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AARP report shows baby boomers still big on leisure travel

September 27, 2017
Three senior travelers on beach

One of the major cohorts of American society is the baby boomers, that post-World War II reproductive explosion. Now numbering about 75 million, baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964 and made up almost 40 percent of the U.S. population at their apex. Today, that graying cohort doesn’t concern itself so much with hot cars and weekend dates as it does with healthy living and knocking things off their bucket list, which inevitably includes a good deal of leisure travel.

The American Association of Retired Persons, better known as AARP, pays a lot of attention to such matters when it does its annual travel survey of its members. It’s hard to imagine a more travel-oriented group, when you consider that 99 percent of baby boomers tell AARP that they plan at least one leisure trip during 2017, with an average of five or more trips expected over the course of the year. Some 51 percent expect to travel domestically, according to the AARP report, while 43 percent plan to travel both domestically and internationally — and most of that travel will be done in the Spring and Summer of 2017, regardless of destination. Fall travel is also planned, though to a lesser degree.

Not surprisingly, so-called bucket list trips are the chief motivation for international travel, while travel done domestically will entail mainly summer vacations, multi-generational trips, weekend getaways and holiday travel. Among the barriers to travel cited by respondents are cost (43%), health (34%) and security concerns (28%).

Boomers are not avid users of online resources for travel planning and booking, says the AARP report. Those boomers that do use online tend to favor Trip Advisor, Expedia, Travelocity and Yelp. Chief among their travel desires is relaxing leisure travel that emphasizes an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family.

Though it is human nature to resist growing old, the latter stages of life have their compensations. Baby boomers are often people of means, having enjoyed successful careers and accumulating significant pensions and individual retirement accounts to make the final chapter of their lives truly Golden Years. Given time, money and a sense of wonder, there are few things that can capture the imagination more fully than travel. Here at The Rose Hotel, that wanderlust walks in our front door every day.

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