Stats: Baby Boomers Are Booking Earlier Than Ever

Older couple walking on a beach
Photo by OJO Images/Getty Images

AARP Travel has released the results of its annual travel trend survey, examining travel behaviors, expectations and planning among Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. According to the research, Boomers are eager to travel in 2019, planning to take a total of four to five leisure trips, on which they will spend over $6,600.

What’s to note: Travel planning is taking place earlier as compared to years past. A significant majority of Boomers (88 percent) planning domestic travel in 2019 have already selected their destination, an increase from 72 percent of 2018 domestic travelers. For Boomers traveling abroad, 31 percent have booked their 2019 trips by September 2018, up from 23 percent by September of the previous year in 2018 and 17 percent in 2017. 

“According to this research, Boomers travel plans in 2019 are focused on spending time with family and friends, while getting away from everyday life,” said Patty David, director consumer insights, personal fulfillment. “Whether it’s a weekend road trip or an international vacation, Boomers are eager to travel in 2019 and are planning earlier and spending more than in years past.”


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Additional findings include:

  • Boomers continue to be avid travelers, planning to take a total of four to five leisure trips in 2019.
  • Boomers plan on spending more, overall, on travel in 2019 ($6,600) than both Gen Xers ($5,400) and Millennials ($4,400).
  • Forty-seven percent expect to only travel domestically; 48 percent hope to travel both domestically and internationally; and 6 percent will travel abroad only. 
  • For Boomers, the top motivations for travel are to spend time with family and friends (57 percent), relax and rejuvenate (48 percent) and to get away from normal, everyday life (47 percent).
  • Work is not the biggest barrier to travel for Boomers. Cost (40 percent) and health issues/concerns (32 percent) are mentioned most often.
  • Thirty-two percent of grandparents (according to AARP Research: 2018 Grandparents Today National Survey) have taken their grandkids on a skip-generation trip, leaving mom and dad at home, and 15 percent of Boomers are already planning to do so in 2019. Seventy-seven percent of these Boomers will do most of the trip planning themselves and 76 percent will pay for most of the trip.

Source: 2019 Boomer Travel Trends

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