You’ve been around for a while… And all signs indicate you aren’t going to go anywhere any time soon—unless you’re talking travel, of course! More than a “new” trend, boomer travel is basically a continuation of a very important segment of the travel industry. And with boomers quickly adding up to nearly half of the US population AND on the road to controlling a full 70% of all disposable cash in the nation by 2017, you’re a force to be reckoned with.
Need inspiration to get on the road? Here’s a short list of the top five boomer travel trends happening at a destination near you.
Bucket-Listing That trip to Argentina you’ve been talking about for the last 20 years? It’s time. The kids are grown and are out of the house—or at the very least can definitely take care of themselves—and whether you’re retired or have accumulated vacation, the clock is ticking. Some of you have already been checking off items over the years, whether it’s been an exotic trip to the Far East or something as simple as paying a visit to your great grandmother’s village; the rest of us need to start catching up!
Multi-Generational Trips Cruise companies, tour operators, hoteliers and more are catering to multi-gen travelers more than ever—especially since being a grandparent no longer has to equal rocking chairs and quietly fading into the background. Kitchenettes and connecting rooms are prime amenities (along with spas and pools!) and group tours that include extended family now account for more than 10 percent of business among top travel companies.
Medical Tourism As America continues to age, many are looking abroad for both elective and medically necessary surgery—it is, in fact, a $40-billion-a-year-trend. Five-star treatment for a coronary artery bypass in India (which can be anywhere from 65 to 90 percent cheaper than in the US) or a full face lift with recovery in a top-notch boutique hotel in spectacular Sao Paulo for 30 to 50 percent less than in the US comes with highly qualified, board certified doctors and nurses who speak English; professional, personalized attention and very satisfied patients. Always be sure to do your research beforehand, though: you’ll want to look for the Joint Commission International seal of approval for starters.
Ecotourism Green travel keeps growing in popularity with boomers; but even though walking safaris, hikes to ancient ruins and treks through wildlife reserves are high on many lists, truth is at the end of the day you’re looking for a tricked-out tent, a room with a view and a Jacuzzi tub or a casita with room service. The need for creature comforts aside, ecotourism appeals to traveling boomers seeking purposeful vacations that include hands-on involvement, unique experiences and help sustain the wellbeing of the local communities.
Learning Vacations Whether it’s learning to cook pad thai in Chiang Mai or learning Spanish in the exquisite colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, you’re looking to relax, refresh and come home with a new skill. There are outfitters that specialize in adult learning adventures—you can even take travel writing workshops paired with tours to some of the world’s top destinations (a travel blog? Why not?) These vacations pair on-the-job experiences with classroom learning and, of course, a healthy dose of fun. Because, after all, isn’t that the point of a vacation?
See yourself in these descriptions? Whether you’re an avid traveler or take just a trip or two a year, you can take along the peace of mind of having a medical evacuation services membership and trip protection plans that go beyond traditional travel insurance to take care of the unexpected.