With the experiences we Baby Boomers have lived through (because of the era we were born in), we are ultra-prepared to be great travelers. Not only that, but the lessons we have garnered throughout life makes us perfectly poised to be forces for good when we do travel!
Options for transportation and lodging have made it easier for us to travel
We are a group of travelers for sure. From domestic to international, we are on planes, trains, buses, and automobiles in huge numbers.
How we travel can be damaging or can be a force for good. Staying at locally owned places, making eco-friendly choices, supporting locals, avoiding activities that endanger animals (like elephant riding) – in other words engaging in sustainable tourism (a.k.a. responsible travel), rather than traditional mass tourism, is of utmost importance.
We have mastered the art of communication
As Baby Boomers, we grew up without computers or smartphones and thus couldn’t text or email. Communication had to be done face-to-face or over the phone. With so many live conversations, we are experts at verbally communicating with a whole range of diverse people.
Forget seeing the world from an arm’s length distance! With experiential travel, we want to connect with the locals and have real conversations. Because of the practice baby boomers have had with this, we can connect easily and authentically. It is through these real interactions that makes travel meaningful, fun, a learning experience and memorable.
Living simply gives us more freedom
Our homes and our closets were SO much smaller growing up. We had less ‘stuff’ and certainly didn’t need to rent extra storage units, despite our small square footage. We bought quality clothing and wore it repeatedly. No need for a new outfit every day of the month.
We also had far fewer gadgets, from technology to kitchenware, and thus super resourceful at making do with what we have. We also know how to fix things, and mend clothing.
This is extremely helpful when traveling because a) airlines are allowing for less and less free luggage allowance, and b) lighter luggage means less fuel use (which of course means less damage to our environment!).
It also means that we can travel with ease to developing countries that don’t have a lot of stuff. We don’t need lots of extras to feel comfortable. This puts the locals at ease and allows for easier and deeper connections with them.
As Baby Boomer travelers we can use our wealth of life experiences
Face it, we’ve been on the earth for a lot of years. That means we’ve encountered lots of changes, and more challenges than we care to remember. Because of that, we have gained wisdom and learned many lessons (even if we don’t realize it!).
This can help us feel bold enough to take more risks when traveling and go off the beaten path. It also means that we have more to offer others who could benefit from our knowledge and experience.
Many of us are more educated
Like life experiences, this can help us navigate difficult situations when traveling and have more to offer others looking for help. This help can take many forms, from how to grow better crops, to dealing with climate change, to building better housing, to starting businesses, to handling health crises, to developing gender equality, to teaching English, and more. Volunteering for a few hours or a day while traveling can make for a great win-win experience!
A large percentage of Baby Boomers are fairly affluent
The Baby Boomer generation has more wealth than any of the previous generations, and it seems more than the ones who come after us. That means we have money to travel, as well as to donate to great causes, and to provide micro-lending for developing entrepreneurs. Do you want to buy things on your trip? Search out locally made gifts that create income-generating opportunities for them.
We really can make tremendous differences in the world if we want to
As Baby Boomers, we have led the way with civil rights movements, gender issues, protesting wars, and on so many other issues. Let’s keep it going and be leaders in engaging in sustainable, responsible travel. Let’s be forces for good, and role models to other generations at the same time!