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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter

Baby boomer travel

Spirit interior cabin -- photo by Spirit Airlines

Spirit interior cabin — photo by Spirit Airlines

Interesting piece in today’s New York Times on the marketing approach employed by cut-rate Spirit Airlines. They’ve traded in customer service and comforts for low fares, and are charging extra for everything from rolling carry-on bags ($35-$50) to water ($3 a bottle) and more. Can pay toilets be far behind?

Meanwhile, Spirit’s on-time arrivals record is well below the industry average, there are no onboard movies or Wi-Fi, and seats are crammed in, offering less legroom even than the already legroom-deprived other airlines do. What’s more, the seats don’t recline – which, considering that someone reclining a seat in front of you may end up in your lap in these sardine-can conditions, may be a good thing.

So far the approach seems to be working. Spirit’s profits are growing, stock prices are up, and a fleet of new planes is planned for… Continue reading

New Zealand's Southern Alps

New Zealand’s Southern Alps — photo by Clark Norton

A 2010 AARP survey of U.S. baby boomers turning 65 in 2011 caught my eye. According to its findings, those responding picked “travel” more than any other answer when asked what their “major ambition for the next five years” would be. “Travel” topped such categories as “improve health,” “retire,” “improve finances,” “improve housing/home projects,” “enjoy relationships with family and friends” and “relocate.”

Surveys show that boomers want to travel far and wide as well. Australia and New Zealand top wish lists, followed by Europe, and then by North American locations. Asia, Africa, the Antarctic and other exotic spots also attract many boomers.

Boomers are active travelers, willing to spend their money on adventurous, educational and creative forms of travel. Tour agencies, tourism bureaus, resorts and lodges, cruise lines, and other travel companies take heed – if you overlook boomers, you’re… Continue reading

Photo from Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking River Cruises is entering the realm of ocean cruising, and they’re doing it in a bold way, using a similar model to their successful river cruising brand.

Launching its first new ocean-going ship – the Viking Star — in May 2015, Viking will be offering all-inclusive fares that include not just mealtime wine, beer and other drinks but free Internet service and, best of all, free shore excursions.

What’s more, port stops will be lengthier than on other ocean-going lines – averaging around 12 hours per port – and will include several overnights per cruise. To make this possible, itineraries will typically be longer than the average cruise, stretching from nine days up to two weeks or more.

And they’ll do it all for lower fares than the luxury all-inclusive lines charge. The Viking Star will carry a maximum of 928 passengers — considered… Continue reading

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Clark hiking near the Jungfrau in Switzerland — photo by Catharine Norton

Baby boomers — those of us born between 1946 and 1964 — control trillions of dollars of America’s disposable income. Many seniors — those who are age 68 and up — are also affluent.

The difference is that we boomers — unlike Depression- and World War II-nurtured seniors — are willing to spend our money. And travel finishes at or near the top of surveys we want to spend it on — in fact, boomers travel more than any other age group.

Overlooking this market is like emptying your wallet and throwing your money into the ocean. Or, you can ride the baby-boomer wave safely — and profitably — into shore. This blog will help show you how. I hope you’ll keep returning to read and comment on the information here.

And don’t forget to download my… 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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