Many boomers consider travel as part of life and not just a luxury. And for this reason, many travel often.
Boomers’ parents saved their money to make their one big lifetime trip. But boomers often began travelling as students so now as experienced travellers, they look for exotic experiences. Many have already done what they consider the mundane, i.e.: exploring the United States, most likely by backpacking, so a bus trip across the States does not appeal. With a been-there-done-that type of attitude, they’re now looking for adventure that is either challenging or at least intellectually stimulating.
Growing up with the attitude of being young forever and not wishing to trust anyone over thirty, many even now, don’t want to associate with seniors or anyone older than themselves when travelling. They don’t see themselves as old no matter what the calendar may say. They feel young and often act much younger than their chronological age. Their preference would be to travel with people younger rather than older than themselves.
When travelling, boomers want options where they can feel as if they have some control over their travel experience. They don’t just want to sight-see, they want to sight-do like going gold panning, river rafting, on a safari, walking the high arch of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney or even bungee jumping, as one seventy year old recently did.
Boomers like luxury at a bargain price but with the assurance of good value. But there are also boomers who stay at hostels around the world.. No longer is it just the youth who backpack; boomers are returning to the things they enjoyed in their youth; perhaps it is a denial on aging. And does it make any difference whether it is or not?
Boomers are travelling with friends, family or are taking their grandchildren on special trips. There are also theme trips such as golf holidays to specific areas, spa trips to luxury resorts, wine tasting trips or educational trips with the intention of learning a language through total immersion with the land and the people. There are also volunteerism trips where part of the trip is spent helping at a school or an orphanage and eco-tourism trips which includes nature and environmental excursions to see waterfalls and bird watching. Adventure travel is also popular which includes hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving and skiing. And of course, cruises have long been popular choices.
RV travel is popular with boomers also. It offers a variety of experiences, control about where you go and where you stay and allows complete flexibility. It is a free spirit way of travelling like packbacking in comfort. It can be used as a home base for visiting hisotoric sites, local points of interest and tourist attractions. It is a home on wheels without the necessity of packing your suitcase with every move you make.
As boomers redefined young adulthood and retirement, according to statistics they are also redefining the travel industry. Because of their numbers, their travel demands are determining what the industry offers. Boomers want new experiences, not the same-old, same-old. They are more interested in adventure and international travel than were their parents. They want educational and experiential travel, i.e.: a cargo ship cruise or a trip to the Galapagos. And many are looking at their bucket list when they consider places to travel.
Many boomers believe that ‘To travel is to live’ which is a quote by Hans Christian Andersen. And they are doing it in large numbers.