COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into most Americans’ 2020 bucket list travel plans. Trip cancelations occurred far and wide in early Spring 2020 with the onset of a worldwide pandemic. With extra time on their hands during retirement years, baby boomers are the generation that may be feeling the weight of these cancellations the most.
Many baby boomers are already brainstorming about travel plans in 2021 or for a time when it’s safe for our most vulnerable populations to travel again. Between socializing with friends and family or sightseeing overseas, folks within this generation have several activities that they are eager to be a part of post-COVID-19.
To uncover some of the most anticipated future travel plans, Coventry conducted a survey in August 2020 asking baby boomers, ages 55 and up across the U.S., travel-related questions such as:
(1)Which travel destinations do they want to visit most in a post-COVID world?
(2)How many trips do they plan to take in the remainder of 2020 and in 2021?
(3)Which factors give them the most hesitation about future domestic & international trips?
When asked which travel destinations baby boomers would like to visit most post-COVID-19, Tokyo, Japan, Sydney, Australia, and Marrakech, Morocco were a few of the top destinations selected by the largest percentage of survey respondents. Amsterdam, Barcelona, and the Amalfi coast in Italy top the list of European travel destinations, while Honolulu, Costa Rica, and Toronto won out as the most desired destinations within North & Central America.
For the most part, baby boomers surveyed (46%) said that they will not be taking any trips throughout the remainder of 2020, with females being slightly more conservative about taking trips than males. What’s more, almost 40% of respondents have not taken ANY domestic trips within the U.S. at all in 2020.
The majority of baby boomers surveyed (51%) plan to take 1-2 domestic trips in 2021. Additionally, 47% of baby boomers surveyed plan to take 1-2 international trips in 2021, but almost 40% said they do not plan to take any international trips at all in 2021.
Hesitation around travel, even in 2021, persists nationwide. When asked which factors make baby boomers the most hesitant to travel in either 2020 or 2021, 63% of respondents say “staying socially distanced from people in heavy foot traffic areas.” Other major concerns include the fear of being in close proximity with others while either flying on an airplane or while using public transportation like trains, subways, or even Uber rides.
See below for a few other baby boomer sentiments around travel:
- 71% of baby boomers surveyed feel either hesitant (25%) or very hesitant (46%) about traveling on a plane in 2020.
- Almost 40% of baby boomers feel very hesitant about traveling, overall, in 2020.
- 50% of baby boomers surveyed feel that younger generations are being overly reckless with their traveling behavior in 2020.
When asked which landscapes would you love to visit most in a post-COVID-19 world, the majority of female baby boomers (36%) would most like to visit the beach, whereas the majority of male baby boomers (42%) would most like to visit the mountains. Eating, drinking, and dining out are the activities of choice for the 55 and up generation post-COVID-19 but many are also looking forward to sightseeing tours and socializing with friends and family again.