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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter
Overlooking the Atlantic in Casablanca, Morocco -- a baby boomer favorite destination. Photo by Clark Norton

Overlooking the Atlantic in Casablanca, Morocco — a baby boomer favorite destination. Photo by Clark Norton

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.

 

Don’t forget to download my free report, “How to Ride the Coming Wave of Boomers,” available here. It’s all about the best ways to market travel to baby boomers — the biggest-spending group of travelers the world has ever seen. It’s also the easiest way to subscribe to my blog, so you won’t miss a posting. Thanks!

 

 

 

4 Responses to Baby Boomer Travelers Are Ready for Longer Trips

  • Hi Clark

    Yes many baby boomers now have more time to travel and seem to be keener to vacation for longer. We are about to add a long term exchange to our Home Exchange 50plus website starting at one month plus as many of our members have requested this option.

    Cheers

    Brian

  • As you know, Clark, from my experience running PhotoExplorer Tours for the past thirty years, I’ve learned that the ideal trip to Asia, Europe, Africa, or even Central America is about 12 to 15 days. Nearly all of my clients have told me it’s not worth flying that far for less time touring. I’ve also had a few tours up to 21 days, but these are stretching it too much for all but retired travelers.

  • Exactly, Dennis. You’re attuned to the needs of your clients. That’s why you’ve always run successful tours — along with your excellent photography skills.

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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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