Baby Boomers are defying all stereotypes and turning out to be a fairly tech savvy, globe trotting generation. Entering the age of retirement, and as a generation that has worked hard for their savings, Boomers now want to enjoy their golden years. For many, this includes packing their bags and setting off to see the world, passport in hand.
According to a recent AARP report which summarises 2019 Boomer travel trends, seniors are expected to take 4-5 leisure trips this year, spending over $6,600. For those going abroad, 31% had booked their 2019 trips by September 2018, up from 23% by September of the previous year and 17% in 2017.
Despite the very obvious difference of not having a budget, Boomer travel habits are more similar to Millennials than one might think. A significant number of seniors are becoming increasingly reliant on travel apps and technology in order to book and plan trips. Smartphones are integral to travel for many seniors, with 53% stating they “can’t live without it” on an international trip. And, thanks to improved internet connectivity and a surge in these travel digital platforms, seniors are encouraged to broaden their travel options and, in some ways, pushed into greater spontaneity thanks to simplified and available online suggestions.
Seek local experiences
Although family visits and cruise vacations remain popular among this demographic, Baby Boomers are showing more interest in engaging in local, authentic experiences. They have quickly become Airbnb’s fastest growing demographic, as both hosts and guests, and also enjoy activities such as eating with locals and tours with locals. With more seniors “connected” online, finding these home sharing platforms, such as Airbnb, are quick and easy for them.
Unlike millennials, however, seniors still place their focus on planning (they know where they want to go, rather than the millennial backpacker), health and easy travel and transportation when booking a holiday. Travel companies and apps looking to tap into this emerging Baby Boomer travel market will therefore need to take these priorities into consideration.
Love a good deal
It’s also interesting to note than even with their pockets full of savings, seniors love a good deal. 57 percent of Boomers say that their budget plays a factor in their trip, according to Booking Platform, Rezdy. Opportunities to upgrade or add on package deals are usually taken by this generation., iIn fact, 95 percent of them would want to know that they have found the best deal possible before booking their holiday.
With their new found time for adventure, desire for unique, local experiences, and their better understanding and use of technology, Baby Boomers are set to become a huge consumer demographic for the tourism industry in 2019.