baby boomers and tourism
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
For the most part, a visit to Prague is a light-hearted affair: exploring Prague Castle, perusing Old Town Square, sauntering across the Charles Bridge, and perhaps doing some shopping for crystal or dining in a beer hall (more to come on that in a later post).
But the historical attractions are museum-quality relics of long ago, and bizarre incidents — political rivals being tossed out of windows, leading to destructive wars — are ancient history, fascinating but distant. The Habsburg dynasty — which ruled here for nearly 400 years — and the Holy Roman Empire are long gone, leaving us buildings and cathedrals to admire but perhaps less to stir our souls.
But Prague has a more recent past that should stir us to the core, and it bubbles to the surface in the city’s… Continue reading
Yesterday an associate said to me: “I can’t believe you’d never been to Prague. Everyone goes to Prague. You’re a travel writer, you’ve been to more than 100 countries.”
Point taken. And don’t think it wasn’t gnawing away at me. My daughter had been to Prague. My future daughter-in-law had been to Prague. My parents had been to Prague. And just about all the travel writers I know at least claim to have been to Prague.For years now, it’s been one of the hottest, trendiest spots on the Continent.
My excuse has been that when I was riding trains around Europe for months at a time back in the day, no Soviet bloc countries were included on Eurailpass, the rail pass I was using to get around to every country in Western Europe (except San Marino, but that’s… Continue reading
When it comes to visiting European cities, I love old.
And you’ve got to love a city where the “New Town” section dates from the 14th century.
And where a section called “Lesser Town” has more going for it than many other cities can boast in total.
Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, dates from the ninth century with the construction of Prague Castle, which is now the largest occupied castle in the world — covering 16 acres, it’s actually more like a palace — and houses the offices of the Czech president as well as the country’s crown jewels.
The castle was once the seat of power of the vast Holy Roman Empire, which ruled central Europe for a thousand years.
While some of the most beautiful parts of the castle are open only to the president,… Continue reading
Do you come back from vacation more stressed out than when you left?
Based on a survey of world travelers by author Shawn Achor and “happiness researcher” Michelle Gieland from the Institute of Applied Positive Research, “poorly planned and stressful vacations eliminate the positive benefit of time away,” as Achor recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
(See my previous post on travel and happiness for more detail on these findings.)
Achor contends there are four main ingredients that you should add to your vacation mix to result in a happy travel experience:
* “Focus on the details”: Nearly three quarters of travelers found the most stressful part of travel to be “figuring out the details,” according to Achor. “Travel uncertainty, transportation, wasting time figuring things out on the trip, and being unfamiliar with the location”… Continue reading
The recent news about the two passengers with stolen passports boarding the missing Malaysian Airlines jet has gotten me thinking about how important it is for international travelers to keep track of their passports — and pay attention to possible problems with these vital documents that could severely impede their journeys.
Years ago, when I was traveling in Austria, I thought my passport had been lost or stolen. I spent an entire day trying to retrace my every step since I had arrived in Vienna — restaurants, movie theater, museums — with no luck, then a couple of more days caught in a bureaucratic nightmare: filing a report with the Vienna police, applying for and receiving a temporary passport from the U.S. consulate there, and, in the interim, trying unsuccessfully without my documentation to… Continue reading
While travel industry advertisers continue to pursue the Millennial market — perfectly reasonable, considering that the Millennial generation is the future — it makes no sense to overlook the currently booming baby boomer travel market.
Here are some statistics — gathered from both government and private research surveys — to ponder if you think boomers (now aged 50-68) are over the hill, travel-wise, and are largely staying at home, maybe watching TV or tending their flower gardens:
* Adults over age 50 account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel in America
* Adults 55 and older spend half of all vacation dollars in the U.S.
* Baby boomers make most of their major purchases, including big-ticket travel items, over the Internet, and spend two hours… Continue reading
A short while ago a website called SpareFoot — which helps users find good self-storage units but features a very interesting blog filled with de-cluttering tips and other useful info — compiled a list of what they called “America’s 15 Baby Boomer Boom Towns.”
I guess baby boomers are among the biggest users of self-storage units — to which I myself plead guilty over the years, having archived dozens of boxes representing a massive paper trail of my career (I’m currently in rehab on this addiction). But in any event, SpareFoot put some work into this project and identified 15 of the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S. that were attracting new boomer residents and some of the reasons why (the title should really read “boom cities,” but we’ll stick with “boom towns” as the… Continue reading
In my previous post, I contrasted my list of “must-see” sites around the world with that of Patricia Schultz, author of the best selling bucket list guidebook, “1000 Places to See Before You Die.”
With an eye specifically on baby boomers, and without wanting to be too grim about it, I wanted to accentuate places that are themselves at least somewhat in danger of dying or being considerably altered in coming years, for a variety of reasons.
So far, we’ve covered five regions of the globe — Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands. Now let’s tackle the U.S./Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean area.
U.S./Canada: There are so many possibilities in North America, but I’ll pick Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming/Montana over Schultz’s Monument Valley.
Yellowstone is not only a remarkably diverse collection of sights — from… Continue reading
I just read an interview with Patricia Schultz, author of the extremely successful travel guide “1000 Places to See Before You Die,” whose first edition publication in 2003 presaged the bucket list craze.
She has since published a second edition, which includes another 200 entries, so if you’ve somehow managed to see the initial 1,000, you still have your work cut out for you.
Depending on how much travel baby boomers — the youngest of whom turn 50 this year — have done earlier in their lives, they face a daunting task of keeping up with Schultz, who says in the interview that she has now visited all the places she’s written about, though when the first edition was published, there were about… Continue reading