The new generation of senior tourists


August 30, 2010

The Dallas News reports that an increasing number of companies are offering vacation packages to those who are 55 and over, in part because baby boomers have increasingly become the most frequent travelers of any demographic.

These boomers often aren’t content to sit back on a cruise ship – instead, they are traveling to Nepal or Tibet, or kayaking out into the on the ocean, looking for whales.

One especially popular trend type of activity is escorted group travel, which has the advantage of being pre-planned, safer and easier to budget. One company, Tauck World Discovery, started a family activity division, Tauck Bridges, and has been surprised at the number of seniors interested in the trips.

While the company expected to attract mostly parents with young children, a Tauck spokesman, Tom Armstrong, told the news source “a full two-thirds of our groups include seniors, either grandparents traveling alone with their grandchildren or grandparents traveling as part of a multigenerational group.”

Over The Hill Gang is another company that provides services to active baby boomers, offering ski trips, golfing and coastal explorations for older travelers. Road Scholar, previously known as Elderhostel, has also catered to this crowd by organizing hundreds of domestic and international programs for boomers that include rock’n’roll camp, white-water rafting, a walk through Egypt and a safari in Africa.

The news provider recommends that older adults assess their own physical fitness before signing up for a trip. One of the most important things to consider is whether the program is created for a mature customer base, and whether you can are able to walk long distances or would be more comfortable by the side of a pool. suggests a checklist for the medical items that every older adult should consider bringing before embarking on a journey. Besides prescription medications, older adults should also be sure to research their destination and know the environment and plan allergy or cold treatments accordingly.

Bandages, gauze, antiseptic, tweezers and a first-aid book can also be practical tools for minor emergencies.

For those bringing grandchildren along for the ride, remember to pack hand sanitizer, water, snacks and games that may keep everyone entertained.

Many baby boomers are caring for older parents who they may be afraid to leave at home alone. By adding a medical alert system to a home, you can ensure that a senior can immediately alert loved ones, neighbors or hospitals in the case of an unexpected injury or medical problem.

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