What’s the top experience that folks seek out after turning 50?
A new survey of 2,000 passport-carrying Americans aged 50 and up shows that traveling abroad is their number one choice for realizing their passions.
The survey, commissioned by Exodus Travels — a UK-based adventure travel company with a substantial presence in the U.S. and Canada — confirmed what Exodus leaders say they had observed for a number of years: that Americans gain a new “lust for life” after age 50.
And that “second wind” translates most heavily into travel.
Asked “What led you to gaining a new passion/appreciation for life?“, one-third of respondents close “a travel experience” — which tied with “retirement” in that category.
The next question was key: “What have you done or do you plan on doing as a result of getting a new passion for life?”
Almost 70 percent answered “travel abroad” — by far the top choice — while (in second place) more than 42 percent said they wanted to visit U.S. landmark monuments, also far outdistancing the non-travel choices. (Respondents could choose more than one answer.)
Going on a cruise for the first time, experimenting with different cultural cuisines, hiking, cycling, and spending more time outdoors were other travel-related passions and aspirations that finished high up in the survey.
Only retirement, volunteering, attending classes, and starting a new relationship finished higher than 30 percent. (Piercings, tattoos, and cosmetic surgery finished way down the list.)
Next, when asked if travel had played an important role in their lives and influenced who they are today, three-quarters of the respondents said they strongly or somewhat agreed.
Almost 90 percent said there are still lots of destinations on their personal bucket lists, such as Australia, France, Italy, Germany, and China. Adventurous and exotic choices included the Galapagos, Patagonia, and India.
And finally, 70 percent said they’ve budgeted travel into their retirement plans — which means most will follow through.
Keeping in mind that the survey only questioned Americans who already have passports — indicating they’re probably more open to foreign travel than those who lack passports — this is still good news for those of us who believe that increased time and passion for travel is, indeed, one of the great pleasures of getting older if health and finances allow.
The survey also turned up the following result:
When making travel decisions, the top five factors are:
- Quality of itinerary/tour
- Traveling with like-minded people.
So keep traveling, boomers. Gotta keep up with those pesky millennials!