Susan Madden, 62, her husband and their dogs plan to travel via RV on five separate vacations in 2015, making the trek from their home in New Hampshire to warmer temps in Florida. The Maddens are just two of the many baby boomers who will make a similar journey in 2015, according to new survey results from AARP.
The 2014 report, which surveyed more than 1,000 of AARP’s members ages 45 to 49 (leading-edge Gen X) and 50-plus (baby boomers), found that the “Greatest Generation” will make about four to five trips in 2015. The idea of snowbirds, or travelers — mostly retirees — flocking to tropical destinations to escape winter isn’t new. But what may be more surprising is how active this age group will be throughout 2015. We know the travel industry is already adapting to the needs of the millennial traveler, but what about the 50-plus crowd? After all, according to AARP, baby boomers spend $120 billion a year on leisure travel.
On the upswing
Echoing the travel plans of the Maddens, AARP discovered that nearly half of the 50-plus crowd surveyed plan to travel more in 2015 compared to previous years.
“Back in 2012, our members told us that some of their top interests were spending time with friends and family, pursuing hobbies and other personal interests, learning new things and traveling,” said Stephanie Miles, vice president of member value for AARP. “And just last year we saw in a USA Today/AARP Life Reimagined poll that while more than 90 percent surveyed were happy with their life, they aren’t ready to slow down.”
In fact, the AARP travel study also uncovered that one-third of employed boomers plan to work while traveling, and, surprisingly, nearly half aren’t using all or most of their vacation time to travel.