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Baby Boomer Travel Trends

For baby boomers, travel is, well, booming. According to the AARP 2017 Travel Trends Report, 99 percent of boomers plan to take at least one leisure trip this year, with an average of five or more trips. But why do they want to travel, and where do they want to go? The report uncovered several trends.

Keep it close to home?
Boomers slightly prefer traveling domestically, and we do mean slightly: 51 percent expect to travel domestically, but 43 percent hope to travel both domestically and internationally.

Why travel?
Bucket list trips are the most popular motivation for an international trip, whereas summer vacations, multigenerational trips, weekend getaways and holiday travel typically serve as motivation for domestic trips. Most boomers are looking for a laid-back and relaxing experience to spend time with friends and family. As far as authentic experiences go, 50 percent would like to eat meals with locals or tour with locals (40 percent among international travelers). Yet only 18 percent are open to staying with locals, domestically or abroad.

What's on the horizon?
It looks like ... the beach. With relaxation on the itinerary, popular international destinations include Mexico, the Caribbean and the British Isles. A variety of cities are popular for domestic trips, but most are planned for Florida or California.

What's stopping them?
The three most common barriers to travel include: cost (43 percent), health (34 percent) and security concerns (28 percent).

What's work got to do with it?
Not all boomers are retired, and 40 percent don't anticipate taking all of their vacation days. When they do vacation, 40 percent feel it's at least somewhat important to stay connected to work while away—and many anticipate spending at least 10 percent of their time working.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.


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