Stats: Travel Tops Aspirational Activities for Baby Boomers

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When it comes to aspirational activities, travel tops the list for Baby Boomers. That’s according to the AARP Travel Bucket List Survey, which was just released by AARP Travel.

According to the study, nearly 4 out of ten Baby Boomers have a travel bucket list, with 58 percent planning to take their next trip in two to five years. AARP found that just creating a travel bucket list motivated Boomers with a sense of hope and gave them something to look forward to. Additionally, 53 percent of those preparing for their next trip report that they are getting in shape to fully enjoy the experience.

Here are the key takeaways:


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  • Travel is the top aspirational activity for 50-plus Americans
  • 69 percent of Baby Boomers are optimistic that they will visit the next destination on their travel bucket list
  • Baby Boomers hope to get to more than 80 percent of their list in their lifetime, but consider it a success to check off 65 percent
  • 53 percent of Baby Boomers are getting in shape to prepare for their next bucket list trip
  • 36 percent of Baby Boomers have already started saving money for their next bucket list trip
  • Of the eight destinations on their travel bucket lists, half are domestic and half are international
  • 52 percent of baby boomers go online to get inspired

An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that Americans over 50 years of age are investing over $125 billion per year in personal travel, a statistic that will grow as Boomers have more time to travel, AARP said. With Baby Boomers having already completed 25 percent of their travel bucket list, 37 percent of those surveyed will continue to create and check trips off of their lists because it gives them something to look forward to.

“Traveling keeps our body and mind active, from planning and creating an itinerary to getting in better physical shape for the trip,” said Denise Austin, fitness expert, health advocate and AARP Wellness Ambassador.  “Not only can being physically fit help make the vacation more enjoyable, it often leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated when we're back home.”

While the benefits of bucket list vacations are clear, there are barriers, AARP. According to the survey, 45 percent of Baby Boomers identify money as the biggest barrier to accomplishing their travel bucket list. This statistic is further solidified by the fact that 79 percent of people have investigated their next trip, but only 11 percent have booked it.

“Usability studies have indicated that consumers frequently check on the weather of possible travel destinations,” said AARP researcher Patty David. “It’s important to not only consider saving funds and budgeting for the trip, but also ensuring you’ve researched the best time to travel.”

Source: AARP Travel