important to do your homework and find a company that works closely with local residents to benefit them. True ecotourism isn’t just zip-lining through the jungle. It helps the local economy and is sustainable. An important fringe benefit: Local residents come to appreciate the inherent value of their natural resources — rain forests, nature preserves, waterways, coral reefs — and realize that they must be protected and preserved.

2Adventure

As boomers, we don’t think of ourselves as aging. Plenty of us are in as good shape as when we were in our 20s and some are in even better condition. We’ve always been up for a challenge. As a result, adventure travel — kayaking, cycling, hiking, scuba diving, skiing, mountain climbing — is enjoying popularity among the 50+ crowd. Vacation packagers are adding more categories every year specifically targeted to this generation.

Before you book such a trip, make sure you’re clear about the level of fitness required and what kind of emergency backup the company offers. Check with your health care practitioner to help you realistically assess whether the trip is appropriate for you.

3Multigenerational

According to top travel companies, multigenerational family trips account for more than 10 percent of their entire business. Dan Austin, director of Austin-Lehman Adventures, says they’ve seen a tenfold increase in custom trips in recent years. “Groups range in size from as few as four to as many as 24 family members,” he says.

It takes some research and good planning to make sure everyone is comfortable and has fun. But do it right and you’ll have memories to share that will last a lifetime.

4Bucket List
We’re at that age where we feel young — but are also realistic about that ticking clock. While some people have been smart/lucky enough to start checking items off their bucket list for years, many of us are only now getting the right combination of time and money to live out our dreams. For some it’s visiting an ancestor’s homeland; for others it’s exotic destinations, like the Galapagos, Tahiti, Patagonia, a tour of European capitals or, as it was for me, Machu Picchu. I finally got to take my long-awaited fantasy trip — and wrote about it in hopes of inspiring others to do something similar.

5Passions
At midlife, people enjoy combining their passions with wish-list destinations. They might learn a new language before visiting a country where it’s spoken by natives, learn to cook in Italy, follow the chocolate trail through Europe or taste wine in California.

By Suzanne Gerber, Editor for Living & Learning channel for Next Avenue

Source: Forbes