Updated on January 25, 2024 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

baby boomers travel stats 2024 infographic

Table of Contents


This work was carried out through Osint (Open Source Intelligence) techniques aimed at finding and analysing useful information for the research.

The analysis through open sources consists of the application of analytical methodologies for the collection, processing, and analysis of information. The ultimate goal is to transform what is a confusing set of disconnected data, facts, and news into exploitable knowledge, thus offering a context consistent with the objective of this report.

Some of the Osint sources include:

  • Scientific and technical commercial databases
  • Official and unofficial data of institutional bodies
  • Information from professional and academic sources
  • Search engines used were both with Boolean operators and advanced operators
  • Meta-browsers
  • Software for the analysis of the social graph
  • Software for the analysis of metadata and geolocation
  • Social network
  • Domain intelligence tools
  • Network analysis
  • Newspapers and magazines, institutional publications.

Given the consistency of the information to be compared and considering any cases of harmony, we inform you that the processing may present limited cases of inaccuracies.

Market Research

The base year for data collection was 2023. However, to make the article complete, some of the trends that have arisen during the last years are also reported.

Key Facts and Statistics

Baby boomers have changed the face of the global population for more than 70 years. They make up a substantial portion of the world’s population, especially in developed nations. The baby boomer generation in 2023 represents 21.16% of the population of the United States of America. In terms of travel, baby boomers spend a whopping $157 billion per year on travel.

The generation of baby boomers often has more time and money than their Gen Z, millennial, and Gen X counterparts. Therefore, they are far more likely to travel. Baby boomer travel statistics indicate that international and domestic travel are both popular among the boomer population. However, boomers preferred to travel domestically.

With increased accessibility, this demographic is travelling more and more frequently, often booking their trips online. In addition, a growing number of boomers utilise their smartphones while travelling, not only for searching and communicating but also for programming and using industry-specific apps. Most travelling boomers take an average of 3 to 4 leisure trips per year.

86% of leisure travel clients are baby boomers, meaning they bring in billions of dollars in annual revenue for the industry. Boasting meticulous planning, boomers often book their trips months in advance.

Essential Baby Boomer Travel Trends and Statistics 2022-2023

  • Boomers travel a lot. Most of them (60%) are retired, so they have a lot of time to spend on travel. Furthermore, taking into account that they have a higher generational income, it is not surprising that they plan 3 to 4 leisure trips per year.
  • A good percentage (40%) of them would make at least one international trip.
  • Italy, France, Croatia, Portugal, Iceland and Germany are the most popular destinations in the EU, Tokyo, Japan, Sydney, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea are the most popular in the world.
  • 11% of all international trips are taken via a cruise.
  • 61% of baby boomers travel domestically, averaging 3 or 4 trips in 2023 (1 or 2 are international).
  • The most common types of domestic travel are family trips (including multiple generations), weekend getaways, and summer vacations.
  • In the US, many will head south for some R&R (Florida, Texas, California), with the individual cities of Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles mentioned most.
  • Boomers don’t mind spending on travel, spending an average of $ 6,688, spending most as compared to other generations. Boomers are also planning more expensive destinations, longer stays, higher quality accommodations, and more activities.
  • On international travel, boomers’ favourite activities are sightseeing (both tour and personal) and dining out. For domestic travel, eating out, cooking, and/or relaxing, and some personal sightseeing.
  • The main reasons boomers travel in 2023 are relaxing and rejuvenating, also spending time with family or friends, getting away from everyday life, and relaxing and rejuvenating as their top motives for travel.
  • Although the generations anticipated a similar number of trips in 2023, how much they spend on travel differs. Boomers with $6,688 are spending more than Millennials – $4,464 and Gen X – $6,191.
  • Boomers are more likely to cite a bucket list trip and a solo trip than Gen Xers and Millennials.

Bucket list trip:

  • Boomers: 27%
  • Gen X: 17%
  • Millennials: 12%

Solo Trip:

  • Boomers: 15%
  • Gen X: 11%
  • Millennials: 9%
  • Boomers are significantly more likely to take an international cruise than other generations (20% vs 13%).
  • On vacation, boomers are more likely to engage in both tour and personal sightseeing. They are also more likely to find quiet time than Millennials.

Boomers are using smartphones primarily as communication devices.

How much do they spend on travel?

  • In the last few years, baby boomers have spent roughly $2,000/4,000 more on vacations than both Millennials and Gen Xers.
  • About 85 to 90% of this demographic prioritises finding the best deal before booking a trip.
  • Boomers spend more on accommodation, around $1,200-$1,500 per trip, with Millennials and Gen X averaging $800-$1,000. Luxury accommodation remains attractive across generations..
  • $157 billion is spent by boomers on vacations every year.
  • Over half (56%) of Boomers are willing to pay extra for a luxury trip.
  • While Boomers are less budget-conscious than other generations, cost remains a factor. Around 65-70% consider the budget when planning trips.
  • Advance planning remains strong among Boomers, with around 80-85% having chosen their next year’s destinations for both domestic and international travel.
  • About 67% of Boomers take online reviews into consideration when planning a trip.
  • TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Expedia, Google Maps and Yelp. are the most popular online tools for booking and planning trips among boomers.
  • 85 to 90% of Baby Boomers are planning to pay when doing a Multi-Generational holiday.

These travel statistics tell us a lot about the fact that boomers have the most spending power of all generations. In fact, they spend $157 billion a year on vacation, and they want this to be perfect. With only 60 to 70% of them taking the budget into consideration, the boomers are spared no expense and have a preference for luxury.

In fact, they spend more than double the other generations on accommodation.

How often do baby boomers travel and what type of trips do they take?

  • 25% of Boomers planning international travel have already booked their trips for the next 6 months/1 year.
  • 94% of Baby Boomers are expected to take a minimum of one domestic trip per year, with the average number of anticipated trips being 3 to 4.
  • Only 15% of boomers flying on business planned to combine it with a leisure trip.
  • travel bucket lists were checked off by 22% of boomers who travelled internationally in 2023.
  • Boomers plan between 1 and 2 international trips, at 50% for 2023/2024.
  • When they travel, the weekend is selected by 12% to 15% of domestic trips by boomers.
  • 13% will Travel with Grandchild(ren)

The boomers not only travel but do so frequently throughout the year. Most people prefer the summer months, so summer vacations are the most popular among travellers. On the other hand, 12% travel on weekends, and regardless of how long the journey is, they make the most of it.

Boomers are more likely to take trips to participate in a specific activity or relax than to seek information. For example, they may prefer to visit Disney World over a museum or cultural site. Heritage trips, which appeal to younger generations, are the least popular travel activity among boomers. Only 1% of boomers have travelled in recent years to discover their origins, and very few have chosen cultural destinations.

Baby boomers travelling

Where and how do baby boomers travel?

  • Boomers spend almost 1 month per year travelling (27 days).
  • Baby boomers make up the biggest percentage of Guernsey’s tourism. 61.6% of those taking breaks to Guernsey are between 40 and 65, and 25% are over 65.
  • The EU is considered by 41% of Boomers as their first choice for international travel.
  • The three most popular European countries for boomers to visit are the Netherlands, France, and Italy.
  • And while the Caribbean and South and Central America draw significant attention as well, interest in Mexico continues to wane, down from 22% in 2017 to 4% in 2019. After a sluggish year in 2020, Mexico’s tourism industry has roared back to life. In 2021, tourist arrivals soared by a staggering 31.3%, and the momentum continues. June 2022 saw an 8% jump in international visitors compared to the previous year, fueled by a 20% increase in foreign currency earnings.
  • 87% of boomers say that aircraft is their preferred method of travel. Additionally, 66% of baby boomers choose to fly domestically 1
  • 30% of Baby Boomers are renting a car during domestic trips, and only 18% are renting a car during international trips.
  • Baby Boomers are using the train 18% of the time when travelling internationally, against the 5% of the time while travelling domestically.
  • 3% of them are travelling by Boat, Shuttle or Bus on a domestic trip, while 11% of boomers use these transportations during their international travel.
  • 61% of boomers cited their vehicles as the main mode of domestic travel.
  • Boomers who have chosen to fly only domestically in the last few years are 66%.
  • The most popular domestic destinations in the United States for boomers are Florida, California, and New York.
  • Most travellers are drawn to the Southern (38% interested) and Western (29% interested) American states.
  • 62% of boomers travelling domestically prefer hotels and motels as accommodation.
  • Boomers who travelled internationally preferred staying in a hotel/motel 66% of the time.
  • Only 3% of them are renting a house while travelling, and just 1% are RV/camping.
  • 38% of boomers were interested in visiting South America.
  • 29% of boomers prefer visiting the Western United States.

The average baby boomer spends almost a month every year travelling, with 41% of this age group preferring to visit Europe.

Both on domestic and international travel, boomers prefer to use the plane because it is the most convenient in terms of speed and comfort. Boomers prefer to stay in hotels/motels rather than live with the locals. The United States is regarded as a boomer-friendly destination.

Why do baby boomers travel?

  • 12% of baby boomers are travelling because of Summer Vacation.
  • 8% of them are travelling for a Romantic Getaway.
  • Family trips account for 7% of Baby Boomers’ trips.
  • Baby Boomers are travelling to celebrate vacation 6% of the time.
  • 6% of Baby Boomers want to travel
  • Baby Boomers travel to celebrate weddings or graduation 3% of the time.
  • 7% of Baby Boomers are travelling because of a Family Reunion.
  • 2% because of a girl’s getaway, while 2% for a guy’s getaway.
  • 7% of baby boomers opt for Holiday Travel.
  • Unfortunately, the 2% because they are obliged, or it is required to travel.
  • 12% are travelling for a Weekend Getaway.
  • 4% of them have Spring Break.
  • Just 3% of Baby Boomers are adventurers.
  • 1% of them are travelling to finalize a heritage process.

Most of the boomers travel for the summer holidays. However, a good 8% say they are on a romantic getaway with their partner or on a family trip. While other generations are more likely to travel alone, a good 6% of boomers have travelled alone in the last few trips. Nevertheless, boomers love luxury travel, and only 3% consider themselves an adventurers when travelling.

How do baby boomers use their phones when travelling?

  • 92% of boomers who travel bring their smartphones with them on domestic trips.
  • When on an international holiday, they carry their smartphones on them 54% of the time.
  • Only 7% of boomers do not use phones during any trip.
  • The majority of boomers (83%) take photos on domestic holidays.
  • Instead, while on international holidays, 85% of travellers take photos.
  • On international holiday travels, boomers are less likely to use their phones, at a rate of 54%.
  • 72% of baby boomers use their phones on domestic holidays.

Now more than ever, smartphones are a necessity for boomers. Boomers will usually keep their phones close when travelling domestically because they can use them to make calls or search online for the latest news. As for international travel, boomers use their phones less frequently. Those who do opt to take their phones with them only use them to take photographs of their trips.

With more boomers on social media, they are now more familiar with how these platforms work and use their smartphones to share their travel experiences with others. Although phones are considered essential accessories for most people nowadays, boomers are still content to go without them. However, the statistics show that this trend is changing.

Which loyalty programs are most popular with boomers?

  • loyalty membership for cruises has 15% of subscribers.
  • 65% of boomers have an aeroplane rewards
  • The majority of boomers (65%) are enrolled in hotel rewards
  • Car rental loyalty programs are very popular among boomers, with 13%

Because boomers travel more, there is also an increase in loyalty programs among them. In fact, most of them who hold an airline pass are enrolled in a loyalty program.

What do baby boomers seek when travelling?

  • One of the primary reasons for boomer travel was cited as visiting friends and family, at 38%.
  • Leisure is the second most popular reason for travel at 48%.
  • Half of the boomers (47%) want to change their normal life and take a break from their responsibilities.
  • Roughly half of the respondents (32%) want to relax and rejuvenate when travelling.
  • Only 12% of baby boomers prefer staying with locals in international and local destinations.
  • 52% of boomers who travel internationally want to eat local food.
  • 42% of them have an interest in eating local food while travelling domestically.
  • Most boomers (52%) prefer sightseeing with a local at an international destination.
  • 17% of Boomers want to stay with locals in a domestic destination.

Among travellers, boomers are looking for more and more rich experiences. Often, they have children and grandchildren who live far away, so it is common for most travellers to be family in nature. More and more boomers enjoy learning about the local culture, despite always appreciating their traditions.

The majority of people in the boomer age group still prefer sightseeing at international destinations. That’s why travel markets are paying more attention to this angle, thanks to boomers’ purchasing power, and offering domestic services that cater to and appeal to boomers.


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