Baby boomers are personalizing their travel plans more than ever before, according to Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), the leader in small group travel on the road less traveled for travelers 55+.
In 2019, 85% of O.A.T. travelers are personalizing their experiences in more than 90 countries, the highest percentage in the company’s history. By comparison, 75% requested personalization in 2018 and 65% in 2017.
Boomers are known to be avid travelers. AARP recently released a report on 2019 Boomer travel trends. Seniors are expected to take 4-5 leisure trips in 2019, spending over $6,600.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council and Bloomberg – Megatrends Report 2019, more customized, personalized experiences are no longer reserved for the high-end luxury market. More travelers are increasingly seeking better curation and design when making their travel decisions.
Demand for personalized travel
“Our travelers do not want a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Brian Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer of O.A.T. “We are the only company in the U.S. doing ‘True Personalization.’ Solo and women travelers, in particular, respond well to the freedom to personalize their adventures with O.A.T.”
O.A.T. 2019 personalization highlights include:
•Fifty-five percent (55%) of travelers chose a pre-trip or post-trip extension. Pre- and post- options lower travelers’ average per-day costs and enable them to take advantage of international airfare.
•Thirty percent (30%) of travelers chose to arrive early or stay late to “break away” and explore a destination entirely on their own.
•Sixteen percent (16%) of travelers chose an O.A.T. Stopover. On more than 17 trips to Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific, the O.A.T. Stopover option gives travelers 2- or 3-night stays in cities including Amsterdam, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Dubai, Auckland, Hong Kong or Beijing before their main trip or pre-trip extension. Transfers to and from the airport, accommodations, and daily breakfasts are included in the price of this option.
•Three percent (3%) of travelers selected to take two or more adventures back-to-back. Consecutive trips allow travelers to avoid the expense and length of another international flight.
•More than 50% travelers chose to customize their air options, such as choosing their departure city and airline.
In addition, the AARP study found that nearly half of all boomers reported interest in authentic/local experiences – specifically, eating or touring with locals – while traveling internationally. O.A.T.’s A Day in the Life experiences include village walks, visiting children at their school, and home-hosted meals with local families.