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As the largest generation in history ages into retirement, Baby Boomers are making their dream trips a reality. Here are some ideas.

The first wave of baby boomers have reached 65, and as the largest generation in history heads into its senior years, travel companies, cruise lines and adventure specialists are lining up to help make the dreams of these travellers come true.

After decades of child-rearing and high-pressure careers, the newly retired are discovering just how much leisure time, wanderlust and cash they  have. With the financial clout and free time their younger compatriots can only dream of, they have started making those once-in-a-lifetime trips on  their bucket lists a reality.

And the options they are exploring reflect a generation of travellers that are, compared to their predecessors, healthier, wealthier, more active and hold higher expectations for what they will get out of a trip. “There are key psychographic nuances of the travelling Boomer,” said Dr Simon Hudson, director of the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina, in his academic research paper on the topic. “They are looking for a memorable experience rather than a holiday.”

Globetrotting Baby Boomers now travel, both domestically and abroad, more than the general population, according to one US survey. Dragoman, a UK-based tour operator specializing in 3-month overland trips, has seen a 23% year-on year growth in mature travellers, with South America and India  both emerging as popular destinations. And options are plenty for those looking for trips of a lifetime that can still be taken in the sunset year, as are resources. Some travel operators, such as Saga, have set up special travel divisions to cater to the Baby Boomer sector. And there are also websites such as Boomeropia and Baby Boomers Traveling that are dedicated to this category of travel as well.

One-of-a-kind experiences
This category is not just about driving down iconic Route 66 in the US on a Harley Davidson, cycling around Paris with a Gauloise cigarette in your mouth, learning to tango in Buenos Aries, diving for manta rays off the remote Andaman Islands, retracing the steps of Paul Gauguin on the Marquesas Islands in the Pacific or painting watercolours in Patagonia. These kinds of unique trips also encompass the once-in-a-lifetime trips like Machu Picchu at Peruvian dawn, laughing with Cambodian monks at Angkor Wat and signing up to Virgin Galactic’s outer space flight. This is dream big time.

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