Baby Boomers are traveling in record numbers. In fact, the AARP says an astonishing 99% of all Baby Boomers surveyed planned to travel in 2016! As the largest generation in history (well, until millennials!), where will Boomers be spending their travel dollars, and what do they plan to see?
Trends in Baby Boomer Travel
Although about half of Boomers say they’re planning both international and domestic trips, over 95% of the group will definitely travel within the U.S. What do they like to get out of travel? These folks say they “smile more,” “learn something new,” and have “more time to spend with loved ones” during their senior adventures.
Surprisingly, Boomer travel is less dependent on budget than ever. Over two-thirds of the group say budget isn’t a factor when planning, and most have 4-5 trips in the works at any given time! This group expects all the amenities of home when they travel, particularly WiFi and luxurious accommodations.
Senior Adventure Travel: A Fountain of Youth
Today, Baby Boomers range from their early 50s to their early 70s, depending on the criteria used to measure. They’re retiring, finally coming into financial security, and with family moving farther away, they’re ready to get out and explore.
Adventure travel for seniors isn’t just a trend, it’s a bonafide movement. “Adventure travel” may conjure up images of skydiving and bungee jumping, but for Boomers, it’s about experiencing something out-of-their-comfort zone. The term is subjective, and it means different things to different seniors. For some, adventure travel is food-related; for others, it involves exploring new cultures; for many, it means pushing their physical boundaries, even in their “old” age.
So, what are some of the most common types of Senior Adventures?
- High-end hiking experiences that include rejuvenation days with spa-like amenities
- Immersive cultural experiences that include local food, dance, music, and lifestyle
- Integration with nature including wildlife, flora, and expansive land
Why Do Boomers Love Adventure Travel?
In a word: Youth. Like many generations, Baby Boomers turn to adventure travel for rejuvenation for the mind, body, and soul. For many, adventure travel is a way to reconnect with a more youthful period in time whether that’s a younger physical state, emotional moment, or even to literally spend time with younger generations.
The mental process of planning and looking forward to a trip actually keeps us young, say scientists. A 2012 study actually proved that “experiencing awe expands people’s perception of time.” The good news is, Boomers are easier to “awe” than their younger counterparts! While millennials have grown accustomed to seek out bigger, better experiences, Boomers feel adventurous simply getting off the beaten path and reconnecting with nature. Turns out it’s the search for something new that keeps this group of explorers feeling youthful and vibrant.
Baby Boomers are Changing the Parameters of Adventure Travel
For better or for worse, senior adventures are shifting the way people travel. This group’s deeper pockets and excess free time means this group expects more from adventure travel: luxury resort-style hotels, private guided tours, and spa-like destinations to rejuvenate in the aftermath of the adventure itself. For Boomers, needing a vacation from vacation simply isn’t acceptable.
The senior adventure travel market is changing, and it’s growing, too. More travel companies are looking to provide immersive, exciting experiences for a variety of generations – sometimes all at once! – while maintaining a relaxed, welcoming environment. Travel should be, after all, a superior experience to everyday life.
At Ted Turner Expeditions, we’re experts on Baby Boomer Adventure Tours. We cater to groups of all sizes and ages, offering custom guided tours, personalized trip itineraries, and experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Contact our concierge travel department today to find out why your next trip could be the best of your life.