WASHINGTON—A new survey from AARP Travel finds that baby boomers report fewer vacation barriers heading into 2018 and express a stronger urge to relax and rejuvenate during their trips than in previous years. In 2018, 20 percent of boomers don’t expect to face any barriers to leisure travel, compared with 12 percent in 2017. While 38 percent of boomers wanted to take relaxing vacations in 2017, nearly half are looking to take those kinds of trips in the coming year.
Boomers expect to take four or five leisure trips next year, according to the survey, spending an average of almost $6,400 on leisure travel in 2018. Most respondents report that this is the same or more than they spent on vacations in 2017. Comparatively, the millennials surveyed estimate that they will shell out about $6,800 for vacations and Gen Xers about $5,400.
More employed Boomers will use all or most of their vacation time in 2018 than in 2017—68 percent compared to 59 percent. Boomers are less likely to take work with them on their trip—a little more than half of boomers (56 percent) report that they will work while out of the office, compared to 74 percent of millennials and 65 percent of Gen Xers. Of those Boomers who do expect to work on vacation, most try to limit it to just 10 percent of their leisure time.
“2018 travel plans are all about connecting with family while getting away from our daily stressors,” said Stephanie Miles, AARP senior vice president of integrated marketing and member benefits. “A vacation is often one of the best ways to renew and recharge ourselves and it provides an opportunity for us to connect with others and build stronger relationships.”
The AARP Travel Trends survey also finds that international travelers want to see things from a local’s perspective with nearly half reporting interest in touring with a local (49 percent compared to 40 percent in 2017).