Saturday, March 14, 2015

Travel beats bling or parties for celebrating special occasions


Mountains at Vail, Colorado
A survey by AARP Travel found that America’s 76 million baby boomers prefer to celebrate special milestones in life like anniversaries, birthdays, family reunions and weddings with travel.  That’s significant because boomers spend over $120 billion annually in leisure travel. The survey notes that 78 percent of people ages 45 and above say that they have taken or intend to take a CelebrationVacation in the next two years instead of throwing a party, getting a piece of jewelry or other item.
 “Our research shows that Celebration Vacations are replacing parties, special events, jewelry, big-ticket items for the home or new car purchases with an increasing number of people 45+ wanting to travel more with their family and friends,” said Sami Hassanyeh, AARP Chief Digital Officer. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Why is travel a popular way to celebrate personal milestones? Boomers reply that they enjoy getting away. Travel is a fun way to celebrate a special occasion and it allows them to spend quality time with friends and family. Thoughts of going somewhere new, doing special things, and having a romantic getaway also entice boomers to travel.
The biggest challenge for people planning a celebration vacation involves making and sticking to a budget. Other challenges are developing an itinerary, choosing dates and activities, booking airfare, communicating travel details to others, and coordinating transportation.
New York skyline at sunset

Interestingly, the research also indicates a vast majority of Celebration Vacations taken in the last two years were taken in the U.S. with the top destinations including Las Vegas, Disney, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, and Hawaii.

If you need help planning a vacation, AARP Travel’s range of tools and features include:
Trip Finder — a fun, smart and visual series of questions to deliver ideas and recommendations for destinations — including some unexpected ones;

Map Explorer — a detailed street-level interactive map that includes attractions, restaurants, hotels, local color and reviews for each destination;
My Trips — a personal page where users can save and organize trip ideas, itineraries and related articles in one place and add to or edit them over multiple visits;

Articles and Destinations — travel tips from AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown, articles specifically geared toward the 50+ traveler and information about hundreds of domestic and international locations.
Cathedral in Madrid, Spain
Book Trips booking tools provided through AARP’s relationships with Expedia and Liberty Travel and directly to hotels and rental cars.  

Information courtesy of Monique O’Grady, AARP Travel. Photos from AARP Travel

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