Baby Boomers: Travel Behaviors


To identify the top 10 city destinations both domestically and internationally for baby boomers for the purposes of understanding where this age group travels most.

Early Findings

Continued research indicates that AARP provides the most reliable annual survey on top domestic and international destinations for baby boomers.
  • According to AARP, Europe is the number one international destination for baby boomers at 41%. The top three countries in Europe are England/UK/Ireland and Italy (both at 9%) and France at 5%.
  • The Caribbean, South America, and Central America come in at the second-most popular international destination for baby boomers at 33%. The top three destinations in this region are the Caribbean at 20%, Central/South America at 6%, and Mexico at 5%.
  • Asia and the Middle East are the third-most popular international destination for baby boomers at 11%, followed by Canada at 10%, the South Pacific at 4%, and Africa at 2%.
  • This means the top 10 international destinations for baby boomers are the following:
    • The Caribbean — 20%
    • Asia/Middle East — 11%
    • Canada — 10%
    • England/UK/Ireland — 9%
    • Italy — 9%
    • Central/South America — 6%
    • France — 5%
    • Mexico — 4%
    • South Pacific — 4%
    • Africa — 2%
  • Also based on AARP data, the number one domestic region for baby boomer travel is the South at 38%. This is followed by the West at 29%, the Northeast at 16%, and the Midwest at 12%.
  • By state, the top 11 domestic destinations (since several are tied) for baby boomers are the following:
    • Florida — 17%
    • California — 11%
    • Las Vegas, Nevada — 5%
    • New York — 5%
    • Texas — 5%
    • Alaska — 4%
    • New England — 4%
    • Carolinas — 3%
    • Colorado — 3%
    • Hawaii — 3%
    • Illinois (Chicago) — 3%
  • Skip-generation trips, where grandparents take their grandchildren on vacation without the parents, are on the rise, and these trips are "practically always planned by and paid for by the grandparents."
  • Solo travel for baby boomer women is "exploding," with almost 50% of Overseas Adventure Travel customers choosing to travel alone. What's more is that 85% of solo travelers are women.
  • Almost all (88%) of baby boomers choose their summer destinations by December.
  • In addition, 62% of working boomers plan to take all their vacation time each year.
  • Top domestic travel destinations overall for Americans are Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; New York City, New York; and Maui, Hawaii.
  • Top international travel destinations overall for American are London, England; Rome, Italy; Dublin, Ireland; Vancouver, Canada; and Paris, France.

Proposed next steps:

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As the continued research was able to identify the top 10 domestic and top 10 international travel destinations for baby boomers, along with some additional statistics, we recommend further research into why these destinations are popular among baby boomers. In other words, we will provide 5-6 insights into what baby boomers look for in choosing a travel destination.