WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With 99% of Americans age 50 and older traveling for fun and spending roughly $125 billion on leisure travel, it is no wonder Boomers are using their vacation days to travel south of the border and domestically, according to AARP's new 2017 Travel Trends survey released today.
The majority of Boomers plan to take, at least, one leisure trip in 2017 and the average Boomer plans to take five or more leisure trips throughout the year. Sound like a lot, huh? Well Boomers are on the move, both, domestically and internationally! Among domestic destinations, Boomers still favor Florida, California and Las Vegas, much like previous years. But among international destinations for Boomers, Latin America is heating up! While European travel is cooling off, significantly. AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown thinks many factors may be influencing this shift. "Boomers have been travelling to Europe since the 1960s - it was probably their first big trip. They slept on trains and stayed in hostels and have been going back again and again. And now they want a change," Brown says. Latin America has emerged as the most popular destination for Boomers traveling internationally - with 3 of the Top 5 destinations falling south of the U.S. border! Top 5 Destinations for International Boomer travel include:
Central/ South America
According to Brown, " Latin America could be a closer flight or an easier flight. And it's an easier time change, for the most part. There are travel trends that Latin America speaks to more than Europe, like wellness. That could be anything from yoga retreats, hiking or helping out the community." Boomer travelers are intrigued by the idea of an authentic or "off the beaten path" travel experience, both, domestic and international.
50% of Boomers want to eat a meal with locals
23% of Boomers want to tour with locals
18% of Boomers want to stay with a local host/host family
People are travelling to feel included in the world, so they don't want to ride on tour buses anymore or wait in long lines. They want to be in the moment and to go where the people are," Brown said.