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Boomers, Zoomers and Travel

13-16-197-croppedI was reading a survey carried out by AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) about Boomer travel. It got me thinking about how Boomers, and their exciting subset Zoomers, travel differently to younger people. Millennials (those born from early 80’s to early 2000’s), for instance, are part of the sharing economy and they are more likely to use AirBnB or other sharing accommodation sites than a hotel. More of them travel internationally, but they are very budget conscious and tend to book online. Many travel for the purpose of finding love (if you’re a Boomer, think the Love Boat) and while Boomers travel to impress the younger cohort pack light, very light – a few tee-shirts, shorts and flip-flops and they’re good to go.

Zoomers are Boomers who are fighting aging tooth and nail. They have a bucket list to complete; they enjoy adventure and like pushing the envelope. Boomers don’t just like travel they consider it a necessity and take several trips a year. These are the sprightly, fun-loving, sometimes noisy people you may run into doing anything from wine-tasting to river rafting. Boomers travel far more than any previous generation and will pay for luxury, convenience and fun – they also think they are special and expect to be treated accordingly (that’s one of my reasons for staying at Accent Inns when travelling BC). Contrary to what younger people might think, Boomers are not passive and often take highly active and adventurous vacations.

According to AARP survey findings:

  • Almost all Boomers, and especially Zoomers, will travel for leisure this year, some 99% of them, and on average 40% are planning four or more trips.
  • Boomers/Zoomers travel to see family and friends, relax and rejuvenate, and more importantly get away from everyday life.
  • Their most popular reasons to travel were to check off bucket list items, take a summer vacation, or spend time with family.
  • Two-thirds of respondents to the survey stated that higher airfares would have no impact on their travel plans. Boomers especially give travel very high priority in their budgets.
  • Hotels are the most popular form of accommodation with both Boomers and Zoomers, but almost one-third will stay with family or friends on some of their trips. Staying with family can often be tough, especially if space is tight – the Accent Inns people tell me that a lot of people stay with them while visiting family. It gives them a chance for some downtime away from the hubbub, but also allows their children some alone time. Everyone wins!
  • 83% of Boomers want to stay connected to the outside world through television, and the Internet when they travel – Zoomers especially want free Wi-Fi. Maybe that’s why so many of them love staying at Accent Inns hotels with their free high-speed Internet and all the best news stations on television!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1 million Boomers will live to be 100 years of age. We Zoomers, the fit and feisty Boomers, plan to live even longer and be living life, and travelling right to the end. I heard about a 100-year old guy not so long ago who did a buddy parachute jump! If you’re a Boomer, or consider yourself a Zoomer, what are your plans this year? If you’re heading to B.C. and want to stay somewhere inexpensive, but of the highest quality, and with the very best customer service, I urge you to consider my favourite BC chain Accent Inns – or if you’re a rebellious Zoomer one of the Hotel Zed’s in Victoria, or soon to open Kelowna.

Editor’s Note: Accent Inns and Hotel Zed will be exhibiting at the Zoomer Show

March 19, 20 at the Vancouver Convention center. Stop by and say hi and enter to win a stay!


Mike Wicks
Blue Beetle Creative