Just because you’ve gotten older does not mean you lack the spirit and energy for adventure. Quite the opposite, in fact. A recent poll conducted by AARP Travel has found that most Baby Boomers plan to embark on four-five vacations in 2019, and around half of those trips are to both domestic and abroad locations.
This data proves that Baby Boomers are not losing their momentum and are making an intentional choice to remain active and intrepid in their later years. So as a member of this generation, here are some trends and hacks that will maximize your travels and minimize your stress no matter where on this earth 2019 takes you. From the Caribbean to Europe, or New York to California –the world is out there just waiting to be explored.
Boomers Welcome the Chance to Unplug
Unlike their younger Millennial counterparts, Baby Boomers are more prone to disconnect from technology while on vacation, AARP noted. An estimated 54% of Boomers will take a smartphone on international trips, and 92% will take a smartphone on domestic trips, the survey continued, but aside from photos or a brief email check, Boomers don’t express an urge to remain tethered to devices, and the majority do not allow technology to consume more than 10% of their travels.
Boomers Embrace the Local Experiences
Whether it’s listening to fresh-on-the-scene musicians at a neighborhood dive in Berlin or tasting the authentic street food noodles at a market in Hanoi, the AARP survey indicated that Baby Boomers want to immerse themselves in the local customs. But this off-the-beaten-path trend is more of a priority for international trips than for domestic trips, with about 50% of Boomers showing interest in the native cuisines, traditions, pastimes and cultural nuances when they are abroad.
Boomers Choose Bucket List Destinations
Perhaps due to financial means and a desire to enjoy their “golden years,” Baby Boomers are inclined to choose destinations that rank high on their Bucket Lists, AARP determined. This is a more frequent motivation for Boomers than it tends to be for the generations behind them. Not only do Boomers fulfill their Bucket Lists, they go all-out, adds the Independent UK, as popular sites among this 55-plus crowd are the Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and Pyramids of Giza.
Now that you have an idea of which vacation preferences are trending for Baby Boomers such as yourself, here are some travel hacks to streamline the process and make your next adventure the most unforgettable one to date.
Pick a Relaxing and Restorative Location
If you feel a current of serenity and balance permeate your senses while on a beach vacation, research points to a science behind that feeling. This mood of relaxation is due to the ocean’s sensory impact on both the human mind and body. “Staring at the ocean changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state,” according to Richard Schuster, psychiatric doctor and host of The Daily Helping Podcast. In addition, the beach provides other calming effects like the sound of whitecaps, the feel of warm sand and the aroma of a salty breeze. A coastal destination which offers these mindful, restorative benefits can enrich your health which becomes more important the older you are.
Only Update Loved Ones on Your Itinerary
While that Facebook status—“Bon voyage, we’re off to the airport!”—might seem innocuous, it could, in fact, pose a security risk at home while you are gone. It’s enjoyable to post updates and photos of your vacation, but these public broadcasts can signal to would-be intruders that your house is unattended which makes it a target. Home invasions tend to spike in the summer travel months of July and August, based on data from the Insurance Information Institute. So don’t announce the trip on social media until after you have returned and only keep close friends or family members apprised of the travel itinerary. In addition, enlist a trusted neighbor to watch your house for suspicious activities.
Find Tours Designed for Your Age Bracket
You might be over 55 and officially a “senior citizen,” but this designation is not about to slow you down, and you want an energetic trip to accommodate your active life. From hiking the ruins of Machu Picchu in South America to riding a camel in the Middle East to exploring the maritime seaboard of Canada, tour groups such as Adventures Abroad curate a wide variety of excursions for senior-aged wanderlusters. This is an excellent way to socialize with other likeminded Baby Boomers who are interested in the same cultural experiences and regions of the world that you are. Not to mention, each travel group is limited to 18 people which allows for an intimate, localized, unhurried and immersive pace.
If you dream of jetting off on the vacation of a lifetime and exploring a destination you have seen only in pictures, then make 2019 the year in which that dream becomes a reality. Boomers are embracing their wanderlust in record numbers, and now is your time to join in this trend. Wherever the Bucket List sends you, it’s sure to be a memory that you will cherish forever.