With the experiences, we’ve lived through, Baby Boomer travelers have much to give to the world. The lessons we have garnered throughout life make us perfectly poised to be forces for good when we venture out.
Options for transportation and lodging have made it easier for Baby Boomer travelers
Whether we travel domestically or internationally, Baby Boomers are on planes, trains, buses, and automobiles in huge numbers.
However, how we travel can be both damaging or a force for good. When we stay at locally owned places, make eco-friendly choices, support locals, avoid activities that endanger animals (like elephant riding) – Baby Boomers are engaging in what is known as sustainable tourism (a.k.a. responsible travel), rather than traditional mass tourism. There’s a big difference.
Boomers have mastered the art of communication
Baby Boomers grew up without computers or smartphones, text, or email. Communication was done face-to-face or over the phone. As masters of direct conversations, we are experts at verbally communicating with a range of people from all walks of life.
Forget about seeing the world at arm’s length. With experiential travel, it’s possible to connect with the locals and have real conversations so we can connect easily and authentically. It is through these real interactions, that makes travel meaningful, fun, a learning experience, and memorable.
Why living simply is freeing
When we grew up our homes and closets were typically much smaller than they are now. We had less ‘stuff’ and didn’t need to rent extra storage units, despite our small square footage. We bought quality clothing and wore the same items repeatedly. There was no need for a new outfit every day of the month.
We also had far fewer gadgets, from technology to kitchenware, and became resourceful at making do with what we had. We also learned how to fix things, and mend clothing.
Our skills learned from the past come in handy when we are traveling because a) airlines are allowing for less and less free luggage allowance, and b) lighter luggage uses less fuel. That, in turn, is less damaging to our environment!
Packing less makes it easier to travel to developing countries that don’t require formal clothes. And, there’s no need to bring along too many extras to feel comfortable. The locals appreciate your attempt to blend in which allows for easier and deeper connections with them.
How we can use our wealth of life experiences to make travel more meaningful
Baby Boomer travelers have been on the planet for a good amount of time. We’ve encountered plenty of change over the years, and more challenges than we care to remember. We can use our gained wisdom to deal with challenges and help others.
So why not be bold and go outside of your comfort zone a little to experience places in the world you may not have thought of before?
Our education gives us an advantage
This also makes it easy for us to navigate difficult situations when we are traveling and gives us more to offer to others looking for help. Those seeking experiential travel may be able to help a 3rd world community grow better crops, to deal with climate change, build better housing, or start a business. You may be an expert in handling health crises, or developing gender equality, teach English, or help in other ways. Try volunteering for a few hours or a day when you are on vacation and you may find it to be a wonderful and win-win experience!
A large percentage of Baby Boomers are fairly affluent
The Baby Boomer generation has more wealth than previous generations and those that came after us. With more money to travel, we are often able to donate to worthy causes or provide micro-lending to startup entrepreneurs. You can even help by being socially conscious buying souvenirs. Search out locally made gifts that create income-generating opportunities the people in the area you are visiting.
You can make a tremendous difference in the world if you want to
As Baby Boomers, we have led the way with civil rights movements, gender issues, protesting wars, and other important concerns. Why not keep going and be leaders in promoting sustainable, and responsible travel. You can be a force for good, and a role model to future generations.