What do baby boomers like to do for their summer vacations? Forbes magazine listed several interesting boomer vacation trends last year, including ecotourism to rainforests, spiritual vacations, and even medical vacations for treatments unavailable in the US. However, if the respondents to our poll are any indication, it’s all about the family and more traditional, inexpensive pursuits.
In a survey recently commissioned by MoneyTips, it was revealed that a majority of baby boomers are not letting the economy change their plans, sticking to relatively simple and less expensive vacations. Nearly 58% of the respondents took a summer vacation last year, and 54.5% plan to take a vacation this year – well within range given 9.1% of respondents are undecided.
For those who are vacationing, family is extremely important. Over 70% cited family visits as their vacation destination. The next highest option on the list, visiting a vacation destination resort, was the choice of only 16% of the poll respondents.
The only thing in common with the Forbes trends and the MoneyTips survey were fitness-related holidays – anything from adventure-related vacations to cycling, hiking, and yoga retreats. Approximately 7% of the MoneyTips survey respondents planned sweat-inducing holidays.
It is really not surprising that family-related vacations are heading up the boomer’s plans. If you are in the boomer generation, your kids have probably grown up, graduated college, and have since settled all throughout the nation. You may even have grandchildren – and what baby boomer can resist the urge to love on their grandchildren, spoil them, feed them sugar, and hand them back to their parents? Very few whom we know!
The economy, while getting better, is still not in outstanding shape, and your investments may not have fully recovered from the losses of the Great Recession. You still have a bucket list to attend to, but you’re too young for that…, aren’t you? For now, you are enjoying a more relaxed time with your loved ones as you hit the home stretch toward full retirement.
Not surprisingly, our survey respondents are mostly sticking with simple activities. A family get-together was the most-cited activity at 59%; since the second-place activity was outings at bodies of water (beaches, lakes, and rivers), probably many of you are taking your children and grandchildren there for some fun in the sun.
That sort of inexpensive fun also falls in line with the expected holiday spending revealed in the poll. Approximately 64% of respondents intend to spend $1000 or less per person, with 41% spending less than $500. That probably means that many of you are driving to your family destination, so keep your fingers crossed that gas prices stay relatively low this year.
Anyone depending on big-spending tourists for their income may be disappointed. Less than one in four plans to spend $2000 per head on vacation this summer, while about one in nine intends to spend more than $3000 apiece. Perhaps you will be all right based on volume, since 36.5% list shopping as one of their vacation activity choices.
Beyond the family get-togethers and shopping trips, the options tend to be mostly equal. Learning activities such as art classes, camping trips, sports activities and spa visits all came in between 10-15% in popularity – the same amount as those who were not sure, or who planned no activity at all. Granted, if you are trying to keep your expenses down, engaging in no activities will do it – but most of us can only take so much pure relaxation.
So enjoy your time with your family this summer, and feel not the least bit guilty about spoiling the grandkids. That’s what grandparents are for.