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