The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter

baby boomer travel

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Like to ride a camel through the Hindu Kush? Contact Exodus Travels. Photo from Exodus Travels

Like to ride a camel through the Hindu Kush? Contact Exodus Travels. Photo from Exodus Travels

What’s the top experience that folks seek out after turning 50?

A new survey of 2,000 passport-carrying Americans aged 50 and up shows that traveling abroad is their number one choice for realizing their passions.

The survey, commissioned by Exodus Travels — a UK-based  adventure travel company with a substantial  presence in the U.S. and Canada — confirmed  what Exodus leaders say they had observed for a number of years: that Americans gain a new “lust for life” after age 50.

And that “second wind” translates most heavily into travel.

Asked “What led you to gaining a new passion/appreciation for life?“, one-third of respondents close “a travel experience” — which tied with “retirement” in that category.

The next question was key: “What have you done or do… 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

First in an occasional series of profiles of ardent baby boomer travelers:

Ahu Tongariki moai, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Ahu Tongariki moai, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

I hadn’t seen Carol Bruen — who I knew as Carol Heller before she was married — since the end of seventh grade.

Carol and I were grade school classmates in Greencastle, Indiana, before she moved to Alaska. We reconnected recently via this blog. (One of the best things about blogging is hearing from old friends, classmates, and colleagues — so if some of you are still lingering out there, don’t forget to write!)

In our correspondence, we discovered our lives had taken many similar turns — we both did stints working in the U.S. Senate in Washington during the 1960s; we both lived in the same neighborhood in San Francisco in the 1970s; we both had come to know Alaska quite well; and,… Continue reading

Luxury cruise travel -- such as on Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 -- is one favorite of senior travelers. Photo by Clark Norton.

Luxury cruise travel — such as on Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2 — is one favorite of senior travelers. Photo by Clark Norton.

In my last post, I recommended a piece by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force contending that the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) are “global tourism’s silver lining.”

Based on world tourism and economic statistics, Mendiratta notes that senior travelers have more disposable income than other age groups, have more flexibility as to when to travel, and tend to stay longer on the trips they make.

But I thought her own observations about how seniors bring a special sense of excitement and awe to travel was especially insightful.

Baby boomers (now in their 50s and 60s) have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to bring to their travels, and I think this results in greater appreciation for — and excitement about — the places… Continue reading

Boomers on a river rafting trip crave excitement when they travel. Photo from ROW Adventures

Boomers on a river rafting trip crave excitement when they travel. Photo from ROW Adventures

I don’t usually use the word “seniors” when I’m referring to baby boomers — “seniors” somehow always seem older than us — but there’s a very insightful piece written by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force promoting the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) as “global tourism’s silver lining.”

Mendiratta praises senior travelers as “one of the most strategically valuable, yet socially undervalued, segments of the global travel population.”

The piece, which was syndicated by e Turbo News, touches a lot of bases that I’ve blogged about over the past 2 1/2 years, and has added a few new wrinkles (if you’ll excuse the expression) as well.

Her key premise is that older travelers should not be forgotten as the tourism industry actively courts millennials and other younger age groups. “To the traveling… Continue reading

Whitewater rafting trips are one good option for baby boomer adventurers. Photo from Whitewater Connection

Whitewater rafting trips are one good option for baby boomer adventurers. Photo from Whitewater Connection

Over the past several years, I’ve had the following exciting, sometimes scary, often challenging, but ultimately exhilarating adventures:

  • Summiting a peak in British Columbia, then rappelling down the side of a cliff onto a glacier.
  • Whitewater rafting in Nepal on class IV and V rivers.
  • Riding a camel in the Sahara and Sinai deserts.
  • Hiking for a week over the hills and dales of County Kerry in southwest Ireland.
  • Feeling the rush of whales diving directly under my Zodiac and surfacing less than 20 yards away in Glacier Bay, Alaska.
  • Biking 45 miles from the top of Maui’s Mount Haleakala to the shores of the Pacific, the world’s longest downhill bike ride.
  • Swimming with piranhas in the Amazon.
  • Mushing a dogsled team in Finland.

And I’ve done them all after the… Continue reading

American Cruise Lines' paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. Photo from American Cruise Lines.

American Cruise Lines’ paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. Photo from American Cruise Lines.

River cruising is the hottest trend in the cruise world right now, and not just in Europe. It’s also thriving right here in the United States — and the aptly named American Cruise Lines (ACL)  is leading the
way.

ACL has ships cruising the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, the Hudson River in upstate New York, the Intracoastal Waterway in the Southeastern U.S., and many more.

But my wife, Catharine, and I were most intrigued by ACL’s cruise down the lower Mississippi — from Memphis to New Orleans — partly because it was an area of the country we hadn’t explored as much as some others, and partly because the ship, the Queen of the Mississippi, was built in the style of an old-fashioned paddle wheeler, allowing us to return to Mark… Continue reading

The Hungarian Parliament Building, illuminated at night. Photo by Clark Norton

The Hungarian Parliament Building, illuminated at night. Photo by Clark Norton

On my recent trip to Central Europe with Insight Vacations, I enjoyed Prague immensely, discovered the delightful Medieval town of Cesky Krumlov (also in the Czech Republic), rekindled an old flame in Vienna, but  fell totally in love with Budapest.

Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for river cruises — the evening dinner cruise we took on the Danube was magical — or maybe it was the Hungarian Parliament building, lit up like a centenarian’s birthday cake at night and almost as beautiful inside by day, or maybe it was that lunch consisting solely of the best strudel I’ve ever eaten.

Probably some of all three, but there were also the endearing intangibles:

* Asking a couple of locals shortly after our arrival the name of the  bridge in front of our hotel,… Continue reading

Cesky Krumlov, viewed from the castle. Photo by Clark Norton

Cesky Krumlov, viewed from the castle. Photo by Clark Norton

Cesky Krumlov, a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride through country roads south of Prague in the Czech Republic, has often been described as a “fairytale” town, and it fits the description well.

As our Insight Vacations tour director, Neira Milkovic, explained en route, the town was cut off from trade routes by Europe’s destructive 30 Years War in the 17th century and “went to sleep” for about 300 years after that.

It’s now awakened as a tourist magnet, for good reason. If you want to see what European towns looked like hundreds of years ago, Cesky Krumlov — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is a great place to do it.

It comes complete with a hilltop castle, winding cobblestone streets, a scenic river cutting an S shape through town, a central square, and — in a nod to modernity — plenty… Continue reading

Pilsner Urquell is the Czech Republic's most famous export. Photo by Clark Norton.

Pilsner Urquell is the Czech Republic’s most famous export. Photo by Clark Norton.

When you think of European beer, Germany may spring first to mind, but the real capital is the Czech Republic.

Czechs are said to drink more brew than any other nationality in the world: 40 gallons annually for every man, woman and child in the country. I’m guessing that the average is somewhat higher than that for adult men.

The very word “pilsner” derives from the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, where the country’s best known export — and my longtime favorite beer, Pilsner Urquell — is brewed. It was the first golden pilsner ever made.

On my recent Insight Vacations tour of Prague, I discovered that Pilsner Urquell is only the beginning of what Czech beer has to offer.

Along with 30 other journalists from around the world, I was fortunate to join the… 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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