The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter

baby boomer travel trends

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Chinese New Year parade features the dragon dance.

Chinese New Year parade features the dragon dance.

Asking you to relive 2016 may be asking a lot, but here at clarknorton.com we offer sheer escapism!

Well, maybe not quite — but travel can, we hope, help take your mind off other things.

So, in that spirit, we offer up Our Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016 as found on clarknorton.com and voted on, in effect, by your clicks.

Yes, this is purely a popularity contest, with no quality control whatsoever. (Kind of like an election.) And because there was a tie for the tenth spot, there’s a bonus post to check out, should you wish to seek penance for overindulging during the holidays.

Here they are in order, counting down to Number One:

10. Top Bucket List Items: What’s Number One? and Top Ten Travel Predictions for 2016. (Tie)

Top Ten or Top Five lists (almost) always… Continue reading

Bike tours are a great way to see the countryside and get some exercise.

Bike tours are a great way to see the countryside and get some exercise.

I’m always glad to run guest posts that contain valuable information for baby boomer travelers, and my friend Samantha Scott at StrideTravel.com has put together a good compendium of the most popular trends in boomer travel today — as well as some excellent suggestions for tour companies that will help you join in the fun.

Samantha’s post strikes on many of the themes I’ve been discussing here for nearly three years now: that baby boomers are dedicated travelers and life-long learners, love to take river cruises and travel with their grandchildren, are embracing the wide diversity of tours now available — including adventure travel — and are far more tech savvy than is generally believed.

While not a boomer herself, Samantha “gets it” — boomers are big travelers, are open to and eager for new experiences,… Continue reading

Many European trains have dramatic views. Photo from Brendan Vacations

Many European trains have dramatic views. Photo from Brendan Vacations

Like many baby boomers, when I was in my 20s I spent a lot of time — sometimes months at a time — riding European trains.

On shorter trips, when I would purchase separate tickets from one point to the next, I would always travel second class, and had some memorable experiences meeting the locals — and, from time to time, having to sleep in the corridors because the trains were so packed.

Once, riding the Spanish trains between Malaga and Barcelona, I spent 24 hours without a seat, standing up, lying down when possible, but having a blast sharing food and drink with my fellow seatless passengers, trying as best we could to understand each other in our respective broken Spanish and English. (Remember, I was in my 20s.)

But on my longer trips around Europe, I would buy… Continue reading

The Age Busters Power Summit runs every day from March 13-April 2.

The Age Busters Power Summit runs every day from March 13-April 2.

The Age Busters Power Summit is just a few days away — and I invite you to join me on what should be an incredible journey.

I’m excited to be part of the Age Busters Power Summit for Women, which will offer tips and strategies from leading experts to help you look your best, feel fantastic and have the time of your life — including travel, which is where I come in.

Organizer Jodye Friedman, who hosts the online summit, has brought together 21 of the world’s most influential and successful wellness and lifestyle gurus in one “virtual” place (or at least 20 and yours truly — I’m still working on guru status, though I’m happy to announce that after less than a year of blogging, alexa now ranks my baby boomer travel website among the top 176,000… Continue reading

Boomers are willing to spend to take experiential trips such as walking tours in Ireland. Photo from Walking the World

Boomers are willing to spend to take experiential trips such as walking tours in Ireland. Photo from Walking the World

While travel industry advertisers continue to pursue the Millennial market — perfectly reasonable, considering that the Millennial generation is the future — it makes no sense to overlook the currently booming baby boomer travel market.

Here are some statistics — gathered from both government and private research surveys — to ponder if you think boomers (now aged 50-68) are over the hill, travel-wise, and are largely staying at home, maybe watching TV or tending their flower gardens:

* Adults over age 50 account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel in America

* Adults 55 and older spend half of all vacation dollars in the U.S.

* Baby boomers make most of their major purchases, including big-ticket travel items, over the Internet, and spend two hours… Continue reading

A boat sails through Qutang Gorge, one of the fabled Three Gorges, along China's Yangtze River. Photo by Liu Liqun/ChinaStock.

A boat sails through Qutang Gorge, one of the fabled Three Gorges, along China’s Yangtze River. Photo by Liu Liqun/ChinaStock.

River cruising has been one of our big topics recently, and for good reason: it’s the hottest segment of the cruising market, and it’s become a global craze, especially popular among baby boomers.

Asia is one of river cruising’s new hotspots, and while China’s Yangtze River cruises have been around for a while,  it’s hard to think of a better way to experience the country than cruising through China’s heartland, with visits to Shanghai and Beijing on either end of a nine-day river voyage.

Pacific Delight Tours, one of America’s leading tour operators to China, has just announced a two-week all-inclusive package that includes those three highlights — as well as transpacific airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco to boot (airfare from JFK in New York will… Continue reading

Riverwalk is at its most colorful at night. Photo from Visit San Antonio.

Riverwalk is at its most colorful at night. Photo from Visit San Antonio.

A short while ago a website called SpareFoot — which helps users find good self-storage units but features a very interesting blog filled with de-cluttering tips and other useful info — compiled a list of what they called “America’s 15 Baby Boomer Boom Towns.”

I guess baby boomers are among the biggest users of self-storage units — to which I myself plead guilty over the years, having archived dozens of boxes representing a massive paper trail of my career (I’m currently in rehab on this addiction). But in any event, SpareFoot put some work into this project and identified 15 of the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S. that were attracting new boomer residents and some of the reasons why (the title should really read “boom cities,” but we’ll stick with “boom towns” as the… Continue reading

Scranton, Pennsylvania, is one of those cities baby boomers just don't want to leave. Photo from Wikipedia.

Scranton, Pennsylvania, is one of those cities baby boomers just don’t want to leave. Photo from Wikipedia.

An interesting piece on The Huffington Post this week listed the number one town or city in each U.S. state that baby boomers just don’t seem to want to leave as they get older and/or retire.

The author, Moira McGarvey, runs a website called GangsAway.com that provides helpful info to people planning their retirements — including places to retire. Using U.S. Census and other data that the Gangs Away! gang has dug up, she came up with what she determined are the “stickiest” hometowns across the country — those most likely to find boomers age 55 and up who own their houses free and clear and are staying where they are rather than moving, say, to warmer climes, nearer to their children, or for some other factor.

McGarvey wasn’t able to come up… Continue reading

New Mexico's Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic hopes to launch the first commercial space flights. Photo from Virgin Galactic.

New Mexico’s Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic hopes to launch the first commercial space flights. Photo from Virgin Galactic.

Fortune has come out with an interesting follow-up story to our previous post about Sir Richard Branson’s out-of-this-world venture Virgin Galactic, which aims to bring space tourism to America.

Some 600 affluent travelers — including plenty of intrepid baby boomers — have plunked down up to $250,000 each to be among the first passengers on a commercial flight into space, which could happen as early as 2014, though previous target dates have come and gone. With six passengers scheduled for each flight, that would already amount to 100 sold-out flights.

According to Fortune, one travel agency — Virtuoso — has landed exclusive rights to book passengers throughout the Americas onto the flights.

Virtuoso — which bills itself as “the travel industry’s leading luxury network” — includes more than 330 agencies… Continue reading

Boomers walking the Irish coast get gorgeous vistas -- and health benefits, too. Photo from Walking the World.

Boomers walking the Irish coast get gorgeous vistas — and health benefits, too. Photo from Walking the World.

Can travel keep you healthier as you grow older?

Yes, says a new white paper by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, and purporting to show for the first time a series of direct links between travel and increased good health.

While acknowledging that data on these links are somewhat limited, and urging more medical research on the topic, a GCOA survey of various health studies shows that the evidence already out there is compelling.

“Those who stay healthy as they age are able to sustain active lifestyles, including traveling into our 70s, 80s and beyond,” the study notes. “It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the reverse is also true: as one travels, one will be healthier.”

Start with brain health, which includes warding off… 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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