Done with raising kids and unburdened by work, senior citizens are stepping up their travel game. The share of Baby Boomers who say they travel to relax and rejuvenate increased from 38% in 2017 to 49% this year. Half of Americans are expected to make travel plans this year, with Florida and California being the most popular domestic destinations, according to AARP.
The sheer size of the United States provides for a range of vacation experiences for all types of travelers – from the eco-conscious to the adventurous. Most people over 55 years of age prefer to head to warmer destinations, according to the latest Priceline data. With the exception of New York, Boston and Chicago, the top 10 most popular cities have one type of weather year-round — nice and warm.
Baby Boomers book the longest vacations and spend a lot more on flights and accommodations than younger people. They also spend a lot on excursions. The senior demographic is booking more Airbnb Experiences — tours and activities that can be booked with locals — ranging from surfing to going on zen nature adventures.
Traveling has many health benefits. A study of older adults in China found that those who had traveled rated themselves as healthier. It is also linked to lower risk of heart disease. Men who did not take a vacation all year had a 20% higher risk of premature death. Separate research found that “experimental purchases” — money spent on activities such as traveling — made people happier and for longer.
The following list, in descending order, is based on hotel bookings made by people over 55 years old on Priceline for travel between Nov. 22, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018.
The popular destinations are almost the same every year, according to Priceline. One notable difference, however, is the absence of Texas in 2018. No Lone Star State cities made it to the top 10, compared with three — San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas in 2017.