Tech-savvy, globe-trotting baby boomers are filling their passports like never before. Over the next 10 years, we can expect international travel to become even more easily attainable and common. This is due to improved infrastructure and technology, an aging global population, and an expanding global middle class.
Senior citizens will account for 11% of the world’s population by 2025, and 22% in developed countries. Seniors have more financial resources and time compared to other age groups, and we can expect boomers to remain a crucial demographic for the tourism industry around the world for years to come.
A recent survey found that 38% of baby boomers have a travel bucket list that they’re hoping to embark on in the short future. A lot of people are celebrating as they head into retirement and the average baby boomer has eight places that they’re hoping to visit.
Older travellers can find discounts around the world on everything from rental cars to hotel rooms. They also have the luxury of travelling whenever they want, instead of being stuck with school breaks and national holidays when prices are highest.
That means that boomers get to enjoy shoulder seasons each year, and can travel during the school term, avoiding the crowds at many tourist sights around the world.
Half of the boomers surveyed sad that they want to visit specific towns or cities. They want to have a small town feel while enjoying good places for eating and shopping.
Many boomers will find that while travel websites can be a valuable resource for information about different destinations, they will often only list certain airlines and hotels. Travel agencies often specialise in a variety of countries and have access to the latest travel information, including specials and deals. Agents often know all the best attractions for customers to see, and agencies will also offer package deals which include flights, accommodation, and admission to some of the most popular attractions.
Group tours have often been shrugged off as only for the unadventurous, but boomers are proving that this isn’t true. Many are choosing group travel with a grass-roots feel, and are staying in local guesthouses, learning about the culture, and getting out to explore the road less traveled.
While boomers are still enjoying Europe, they’re not limiting themselves to one continent. This year, Mexico is especially popular, followed by the Caribbean, and the UK. Central and South America are also becoming more popular as the world becomes smaller and boomers 18% are travelling by themselves when they can’t find anyone ready go to out and see the world. Boomers are also most likely to travel during spring or fall, as they tend to prefer avoiding crowds and extreme heat and cold.
Boomers are also becoming more tech-savvy, and are using apps on their smartphones like Google Maps, Whatsapp, and Facetime. They’re keeping in touch with family via Skype and Facebook, and reading reviews online before committing to a restaurant or tour.