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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Adventure travel

Learn sea kayaking with Sea Kayaking Adventures

Learn sea kayaking with Sea Kayaking Adventures

I was a little taken aback when I received a press release from  a company called Sea Kayak Adventures titled “Baja, Mexico Gray Whales For the Gray-Haired,” promoting a whale-watching base camp trip in Baja intended for travelers aged 50-plus.

While I myself would more qualify for the “Baja Hairless Whales for the Hair-Impaired” trip — having turned gray (prematurely, of course) some years ago, and then deciding to go more for the mostly shaved-head look — I wondered whether 50-plus folks who retained dark hair (natural or otherwise) might feel offended or even forego the trip for that reason.

(Hey, stranger things have happened when it comes to deciding how to spend vacation dollars.)

So while I don’t recommend that promotional approach, exactly — is the play on “gray” really worth possibly costing business? — I have to say the trip… 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

New Zealand's fabulous scenery makes it an inspiring place to hike. Photo by Clark Norton

New Zealand’s fabulous scenery makes it an inspiring place to hike. Photo by Clark Norton

Along with Switzerland, New Zealand is my favorite place to hike.

The “tracks,” as hiking trails are known there, lead along mountain ridges, lakes, and rivers and through valleys and rainforests. The scenery is, well, choose your cliche: spectacular, breathtaking, unforgettable.

Some of the tracks are relatively easy, while others can literally take your breath away.

A Kiwi-owned company, New Zealand Trails, makes it easy for baby boomers — about two-thirds of its customers are in the 49 to 67 boomer age range — to experience several of the tracks as well as other South Island highlights, such as a train journey across the Southern Alps, a glowworm cave, a kayak trip through a coastal lagoon, a scenic helicopter ride, a lake cruise, and a boat trip across Milford Sound.

Hiking trails include a… Continue reading

Walking the World group -- all aged 50-plus -- hikes in Ireland. Photo from Walking the World

Walking the World group — all aged 50-plus — hikes in Ireland. Photo from Walking the World

In a previous post I talked about Walking the World, an adventure  tour company headed by veteran guide Ward Luthi, which caters just to travelers age 50 and up and specializes in walking and hiking trips in Europe, Asia, Latin America and beyond.

Luthi — who has met challenges as an Outward Bound instructor and successful tour company owner since 1987 — is now taking on new ones: giving back to local people around the world — particularly to those in Central America — who, as he puts it, “have given so much to me and my fellow travelers.”

Giving back is one of three pillars of Walking the World’s motto: “Get Up — Go Wild — Give Back.”

“Get Up” essentially means getting off the couch or up from… Continue reading

Back in the 1980s, Ward Luthi — an experienced Outward Bound instructor and adventure tour guide — served on the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors. The commission, he says, found that “active outdoor travel was rated one of the top three goals of older adults.”

Walking the World trips are limited to those aged 50-plus -- who are mostly baby boomers. Photo from Walking the World.

Walking the World trips are limited to those aged 50-plus — who are mostly baby boomers. Photo from Walking the World.

Based on the commission’s findings, Luthi in 1987 founded Walking the World, which he says was the first company to offer active outdoor adventures just for those aged 50 and above in the U.S.

It was a prescient move, because with almost all the 76 million U.S. baby boomers — the most active generation of older travelers ever — now reaching 50-plus (the youngest boomers are 49), Luthi’s target market is growing exponentially.

I’ll be talking more about Walking the World tomorrow and… 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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