Trendy travellers

Image: Flickr/Angella Dykstra

Baby boomers have opened up a whole new realm in the tourism industry. From green to connoisseur travel, check out what trends we can credit our boomers for.

Growing up in an era of reform, our over-50s are characteristically known to be independent and adventurous. It’s no surprise then that our baby boomers have extended this outlook to their travel choices, and are responsible for participating in and introducing some top new travel trends.

Who knew that it wasn’t just the 20-something-year-old students taking gap years and backpacking Europe? Baby boomers have also been known to give their children a break, and take the grandkids on trips away. While some are choosing to indulge in connoisseur travel, others are lending a helping hand with volunteering on their holidays, or being eco-friendly with “green travel”.

Are you a baby boomer who is keen to try something new on your next holiday? Check out the full list of the most popular trends our boomers are embracing in the article below.

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Back Packing – the sequel

Baby boomers in their late teens and early twenties took to back packing across most continents as a cheap and easy way to see a bit of the world. Well, now again with time on their hands after the children have flown the coup, boomers are heading off once again with their back pack, savings, and a healthy sense of adventure. People may not be staying in youth hostels, but they are taking the back pack, revisiting familiar routes, or discovering a whole new experience.

Travelling with Grandchildren

Some Baby Boomers are wanting to connect more closely with their grandchildren, and what better way but to go away with them and not have mum and dad interfering in this precious time for grandparent and grandchildren bonding. The trips are often within or interstate and some overseas. They may be to areas with theme parks, the outback, visiting relative overseas, or major cities with places offering interest for all ages.

Sports Touring

Having more time and money has enabled some Baby Boomers to follow their passion in sport to become part of a tour such as cricket, rugby, and world cup soccer or join tours of sports stadiums, museums, and  the neighbourhoods of sports stars. These trips can be short or lengthy depending on the tournament and add on’s. The World Cup in South Africa in 2010, Rugby Seven’s, Ashes Tours are but some examples.

Spas and all inclusive resorts

Baby Boomers are attracted to hotels with spa like amenities, and services including masseusses, detoxification wraps, aromatic salt glows, which are good relaxation and invigorating. These types of facilities are often located in highly desirable or exoctic locations. As a start, you can find them dotted throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and America.

Green Travel

Green travel is becoming less of a trend- and more of a real choice for people. Travelers are renting hybrid cars, picking eco-friendly destinations and choosing zero-impact packages. At the fringes of the trend, travellers are  even checking up on “green” ratings for their hotels and airlines. There are organisations such as Earthwatch which enable you to join an environmental research expedition in over 50 countries. Other organisations offer the chance to learn about the protection of animals and vist sanctuaries around the world.

Connoisseur Travel

Connoisseur travel has become a new hobby for many Baby Boomers. The opportunity to visit and holiday in the Barossa Valley Wine region in South Australia, indulge in tours of chocolatiers in Switzerland and Belgium, or participate in a cooking class in the South of France has become very appealing and beyond just a ‘holiday’.  Instead of lounging for days in beach chairs, these “connoisseur travellers” would prefer to spend their vacation days ‘trainspotting’ their chosen enthusiasm, whether it be wine, jewellery, artwork, historical artifacts, antiques, food, language, architecture, you name it. Destinations and tours that fit the bill continue to grow in popularity.

Europe Gets “Bigger”

The familiarity of Europe may dampen travellers’ enthusiasm for the old standbys of France, the U.K., Germany, and the like; better choices may be Spain and Portugal, More to the point, however, eastern Europe is coming on strong, as stalwart European travellers are progressively travelling to Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Istanbul, even Albania. Hotels and tourist amenities are simply less expensive at many of these locations, and the alluring mix of the old and new that brings many travellers back to Europe time and again is in no short supply.

Educational travel

Educational tours are designed to highlight the history, culture and unique travel opportunities presented through engaging discussions and lectures. Explore world cultures, learn something amazing about every place you visit and, most important of all, meet new people at every destination. This can be so much more than just learning another language. It can range from a short course or longer stay in a country. Learning Italian in Italy, being immersed in Vietnam, or visiting the Maya ruins in Central America.


People are teaching in schools for a day or a week, working with indigenous communities, or  helping to build houses and community facilities as part of giving back to others. Combining a trip to a far flung destination and sharing with people can be very fulfilling. Groups like Habitat for humanity, animal and environmental groups, and large not for profit welfare organisations offer opportunities around the globe.


People are reconnecting for all sorts of reasons and going away together or meeting up at a destination and spending some time travelling together. This could be four friends going away together, a family reunion, sporting club or interest group, school groups or university friends. Some people hire a house, others stay in a resort, go on a group package, or even backpack again through countries they were in together 25 years ago. has some fantastic info for Australian boomers, including not just travel but also health, money, recreation and business. Make sure you check them out!

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