Sipping cappuccino and taking it slow is one way to experience Italy. Test driving a growling, candy-apple-red Ferrari in the country’s Motor Valley is quite another.
So Donna Hull’s husband and a friend — both car enthusiasts — were ecstatic when they got the chance to zoom around the town of Maranello in the classic sports car on a recent vacation.
The engine revved, traffic parted and heads turned.
“That really beats visiting churches and museums for those guys,” Hull said, recalling the trip that had the Hulls and another couple exploring off-the-beaten-path Italy with the help of a hired guide for nine days.
“It was wonderful, it really was.”
It might also beat some notions of what travel looks like these days for men and women of a certain age.
Everyone on this road trip was a baby boomer — part of a generation that was born in the heady years after World War II, went on to become a driving force in cultural and social change in the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, and isn’t about to slow down now, especially when it comes to travel.
“Baby boomers don’t want to sit on a bus and look out the window,” said Hull, 60, who created My Itchy Travel Feet, a blog for baby boomers planning their next travel adventure.
Talk about a huge target audience.
The nation’s 79 million baby boomers — Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — account for more than a quarter of the total U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center.
This year, the oldest are turning 65 and almost two-thirds of them — 61% — say they plan to increase their travel, according to a survey commissioned by the AARP late last year.
About 84% feel that the next five years will be fulfilling and 70% believe they will be exciting.
Crossing items off the bucket list
And adventure is exactly what they seem to be looking for.