The term adventurous can often be found following the words “young and…” However, the idea that younger generations are more adventurous is contrary to recent findings from the AARP. According to a recent study, Baby Boomers are expected to take 4-5 leisure trips next year with about half only traveling in the U.S. and about half traveling both domestically and abroad. One reason why Boomers are so adventurous in the coming year is quite simply because they can afford it as they plan on spending over $6,600 on their 2019 travel.
In addition to these findings, of those in the planning phase of their domestic travel, 88% have already selected a destination, which is up from 72% in 2018. For those venturing abroad, 31% have booked their 2019 trips by September 2018, an increase from 23% by September of the previous year in 2018 and 17% in 2017, according to the online survey.
“According to this research, Boomers travel plans in 2019 are focused on spending time with family and friends, while getting away from everyday life,” said Patty David, director consumer insights, personal fulfillment, reports Travel Agent Central. “Whether it’s a weekend road trip or an international vacation, Boomers are eager to travel in 2019 and are planning earlier and spending more than in years past.”
In comparison to Millenials, the survey found that Boomers were less likely to use all or most of their vacation time with 77% versus 62%. However, quality of time away also appeared to be a key differentiator with Millenials more likely to bring work with them (78% versus 59%).
This idea of willingness to unplug signifies a clear generation gap as it was found that Boomers are more likely to unplug, with 57% saying they do not think it is important to stay connected to work while away, according to AARP. The survey also states that if they do bring work on vacation with them, the majority will not let it consume more than 10% of their time off.
Moreover, roughly 54% of Boomers usually bring a smartphone on international trips and 92% bring it on domestic vacations, although they’re more likely to use them to take photos than to check email. It may also come as no surprise that youngsters are more technologically dependent while traveling in the U.S., as Millennial travelers are more likely than Boomers to say they can’t travel without their phone (71% versus 64%).
To get a better understanding of what we can expect to see in travel trends from Boomers in 2019, we spoke with Jonathan Breeze, the CEO of AardvarkCompare.com, a travel insurance comparison site for seniors, who says “Our main observation is how quickly Boomers behave like their grandkids. It did not take long for Generation AARP to take over Facebook, and now they are doing the same with AirBnB. A home away from home is becoming increasingly popular with our Senior travelers, and AirBnB is benefiting from this trend.”
He adds “Increasingly, older travelers remain connected as they travel the world.71% of Millennials report that they cannot travel without a connected phone, yet Boomers only lag a little behind at 64%. Let’s see if the latest Millennial trend – E-Scooters – crosses over to the Boomers. If so, they will enjoy being aptly named the Silver Surfers!”
Clearly, 2019 will be an exciting year for travel. With so much opportunity and choice in our modern world when it comes to travel, it is easy to see why Boomers are upping their game and catching up with the trends that their grandchildren love to use.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company