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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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bucket list travel

If it’s Tuesday, this must be the Rue de Bouchers in Brussels. Photo from Shutterstock.

Today’s guest post, by Canadian resident Robert Waite, argues that baby boomers should slow down a bit in pursuing bucket list items and spend more quality time in a destination to absorb the culture and life of the people there.

As Bob told me, his piece is meant to stir debate,  and I found myself debating his points within my own mind —  which is exactly what a good piece of journalism should provoke.

I’ll share my opinions on this topic in a later post, but for now I’ll yield the floor to Bob:

By Robert Waite

Those of us of a certain age might recall the film “If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium,” a 1969 United Artists release that poked fun at American tourists for their penchant for rushing from European… 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

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

Dear Readers,

Today I’m featuring my first-ever guest post, from Robert Waite, an ex-colleague of mine from the 1970s, when we both worked for Pacific News Service in San Francisco; I was an editor, Robert was a writer, and we still got along well. Bob  now writes frequently for the Huffington Post, where this piece first appeared, from his home in Toronto.

By Robert Waite

One of the Antarctic vessels operated by OneOcean Expeditions, which was available at a cut rate via silent auction.  Photo from OneOcean Expeditions

One of the Antarctic vessels operated by OneOcean Expeditions, which was available at a cut rate via silent auction. Photo from OneOcean Expeditions

When you are in the wealth-creation phase of life, discipline is critical. You may secretly lust after an F-Type Jaguar, but prudence prevails and you select a Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry, knowing that the 70 grand or so you are saving can instead be plowed into an investment that might actually appreciate.

The same goes with dream vacations.… Continue reading

A friendly Galapagos iguana. Photo by Clark Norton

A friendly Galapagos iguana. Photo by Clark Norton

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

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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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