Destination Directory

Baby Boomer Travel Trends

The baby boomer generation has always loved to travel and is showing no signs of slowing down. Find out why boomers continue to be avid travelers and what it is they're gravitating toward in 2019.

According to recent AARP research, baby boomers are planning to take a total of four or five leisure trips in 2019 and are securing travel plans earlier than in years past: 31 percent of boomers with international travel plans have already booked their trips as of September 2018. Additionally, among those boomers in the planning stages, 83 percent have already chosen their destination, with Europe snagging the top spot.

Motivators for taking these trips range, but are unsurprisingly geared mostly toward spending time with family and friends. A goal of simply relaxing and rejuvenating comes in a close second.

How are boomers choosing to get around? For international travel, an overwhelming 87 percent are choosing to fly, with the second-most popular choice being by cruise ships. Domestic travel tells a different story: While flying is still the most popular choice, driving and renting a car emerges as the next favorite option.

Much like their millennial counterparts, boomers are interested in connecting with locals for a truly authentic experience—especially over meals and on tours during international trips. Boomers, however, are much more likely to choose traditional accommodations such as hotels and motels; millennials are significantly more open to nontraditional options, such as rental homes via Airbnb.

You may think boomers aren't as reliant on their smartphones as millennials, but not so fast. You may be surprised to learn that 64 percent of boomers traveling domestically say they can't travel without their smartphone and have it available 72 percent of the time. But no, it's not to post a selfie to Instagram or send a video of their delicious meal to jealous friends on Snapchat; boomers keep it simple and use their phones to take photos, call, text and access maps for navigation.

What factors do you consider when planning travel—domestically or internationally?

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.


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