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AARP Surveys Top Travel Trends for 2018

AARP 2018 Travel Trends Survey


Boomers want to relax, unplug from work and use all their vacation time.

En español | When it comes to enjoying our hard-earned vacation time, boomers just want to have more fun, according to a new AARP Travel Trends survey.

The survey of 1,728 men and women over the age of 20, conducted in September 2017, found that 49 percent of boomers want to travel to “relax and rejuvenate" — up 11 percentage points from last year’s survey. In addition, 47 percent of boomers reported that they take vacations to “get away from everyday life” — up from 39 percent the previous year. And forget about keeping the nose to the grindstone. More leisure-craving boomers said they expect to use all or most of their vacation time — 68 percent this year compared with 59 percent last year.

“2018 travel plans are all about connecting with family while getting away from our daily stressors,” said Stephanie Miles, AARP senior vice president of Integrated Marketing and Member Benefits. “A vacation is often one of the best ways to renew and recharge ourselves, and it provides an opportunity for us to connect and build stronger relationships.”

So where are boomers spending the $6,400 they say they will shell out yearly, on average, for leisure travel? The sun-drenched locations of California and Florida are still the top U.S. choices, while the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe are most popular among international choices.

The survey also found:

• Boomers leave work at home. Fifty-six percent say they are likely to work while away, while 74 percent of millennials say they expect to bring work along on a trip and 65 percent of Gen Xers plan to do the same. 

• Amenities matter. Sixty-two percent of boomers choose hotels or motels over rental homes because they prefer access to room service and a concierge.

• Multigenerational travel is tops. Most U.S. trips involve multigenerational family members, including weekend getaways and summertime jaunts.  

• Tour with a local. Forty-nine percent of boomers would prefer to explore the sights with a local resident. And 22 percent of the international trips being planned are a “bucket list” biggie. 

• Cost is a barrier. The high price of travel keeps all age groups from getting away more often. For millennials and Gen Xers, work and family obligations are the next most common barriers to travel. Boomers say that health and weather also impact their travel time.

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