BOOMERS GET SET TO “HIT THE ROAD”
By Carol White
The boomers are once again making their “muscle” felt, just as they have done since 1946. Every era they enter, they profoundly change the paradigm of life.
Now that they are reaching the empty nest/retirement era, they are once again changing the scene. No longer is retirement viewed as golf and the rocking chair, today’s boomers are still actively “rocking” and will continue to do so as long as their aging bodies and psyches hold out, which could be a very long time.
- In a mere 10 years (2015), 55.2 million Americans will be between 55 and 69 years old – and increase of 68% over 2001 (Del Webb Study, 2001)
- Boomers rank travel as their number one expenditure in retirement (Del Webb Study, 2001)
- 45% of adults said they wanted to travel within the USA (USA Today, February 22, 2001)
- More RV’s are now owned by baby boomers than any other group. This is the fastest growing segment of the RV market (RVIA, October 2004)
The empirical evidence is everywhere that boomers are going to spend an unprecedented amount on travel, but how, when and with whom?
Much antidotal evidence points to boomers’ travel dreams. An extraordinary number are taking to the highways of our country (and other countries) for longer explorations of their varied interests. Some are trading it all in to live “on the road” permanently; others are taking it more slowly – but many are simply road trip dreamin’ of that long vacation postponed during their working years.
Authors Phil and Carol White (Live Your Road Trip Dream, RLI Press, July, 2004, www.roadtripdream.com) make this observation, “The people that we met in small towns and large cities on our adventure all had travel dreams, but most lamented that they couldn’t seem to ‘get it all together’ to take their trip of a lifetime”.
Why? The White’s believe that there are two basic reasons. Inertia – “it all seems too overwhelming to plan”, says Carol. Phil adds, “The other reason is they just don’t understand how freeing and life-changing a long adventure can be. Most of us have been good parents and responsible adults and have delayed doing anything crazy, just for ourselves.”
In their recently released book, the Whites have taken on the challenge of convincing would-be travelers to “quit dreaming and start doing!” Live Your Road Trip Dream – Travel for a year for the cost of staying home explores both the practical “how-to” aspects of planning your adventure and provides the “cheerleading” motivation to overcome the inertia that keeps so many from having their own incredible experience of a lifetime.
"Mid-life and older adults want to expand their experiences of this country by visiting the famous attractions as well as the hidden treasures of our rural byways." says Hal Norvell of AARP.
Carol concludes, “With 76 million Americans in the baby boomer generation, and, according the Del Webb, about half of them planning to spend their new-found disposable income on travel, there is a huge market for travel of all types. But if the people we met along the road are typical, there are millions who have a travel dream right here in the United States. We want to help them turn their dreams into reality.”