Spending a massive $157 billion a year on travel, the Baby Boomer generation can’t be ignored by travel companies. Despite this, Boomers typically research online to make sure they find not only the best products and services, but also the best price. Additionally, 84% of Boomers will use online services to book travel, so companies should consider online presence and reputation to appeal to this generation too.
This generations' eagerness to travel and willingness to spend more for luxury in some areas and activities results in interesting travel trends and spending habits that are worth keeping an eye on. Read on for much more about how, where and why this generation travel.
In 2019, Boomers planned to take 4-5 leisure trips, spending over $6,600 on average.
31% of those traveling internationally in 2019 had already booked their trips by September 2018, which is up from 23% of bookings made in 2017.
47% of those traveling will visit domestic destinations only, 48% plan to travel both domestically and internally; and just 6% plan to go abroad only.
84% of Baby Boomers will use online services to book their travel.
62% will use all or most of their annual leave earned at work versus 77% of Millennials.
Work, money and health are the top 3 factors that stop this demographic from travelling. Although cost is the biggest reason for all ages, 32% of Boomers say that health concerns limit travel.
They contribute 80% of all spending on luxury travel.
Smartphones are essential for 55% of Baby Boomers when travelling.
38% of this generation have a “travel bucket list”.
In 2019, about 15% of this generation is planning “skip generation” trips, in which grandparents travel with grandkids and leave the middle generation at home.
A massive $157 billion is spent by them on vacations every year.
In 2019, they are expected to spend roughly $2,000 more on vacations than both Millennials and Gen Xers.
Before booking a trip, about 95% of this demographic like to know that they have found the best deal.
This generation spends over double the amount ($1,540) on accommodation than Millennials, however both groups will pay more for luxury.
Over half (56%) of this age bracket is willing to pay extra for a luxury trip.
Just 57% say that they consider budget as a factor in their trip, and many are willing to book luxury services and packages.
83% of boomers planning international trips for 2019 had already chosen their destination by September 2018.
By September 2018, 88% had chosen their 2019 destination for domestic travel.
By September 2018, 14% had booked their 2019 destination for domestic travel.
When planning a trip, over half (55%) of Boomers take online reviews into consideration.
The most popular online tools for booking and planning trips are TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Expedia, Google Maps and Yelp.
These vacation spending statistics tell us a lot about how much money the boomer generation spends on travel and what they consider when booking a trip. They spend a massive $157 billion a year on travel and are expected to spend $2000 more than Millennials and Gen Xers this year. This demographic are definitely prepared to spend their hard-earned cash if it means that they’ll get the holiday or break they’re looking for.
With just 57% considering budget as a factor when planning trips, luxury travel is definitely an option on their list. On top of this, Boomers spend over double the amount that Millennials do on accommodation. Regardless, a whopping 95%, like to know that they have the best possible deal before booking, suggesting that even when spending a lot on travel, they do like to save where they can.
94% of Baby Boomers are expected to take a minimum of one domestic trip in 2019, with the average number of anticipated trips being 3-4.
53% planned to travel internationally, with the average number of trips being between 1-2.
24% of Boomers’ planned international trips for 2019 were “bucket list trips”.
Heritage travel, or revisiting one’s roots or home town, makes up only 1% of planned international trips.
Summer vacations account for 13% of planned domestic trips and are the most popular type of travel. Just 17% planned to mix business and leisure on their 2019 trips.
Weekend getaways account for 12% of their domestic trips.
Almost all this generation were expected to take at least one trip this year. On average between 1-2 international trips and 3-4 domestic trips were taken. This generation certainly likes to travel, but what else can these statistics tell us about travel for this agency?
A desire of experiencing the things they’ve only dreamt about meant “bucket list trips” were the most popular type of international travel planned by those aged 55-75. Its clear they are more interested in seeing new places rather than somewhere they’ve been before given that heritage travel makes up just 1% of international travel. Summer vacations and weekend getaways make up 13% and 12% respectively of 2019 domestic trips. This demographic aren’t overly interested in mixing work with leisure during their trips, with just 17% of them planning this trip type, compared to 46% of Millennial trips planned.
62% chose hotels / motels as their preferred accommodation when traveling internationally & 66% also favor them when traveling domestically.
41% chose Europe as a top destination for international vacations. England, Italy & France were the most popular countries visited.
Most travelers are drawn to the Southern (38% interested) and Western (29% interested) American states.
Baby boomers make up the biggest percetage Guernsey's tourism. 61.6% those taking breaks to Guernsey are between 40 and 65, 25% are over 65.
Florida, California and New York were 3 of the most popular domestic destinations.
87% choose to go by plane when traveling internationally.
When traveling domestically, they will use planes (66%) and personal vehicles (61%) .
On average, Boomers travel 27 days a year. This is less than Gen Z and Millennials but more than Gen X.
So where do Baby Boomers like to travel? Travel habits show that European countries are certainly popular, with 41% of this demographic interested in Europe for international vacations. When looking at trips in America, we can see that the southern and western states such as Florida and California are popular travel destinations. Perhaps this is in part due to the warmer weather and tourist attractions.
Planes are the most common form of transport for the majority and they also travel for 27 days a year on average, which is less than both Gen Z and Millennials but more than Gen X. We already know that many Boomers are prepared to spend more for a luxury itinerary. Although they don’t travel the most, they like to make an experience of it, with luxury activities and efficient travel.
92% bring smartphones on domestic trips whereas just 54% do so on international travels.
When on an international holiday, they carry their smartphones on them 52% of the time.
On domestic holidays, Boomers keep their smartphones on them 72% of the time.
Just 7% do not intend to use their smartphones on any holiday.
Boomers most commonly use smartphones for taking photos while travelling.
Of those travelling with a phone, 83% take photos on international trips, while 85% do so on domestic holidays.
Those between 55-75 are more likely to be seen using their phones during domestic trips rather than international trips. And, 92% bring their smartphones with them on domestic trips while just 54% do so on international trips. This demographic also keep their smartphone on them 72% of the time on domestic trips compared to just 52% of the time on international holidays. On both domestic and international trips, smartphones are most commonly used by Boomers to take photos. Just 7% don’t intend to use a smartphone on holiday at all.
78% of Boomers are members of an airline loyalty programme.
76% are members of a hotel loyalty programme.
40% are enrolled in a car hire loyalty programme.
27% are members of a cruise loyalty programme.
We already know that this generation like to plan their travel in advance and find the best deals on their trips, and one way to do this is through loyalty programmes. Airline loyalty programmes are the most popular travel-related loyalty scheme amongst this generation. Those aged 55-75 often prefer to travel via plane when taking a trip and so, 78% of Boomers are members of an airline loyalty programme. They are always on the hunt for a good hotel deal, with just over 75% of the generation being members of a hotel loyalty programme.
57% are motivated to travel to see family and friends, 48% travel to rejuvenate and relax, and 47% are motivated by getting away from everyday life.
53% are interested in eating a meal with locals while travelling internationally, whereas 42% are during a domestic trip.
50% like touring with locals on an international trip, whereas just 24% are on a domestic trip.
22% of boomers are interested in staying with locals on domestic or international trips.
We have a good idea of the how and the where, but why does this generation travel and what do they like to do when they’re away? The top travel motivations for this demographic are to see family and friends, rejuvenate and relax and to get away from normal, everyday life. Compared to Boomers, Millennials and Gen Xers find more motivation and satisfying a craving for adventure.
Despite this, more Boomers are interested in eating a meal and touring with locals on an international trip than they are on a domestic trip. They are more than willing to leave behind the normal and every day to instead explore something new.