Just like other generations, baby boomer travels a lot too.
With approximately 73 million baby boomers in the US alone, this generation has contributed its fair share to the travel and tourism industry.
They’re estimated to spend $157 billion annually on travel.
Since boomers tend to have more free time and money than their younger counterparts, it makes sense that they would be travelling more.
But what are the statistics about baby boomer travel?
Well, we’ve got you covered…
Let’s dive right into it!
Sources: Under each statistic, we’ve attached the source of information. You can find the full list of articles and research used at the end of this post.
Which generation is travelling the most?
According to Expedia, millennials travel the most compared to other generations, with an average of 35 days each year. This is high compared to the 27 days of travel on average for baby boomers.
Why do baby boomers travel?
29% of baby boomers say that the best part about travelling is relaxation, whereas time spend with family and friends is the best part for 23% of boomers.
Where do baby boomers want to travel?
The most popular destinations for American boomers are Hawaii, Australia, Italy, and Alaska.
But overall, Europe is the first choice for boomers when travelling internationally (41%).
This makes sense considering the diversity of places to visit in Europe which appeals to different kinds of travellers.
Do baby boomers travel a lot?
On average, baby boomers travel 27 days per year. They also take, on average, four to five leisure trips each eyar.
Main Baby Boomer Travel Statistics
- Roughly 13.8% of baby boomers in the UK participates in outbound tourism.
- On average, baby boomers travel 27 days per year.
- 33% of baby boomers wanted to take one trip abroad in 2019, while only 1% said they would take 4 or more international trips during that year.
- In 2019, 35% of baby boomers in the US claimed that they could not afford vacation.
- Overall, Europe is the first choice for boomers when travelling internationally (41%).
- 41% of boomers would consider Europe as their first choice for international travel.
- The top domestic travel destinations for baby boomers in the US include Florida (17%), California (11%), New York (5%), Texas (5%), and Las Vegas (5%).
- 23% of baby boomers said that their favorite part of personal travel is spending time with family and friends.
- A survey revealed that 15% of baby boomers were planning to take a domestic family or multi-generational trip in 2020. This is an increase from just 11% in 2019.
- About half (54%) of boomers usually bring a smartphone while travelling internationally, while more would bring a smartphone on domestic trips (92%).
Baby Boomer Travel Market
Which countries are the most important markets for baby boomer travel?
1. Within Europe, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium have the most promising opportunities to be source markets for baby boomer travel.
There are over 4 million baby boomer outbound travellers in Germany alone, 2.76 million in the UK, and 1.2 million in the Netherlands.
2. The Netherlands offers an especially huge opportunity to be a main market source for baby boomer travel, with 21.5% of the boomer population having travelled internationally in 2018.
3. Roughly 13.8% of baby boomers in the UK participates in outbound tourism.
In 2018, only around 13.8% of British baby boomers travelled overseas.
4. Meanwhile, 11% of Irish baby boomers were reported to go on international trips.
An even fewer percentage of baby boomers in Ireland (11%) participated in outbound tourism.
5. Only 2.97% of baby boomers in France travel internationally.
The baby boomer outbound travel market isn’t very big in France, with only 2.97% of the boomer population travelling overseas in 2018.
Baby Boomers Travel Habits
How often do baby boomers travel?
6. On average, baby boomers travel 27 days per year.
7. Across the globe, the average boomer travels four to five times for leisure purposes each eyar.
8. When asked how many personal trips they expected to take in the next year, 34% of American baby boomers in 2019 answered 4 or more domestic trips.
34% of boomers in the US planned to take 4 or more personal domestic trips in 2019.
9. Nearly half of all baby boomers (47%) in the US in 2019 claimed that they did not anticipate taking any international personal trip.
10. 33% of baby boomers wanted to take one trip abroad in 2019, while only 1% said they would take 4 or more international trips during that year.
11. 30% of baby boomers favor the summer season for taking domestic trips.
12. Meanwhile, the most popular season for international travel among baby boomers is Spring (34% of respondents).
Baby Boomer Travel Spending
How much do baby boomers spend on travel?
13. In 2019, 35% of baby boomers in the US claimed that they could not afford vacation.
35% of baby boomers don’t go on trips because they couldn’t afford it.
14. In comparison to younger generations, boomers are more likely to save any unused travel funds (58%) for future getaways.
15. In 2021, baby boomers plan on spending an average of $6,691 on travel, higher than both Gen Xers ($5,400) and millennials ($4,400).
16. This average anticipated spend is lower than in 2021, when the figure was at $7,800 for baby boomers.
17. Just over half of boomers (57%) claim that budget affects their trip.
A lot of baby boomers tend to book services like upgraded tour and activity packages.
18. Still, almost all boomers (95%) want to ensure that they’ve found the best deal before booking their travel.
Baby Boomers Travel Destinations
Where do baby boomers want to travel?
19. The most popular destinations for American boomers are Hawaii, Australia, Italy, and Alaska.
20. Overall, Europe is the first choice for boomers when travelling internationally (41%).
41% of boomers would consider Europe as their first choice for international travel.
This is no surprise since there are so many places to visit in Europe that would appeal to a variety of travellers.
21. Meanwhile, the top domestic travel destinations for baby boomers in the US include Florida (17%), California (11%), New York (5%), Texas (5%), and Las Vegas (5%).
Las Vegas is one of the top travel destinations for baby boomers in the US. Check out some of the things you can do in Las Vegas!
22. For 39% of baby boomers, a city or town is their favorite destination type for international travel.
23. A city or town is also a general favorite for domestic travel among baby boomers in the US (51%).
24. Beach destinations are the second most popular type of destination (23%) for baby boomers who travel overseas.
25. Meanwhile, destinations on the water are more popular for domestic trips at 26%.
This includes cruises, lakes, and rivers.
26. 47% of baby boomers who go camping do so because to escape the stress of everyday life.
27. In 2021, 13% of boomers who travel plan to go on a cruise, with 82% having already booked their trip.
Baby Boomers Travel Accommodations
What travel accommodations do baby boomers like?
28. For both international and domestic travel in 2020, hotels and motels are the most popular type of travel accommodation among baby boomers.
Hotels and motels are slightly more popular among baby boomers who travel domestically (63%). Still, a majority of them (54%) who take international trips also choose to stay in a hotel or motel.
29. The second most popular accommodation type for international travel among baby boomer is cruise ship cabins (33%).
This shows that cruises are very popular among baby boomers who travel.
30. Among baby boomers who go on cruises, an overwhelming majority (80%) prefer contemporary class cruises.
31. 20% of baby boomers like to stay in resorts, both when travelling domestically and internationally.
32. Staying with friends and family is significantly more common among baby boomers who travel domestically (35%) than those who travel overseas (15%).
33. 3% of baby boomers who take a domestic trip would stay in an RV or campground.
Although RVing is still the preferred travel accommodation for 3% of baby boomers, the percentage of baby boomers who stay in RV campsites overseas is almost negligible.
34. Around 25% of travellers in the baby boomer generation thought that the travel accommodation service with the best online presence was Sonder.
Sonder is a short-term rental service that is especially popular among baby boomer travellers.
This is opposed to Gen Z respondents, in which 42% believe that Airbnbb has the best social media presence, and millennials, 45% of whom favor Booking.com in terms of their social media branding.
Baby Boomers Travel Motivations
Why do baby boomers travel?
35. 23% of baby boomers said that their favorite part of personal travel is spending time with family and friends.
36. 29% of baby boomers said that relaxation is the best part of personal travel, while for 33% of them, the location is what makes the trip most enjoyable.
37. A survey revealed that 15% of baby boomers were planning to take a domestic family or multi-generational trip in 2020. This is an increase from just 11% in 2019.
Taking a family trip is the most popular reason for baby boomers to travel domestically in the US, with 15% planning a family or multi-generational trip.
38. The second most common motivation for domestic travel among baby boomers is weekend getaway (13%).
39. After that is summer vacation (11%), holiday travel (8%), and romantic getaway (7%).
40. 6% of baby boomers who travel domestically do so to enjoy a solo vacation.
Although not the top motivation, it seems that 6% of baby boomers still enjoy solo travel.
41. In terms of international travel, the main motivation for baby boomers is crossing off a bucket list destination (23%).
42. Interestingly, family and multi-generational trips is also the main rason for baby boomers to take an international trip (12%).
43. There is a huge increase of baby boomers in the US who want to go on a solo vacation abroad in 2020 (12%) than in 2019 (7%).
44. The majority of baby boomers who travel are into exploration, with a Traveler Psychographic Intensity Index score of 72.3.
The score is measured out of 100 and measures the intensity of a respondent’s feelings towards some travel criteria.
45. Baby boomers also tend to be nature lovers (65) and interested in the culture (63.8) as well as food and cuisine (61.1) of their travel destination.
46. The most popular occasions for celebration vacations among baby boomers in the US are anniversaries (87%), milestone birthdays (77%), retirement (69%), and a wedding (66%).
Baby Boomers Travel Bookings
How do baby boomers book their travels?
47. 46.7% of baby boomers who travel use user-generated content to plan their travels.
48. Print resources are also an essential part of a baby boomer’s travel planning method, with 45.2% of respondents claiming to use them.
49. Meanwhile, 32.1% of baby boomer respondents rely on destination marketing organizations (DMO) to plan their trips.
50. A 2017 survey among baby boomers in the US indicates that 9% prefer to book their travel through online travel agencies.
9% of baby boomer travelers use online travel agencies when booking their travels.
51. In 2018, 77% of baby boomers who travel books directly with airlines.
52. Almost 1 in ever 4 baby boomers book their most recent travel through a hotel website.
Hotel websites are the most popular type of online booking website for baby boomers, followed by travel agencies (12%) and comparison websites (7%).
Alternatively, millennials are more likely to use a travel agency website (19%) than to book directly through the hotel website (14%).
Travel Challenges for Baby Boomers
What are some of the challenges and obstacles that baby boomers face while travelling?
53. The main obstacle that prevented baby boomers from taking all the personal trips they would like to take in 2020 was cost (39%).
54. For 28% of baby boomers, their health or someone else’s health also posed a challenge for their personal travel plans in 2020.
55. Other common factors that have hindered baby boomers from travelling include family obligations (23%), weather disasters (19%), and security/terrorism (13%).
Meanwhile, work responsibilities affect only 7% of baby boomers who would like to travel more in 2020.
56. 1 in 5 of baby boomers claim that nothing has/might prevent them from travelling as much as they wanted.
57. For 17% of respondents, the biggest challenge in their last multi-generational trip is getting some down time.
58. Physical limitation also poses as a barrier that prevent baby boomers from having fun during a multi-generational trip, with 21% of respondents agreeing with the statement.
Other hindrances include different interests (13%), technology (10%), and kids that are constantly on their phones (9%).
Technology Among Baby Boomer Travellers
How do baby boomers use technology while travelling?
59. When boomers purchase travel insurance, only 10% read the online reviews, compared to 46% of millennials who do.
60. Only 23% of baby boomers use meta-search websites when researching and booking hotels online, compared to 39% of millennials.
61. About half (54%) of boomers usually bring a smartphone while travelling internationaly, while more would bring a smartphone on domestic trips (92%).
However, baby boomers who bring a smartphone when travelling are more likely to use it for taking photos than checking emails.
62. Much fewer boomers say that they can’t travel without their phone compared to millennials (64% vs 71%).
Baby Boomer Travel Trends & Behavior
How do baby boomers travel?
63. When on a vacation, boomers are more likely to unplug. 57% doesn’t think that staying connected to work is important when they’re away,
64. A survey in September 2015 showed that prescription medications are the most essential item for travelling, with 58% agreeing to the statement.
65. 26% of baby boomers always pack comfortable shoes when travelling.
66. A camera (18%), sunglasses (15%), and a good book (12%) are also essential items for baby boomers when they travel.
67. Among baby boomers who go camping, the most popular activity to do is hiking with 51% enjoying the activity.
68. When asked to define romantic getaways, 52% simply says that it is travelling with their significant other.
Only 9% of respondents say that a romantic getaway has to actually include romance or intimacy.
69. O.A.T. says that solo travel among female boomers is becoming more popular. In 2019, half of their boomer clients are travelling solo, while 85% of those solo travellers are women.
[Digital Media Solutions]
Around half of O.A.T’s clients are solo travellers, a majority (85%) of which are women.
Coronavirus Impact on Baby Boomer Travel
How did COVID-19 affect travel for baby boomers?
70. Boomers tend to be more affected by the pandemic in terms of travel, as they’re more likely to still feel very concerned about COVID-19 spread (83%).
The Coronavirus pandemic had impacted baby boomers the most compared to other generations. 83% of boomers are still very worried about Covid-19 spread while travelling.
71. In 2021, when asked if their future travel plans are dependent on the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, 47% of boomers answered yes.
72. 41% of boomers also feel that it’s unsafe to travel during the pandemic, compared to just 26% of millennials.
73. 74% of boomers say that Coronavirus-related travel restrictions had prevented them from taking all of the personal trips they’d like to take in 2021.
That’s all for today’s statistics about baby boomer travel!
There are many aspects to travel for baby boomers, from travel insurance to trends and even cruises.
We tried to summarize as much information as we can, so hopefully you’ll find them useful!
Do you think we missed anything important?
Let us know in the comments below.
In the meantime, you might enjoy these stats:
published 2023-10-10 12:36:25