The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter

Luxury travel

Multi-generational travel is a popular offering from Road Scholar tours; boomers and millennials together in Costa Rica. Photo from Road Scholar.

Multi-generational travel is a popular offering from Road Scholar tours; boomers and millennials together in Costa Rica. Photo from Road Scholar.

Much like U.S. baby boomers, Canadian boomers have largely put their backpacking days in the rear-view mirror, seeking instead to pursue luxury and explore history, art, culture and warm beaches when they travel.

According to a Travelocity.ca survey of 1,004 randomly selected Canadians of two different generations (boomers and millennials), 89 percent of the boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) surveyed said they planned to travel just as much or more in 2014 than they did in 2013.

And 47 percent of them — spread just about equally between men and women — rate luxury travel as very important in their planning.

Twenty seven percent of the boomers surveyed listed exploring history, art and culture as their top priority, the most of any category. Just under a quarter of… Continue reading

A Chianti vineyard in Tuscany is included on the Gold Standard tour of Italy offered at Zicasso. Photo from Zicasso.

A Chianti vineyard in Tuscany is included on the Gold Standard tour of Italy offered at Zicasso. Photo from Zicasso.

Zicasso — an online service that matches travel agent specialists with luxury travelers to plan memorable customized trips around the globe — is touting five specially planned trips on five different continents to mark its fifth anniversary in business.

The five tours promise experiences and access beyond the ordinary. They include the “Gold Standard Culinary and Art Tour of Italy,” the “Ultra Luxury South African Safari,” the “Australian Family Adventure,” the  “Insider’s Guide to Brazil,” and “Off the Beaten Path China.”

Along with the tours, Zicasso is offering an intriguing promotion: the first five travelers to book all five tours by the end of 2013 will receive free roundtrip airfare to all five. The airfare is in coach class and must be used by 2015.

Of course,… Continue reading

Jacada Travel will help you get close up to a zebra on a luxury African safari.

Jacada Travel will help you get close up to a zebra on a luxury African safari.

I wasn’t too familiar with Jacada Travel, a London, England-based company that specializes in luxury private guided tours in Latin America and Africa, but a new Gold Award from Travel Weekly in their 2013 Magellan Awards made me take notice.

Jacada Travel was named a “Best Overall” tour operator by a panel of travel industry leaders and insiders.

The company is just five years old and promises to deliver personalized travel experiences, which they’ll design for you based on your wants, needs, desires, and, no doubt, a few whims.

If cost is no object — or at least not the defining object — in your pursuit of bucket list safaris in Africa or Amazon tribal encounters in Peru, Jacada Travel will make it happen.

Baby boomers (as well as other travelers such as… Continue reading

One of the big developments in cruising in the past few years is the rapid rise of river cruising, which has a big marketing advantage over ocean cruising among a certain segment of the population: namely, those who don’t like the idea of being out in the ocean on a big ship.

Emerald Waterways features an innovative

Emerald Waterways features an innovative “indoor balcony” in some cabins. Photo from Emerald Waterways.

Whether it’s fear of open water, fear of getting seasick, fear of overcrowding, or fear of being on a big ship if a crisis strikes at sea — such as some of the highly publicized events of the past year or two — a number of people just won’t consider taking a traditional ocean cruise. (No matter how much I or many other cruising advocates try to convince them otherwise.)

River cruising, on the other hand, enables you to stay close to land on… Continue reading

What boomers want most when they travel?

What boomers want most when they travel?

I haven’t seen the full study, but the online market research firm Lab42 has released this tantalizing tidbit from a recent survey of 500 “social savvy” baby boomers — that is, who use social media — who plan to take a vacation in 2013:

Forty one percent of those surveyed said they were willing to spend more money to “stay more comfortably” in their lodgings at the expense of other aspects of the trip — presumably things like restaurants, transportation, sightseeing and other activities.

This compares to just one-quarter of those surveyed who said they would spend less on accommodations in order to spend more on other aspects of the trip, and a third who said they gave no consideration to the cost of overnight accommodations.

If I ran a luxury resort or hotel, this would have to be good news.

First, I… Continue reading

 

The MS Europa 2. Photo from Hapag-LLoyd.

The MS Europa 2. Photo from Hapag-LLoyd.

I’m onboard the Europa 2, Hapag-Lloyd’s new luxury cruise ship, sailing from Sicily to Sardinia in the western Mediterranean.

One of the afternoon offerings onboard is a meat seminar featuring Wolfgang Otto, one of three German brothers who recognized a need in Germany and decided to fill it: supplying Germany’s finest Michelin-rated restaurants with top-quality beef and pork.

Otto admitted to me and the other baby boomers onboard that just eight years ago he knew very little about meat, yet today his family’s company, Otto Gourmet, is regarded as the top beef and pork purveyor in Germany. Kobe cattle and Iberico pig are two of the products they distribute to both top restaurants and private customers.

For enlightenment on the subject, he and his brothers first turned to a Nebraska rancher, Dan Morgan, who taught them the finer points of how to… Continue reading

Boomers explore Angkor Wat with Classic Journeys. Copyright Classic Journeys.

Boomers explore Angkor Wat with Classic Journeys. Copyright Classic Journeys.

At Classic Journeys — a company that specializes in walking tours with cultural components around the globe, as well as culinary and family trips  — baby boomers are the prime target market.

In fact, according to Classic Journeys co-founder and president Edward Piegza, fully half their guests are aged 60 or older, and, he writes, “their thirst for adventure is alive and well.”

Classic Journeys attracts boomers for all the reasons I’ve been writing about in this blog:

* Itineraries span the globe from Morocco to New Zealand, Turkey to Cambodia, Corsica to Costa Rica, Argentina to Zambia — 33 countries on five continents — helping to slake boomers’ thirst for seeing parts of the world that are off the beaten track. (See my previous post on boomers’ taste for the exotic.)

* Classic Journeys walking trips are adventurous… Continue reading

Leopard in tree -- Botswana. Photo by Mark Lakin, Epic Road.

Leopard in tree — Botswana. Photo by Mark Lakin, Epic Road.

Combining luxury and adventure travel — two boomer favorites — with another boomer hot-button, “transformative experiences,” Epic Road offers customized trips that, for now at least, focus primarily on African safaris and the Arctic. Plans are in the works to expand into Asia, and Epic Road will work with clients to set up trips in other regions of the world if requested.

Luxurious adventure trips are offered by a number of other companies. The Epic Road twist is those “transformative experiences,” including specific humanitarian and conservation initiatives that travelers can build into their journeys if they choose. (See my previous post on tours popular with baby boomers that give back to the local communities they visit.)

Started by two longtime friends and devoted world travelers, Mark Lakin and Marc Chafiian, Epic Road’s declared ethos is “to raise… Continue reading

Uniworld's River Queen on the Moselle River. Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Uniworld’s River Queen on the Moselle River. Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, whose trademarked slogan is “the world’s only authentic boutique cruise line,” is offering experiences that are right out of the baby boomer promotional playbook.

According to a recent press release, “enhancements for 2014 include delving even more into authentic and personalized travel experiences.”

“Authentic” and “personalized travel experiences,” please note, are exactly what baby boomers are looking for when they leave home.

The press release continues: “Uniworld’s onshore experiences will continue to focus more on flexibility with their ‘Choice is Yours’ options, along with more authentic and enriching experiences with more interaction with local communities, such as their ‘Do as the Locals’ and exclusive ‘Village Days’ offering the ultimate insiders’ experience.”

“Flexibility”…”Choice is Yours” options…”authentic” (again)…”enriching”…”interaction with local communities”…”Do as the Locals”…”insiders’ experience”…

All of the above are words and… Continue reading

Dubai's Burj Al Arab -- Often Voted the "World's Most Luxurious Hotel"

Dubai’s Burj Al Arab — Often Voted the “World’s Most Luxurious Hotel”

When baby boomers travel, surveys show, they aren’t generally looking for familiar amenities – they’re looking for exotic (or at least different) foods, people and experiences that they can’t find at home.

In other words, the old “ugly American” stereotype of folks who will only eat hamburgers in France or who stare goggle-eyed at someone dressed a bit differently cannot be applied to most boomers. (Thank goodness.)

Furthermore, many baby boomers are sophisticated travelers who have journeyed abroad multiple times in their lives, both on vacation and on business. They long ago developed a taste for Thai food (very possibly in Thailand), have long since done the Eiffel Tower, Tower of London and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and can speak authoritatively on the relative merits of the Spanish Costa Brava and the French Riviera.

I don’t like… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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