In Segmentation, Trends

retirees traveling in europeNew year, new decade and plenty of new travel trends. Dana curates the latest batch for trends that speak to the ever-growing target of retired travelers. Want to reach an audience that has the time, money and inclination to travel? These five retiree travel trends are for you!

  1. More travel with the grandkids. We first talked about this trend in October with our blog: Skip-Gen Travel: Get Familiar With Gramping. Well, the grandparent-grandchild travel trend shows no signs of slowing down, according to another trend predictor, citing a 2019 AARP Travel Trend Survey that states 32% of grandparents have taken their grandkids on “skip-generation” (skip-gen) trips. You can piggyback this trend by offering skip-gen promotions and packages, as well as including skip-gen content in your marketing efforts. For inspiration, check out Road Scholar, which offers over 150 trips geared to grandparents and family. Or see how the respected tour company Tauck speaks to this target with planning ideas for grandparent-grandchild trips.
  2. On the heels of the slow food movement is slow travel. The saying “the journey is as important as the destination” is at the heart of slow travel, which was named among 2020 travel trends by ABTA, the UK’s largest travel association. With more available free time, retirees are prime candidates for the slow travel trend, which extends time in destinations to connect with the local people and culture. Slow travel can also reduce a trip’s footprint and be more supportive of the local community. Fodor’s names slow travel one of the best travel trends and calls it a mindset as much as a mode of travel. More time to stop and smell the roses or sit and people-watch at a sidewalk café? We’re in.
  3. Trains before planes? Strolling hand in hand with the slow travel trend is the rise of train travel, where available. Thanks to the efforts of activist Greta Thunberg and others, travelers are thinking of ways to reduce their carbon footprint by avoiding flygskam (flight shame). Eliminating short-haul flights is a good first step, and retirees are fortunate enough to have the time to enjoy a more leisurely pace of travel. Booking.com 2020 travel trends elaborate on the slow travel trend by noting that “over half (57%) of travelers already don’t mind spending more time traveling to reach their destination if they’re taking a unique mode of transport.” Make that a train journey on the Orient Express or through the Canadian Rockies, please!
  4. Solos will have their day…and say. Due to choice or circumstances, more retirees will be traveling solo. According to a Forbes article posted late last year, the solo travel trend has been growing for the past decade with search for “solo female travel” gaining more traction. Key to reaching this segment is proactively addressing the concerns, frustrations and fears that a solo traveler, especially an older female, may have. (For more on this trend, read our blog 4 Ways to Win Over Solo Travelers.)
  5. Finding your roots. DNA tests are popular, and now savvy travel companies are taking it a step further with ancestry trips. Ancestry.com calls it DNA travel, while others refer to it as heritage travel. Whatever you call it, retirees will be eager to find their roots on trips to Italy, Ireland and more. However, you don’t have to go overseas to connect with your past. If your destination is rich with history, combine it with genealogy to create a heritage experience. (For instance, the Holladay House B&B in Orange, Virginia makes the most of its proximity to local historic archives with a Genealogy & Research Travel package.) Of course, heritage trips are popular for multigenerational travel, another retiree travel trend that’s still going strong.

Don’t miss out on this lucrative demographic. Contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or lkaniper@danacommunications.com, and let’s talk.

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