It’s been a widely accepted premise in the travel industry for years that Americans want shorter vacation options. The classic two-week vacation of days of yore has gone the way of nickel candy bars and Cokes, a relic of the 1950s. (Yes, folks, there once were such things as nickel candy bars and Cokes.)
In its place are “long weekend” trips or — if the traveler is really fortunate — a week to get away and recharge. Everyone is too busy, office work is piling up, the kids have to get back for soccer practice, the dog is lonely — all the usual reasons in a stressed-out society.
Understandably, the travel industry has responded by offering shorter tours, long weekend getaway packages, and other ways to feign a true travel experience without using up all those dwindling vacation days.
But with millions of baby boomers (the oldest of whom are now turning 67) retiring or on the verge of retiring, that equation is starting to change.
In my research, I’ve found that many of my fellow boomers are eager and in a position to take longer trips again. When asked their ideal trip length, boomers consistently choose two weeks or even a month over one week or a three-day getaway. The longer trip times enable them to travel abroad or explore their own country in more depth. For those who are retired, time is less of a problem than before and obligations tend to be fewer (though, admittedly, someone will need to watch the dog).
So if you want to get ahead of the curve in marketing to boomers, I suggest you start offering longer trip options again: 10 days, two weeks, and even longer in some cases.
Baby boomers are ready to sign up.
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