Baby boomers love to travel. Even with some pundits saying that the Baby Boomer generation isn’t prepared for their retirement, isn’t saving enough, is having to work longer than expected, and many other somewhat depressing headlines, in January of this year, the U.S. Travel Association reported that Boomers make up thirty-six percent of all leisure travelers and thirty-eight percent of all business travelers every year. So it would appear that the Baby Boomers still manage to finance their travel even if they may not be able to finance their eventual retirement.
Anytime a group of Baby Boomers get together, the conversation inevitably turns to travel and who’s been where lately, which cruise line has the best buffet, and where the best golf course are. There are even conversations about zip lining and skydiving and where to rent or buy the latest in scuba gear. If there is a favorite travel pastime among the Baby Boomer travel set, it is probably cruising. They love taking the scenic tours to the Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Italy and Greece. Even Alaska and whale watching are extremely popular with these classic travelers.
US Baby Boomers claim to also have a passion for the exotic when it comes to traveling, with almost sixty percent of all Boomers having their passport waiting and ready so they can leave at a moment’s notice. There are seven current trends in Boomer travel that are pretty popular right now:
Eco-tourism – these green trips are targeted to Baby Boomers with a love for the environment. These trips include hiking, bird watching, nature walks, observing waterfalls, and whale watching and counting. Many Baby Boomers care about world sustainability and protecting the environment and endangered species. By 2020, more than 1.6 billion trips are predicted to take place by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Adventure Travel – this category of travel is quickly growing and is predicted to continue this scale of growth for the foreseeable future. Adventure travel includes sky diving, snorkeling, cycling, skiing, hiking, and scuba diving. The feeling behind the rise in Baby Boomer activity in this travel category is that Baby Boomers have spent their lifetime watching others participate in these activities and now they want their turn.
Religion – Baby Boomers travel extensively for religious reasons each year. Over 900,000 visit destinations with holy significance all over the world including the Holy Land, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, France, and Portugal. Almost 90% of these Baby Boomer travelers are Christians.
Culinary Cruises – Baby Boomers not only love to cruise, they love to eat and drink while they’re cruising. This is a growing market which started with five years ago and now is provided by many cruise lines.
Destination Weddings – Baby Boomers are getting remarried or married for the first time and like to do it in exotic places with spectacular venues.
Multi-Generational or Family Trips – Baby Boomers arenít very different from other generations of grandparents, they love their grandkids and enjoy traveling with them. These trips are most often arranged around family milestones such as a birthday, a graduation or anniversary. The difference between todayís Boomer grandparents and those of previous generations is that today the trip is more likely to be to Europe than to Disneyworld, because the Baby Boomer grandparents are veteran travelers themselves.
Medical Tourism – Baby Boomers are more than willing to travel to find the healthcare they need, especially cosmetic surgery and some of the surgeries which are more expensive in the United States such as organ transplants.
Baby Boomer travel is a significant part of the United States and the international travel industry and as more and more Baby Boomers retire from their working lives, this number will continue to grow.