A recent British Airways survey of 2,000 randomly chosen U.S. baby boomers (aged 55-70) asked what their biggest regrets were in life.
About one out of five (women 22 percent, men 17 percent) responded that they wish they had traveled more.
The majority of those respondents cited responsibilities at work and home that ate up their time — and what they believed would be prohibitive expense — as to why they hadn’t pursued their travel dreams.
About half the men surveyed and more than 60 percent of the women had never gotten passports, mainly due to the perceived expense of international travel.
More than a fifth of all those surveyed now believed that not taking vacations had had a negative effect on their health. And of those who did take vacations, 10 percent said they had worked more than an… Continue reading
Being a new grandfather, not an uncommon thing these days for baby boomers, I’ve been particularly interested in the baby-naming habits of new parents: Specifically whether or not they’re naming babies after places they’ve traveled.
My wife Catharine’s and my own travels played a role in naming our son, Grael. The connection is a bit tangential, but here it is: We had played with the idea of naming him ‘Grayle” — after one of my best friends from college — but didn’t care much for that spelling.
Then one day as the birth neared we were driving around Northern California when we came upon a sign for the village of Graeagle, and a light bulb went off simultaneously in both our minds:… Continue reading
“The Savvy Path to Breathtaking Travel, Without the Hassle”
“Less Planning, More Experiencing”
“A Journey of a Thousand Smiles Begins With a Single Click”
These are some of the taglines that express the essence of the new travel website, StrideTravel.com, where I worked for more than a year as Content Director. (My job is now in the capable hands of Content Coordinator Samantha Scott, who, together with co-founders Gavin Delany and Jared Alster, comprise a formidable team.)
In practical terms, Stride aspires to be — and in many ways already is — the best place on the Web to survey the wealth of multi-day, pre-planned trips that are now available from hundreds of travel suppliers around the world.
“Pre-planned trips” may encompass guided group or private tours as well as independent journeys… Continue reading
Periodically I like to remind travel marketers that baby boomers — now in our 50s and 60s — are a frequently overlooked travel market.
But why are we overlooked?
According to a recent AARP study, American boomers spend more than $120 billion (that’s with a “b”) annually on leisure travel. We plan to take an average of four or five leisure trips in 2015 alone. That’s more than any other age group.
Many boomers are still working and earning more than we ever have in our lives. Others of us are already retired and eager to hit the road or the skies — with both time and money on our hands.
For the most part, our kids are off on their own and we can look beyond Disney World, the all-inclusive beach resort,… Continue reading
According to a recent study, only eight percent of Americans successfully keep their New Year’s resolutions throughout the year.
That means that the perennial number one resolution, “lose weight,” is a perennial loser. I’m guessing it’s knocked out in the first round — or first week in this case — by leftover Christmas cookies and wintertime cravings for lasagna and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy, sometimes at the same meal.
The perennial number two, “Getting organized,” is always my first resolution, and the first to be broken. For example, it took me 15 minutes of sorting through assorted papers to find the results of this study. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be organized by, well, 2016.
The number three resolution, at least for 2014 (according to the study by the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology), was “spend… Continue reading
“Help us get to Hawaii,” plead a pair of honeymooners. And a variety of folks have chipped in $2,400 for it.
“London is longing for Jesus,” writes another, and $1,070 has been donated for one woman to help bring him there, or so the implication goes.
Meanwhile, someone named Renie wants to go to Rome — that wish has brought in $730 — while another $435 has been kicked in for a woman whose “lifelong dream” is to move to France.
All the above and plenty more would-be travelers have opened campaigns on Fundly.com, one of the world’s top crowdfunding sites, to try to convince other people — be they friends, family, neighbors, or complete strangers — to donate to their travel funds and bucket list destinations.
If you aren’t familiar with the term crowdfunding, it’s really just what it sounds like: getting… 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
An Australian publication recently nominated candidates for the four worst tourists of the past few years. (To my knowledge, none are baby boomer travelers.)
Here are the four, with names omitted to protect the innocent:
1. Everyone who has been to London has no doubt seen the Queen’s Guards who march and stand stony-faced in front of Buckingham Palace, and I’m sure there have been a number of tourists over the years who have tried to make them laugh, smile, or even give the slightest reaction. And it never works — or almost never. In 2009, one young man from Colombia was so obnoxious in mimicking a guardsman’s gait as he marched solemnly along that the guardsman broke ranks and went over to give the tourist an angry shove from behind. And really, who could blame him?
2. Halfway around the world, three British tourists,… Continue reading
To supplement my previous post on the closing of U.S. national parks today, I’m reprinting an official advisory on the topic from the National Park Service. Read it and weep, if you love our national parks:
Government shutdown forces closures of 401 national parks
WASHINGTON – Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service has closed all 401 national parks and suspended operation of dozens of community assistance programs.
All park grounds, visitor centers, hotels, campgrounds, and park roads – except for thru ways – are closed. All programs are canceled and permits issued for special events on park grounds nationwide are rescinded.
Park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges have been given until no later than 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, October 3 to make other… Continue reading
Starwood Hotels and Resorts CEO Frits van Paasschen, regarded as a visionary in the industry, has a fascinating take on what travelers will soon expect from their chosen lodgings (as recounted in this piece by Greg Oates in Skift.com).
“Today,” he recently told the hotel group’s annual sales pow wow in New Orleans, “a hotel brand can’t stand apart just by having a comfortable, reliable, clean room…that expectation today, driven by technology, is personalization.”
Van Paasschen gives the examples of Amazon.com and Facebook, who not only seem to know everything about their customers and users, they do know what their customers and users are looking for and like. (After all, we give them the information, and they know how to mine the data.)
“So how long will it be,” he asks, “before all of us expect a hotel brand where we spend… Continue reading