Boomer Travel or Senior Travel: What’s the Difference?
Search the web for online travel magazines or travel blogs for older people, and you’ll come across the terms ‘boomer travel’ and ‘senior travel’. So what’s the difference in these terms? Do they mean the same?
A ‘boomer’ is short for ‘baby boomer’, for which there are different definitions, but the Pew Research Center defines the term as people born between 1946 and 1964, meaning that in 2018 they would be aged between 54 and 72
A ‘senior’ is of course short for ‘senior citizen’, which the Merriam Webster dictionary defines as an elderly person, especially one who receives an old age pension. The term is widely used in some countries, but not in others, but in most cases is used to refer to someone who has retired. In some Asian countries they are referred to as ‘elders’ as a term of respect.
So generally boomers are younger than seniors, although there is an overlap period of roughly a decade where older boomers might also be described as seniors.
This explains why there are more travel blogs on the web describing themselves as boomer blogs (around 50-60 quality ones) than senior blogs. In fact there are only a handful that use the latter description.
That’s a very small number given that there are more than 20,000 active travel blogs on the web, but most of those are written by people from the two generations that followed the boomers – Generation X and Millennials – and many by bloggers that have made a career out of travel writing and are spending their lives actively travelling the world.
By the end of the next decade, all the boomers will have become seniors, but even now there’s a lots of information in both types of blogs that will be of interest to those in both groups.
Some of the boomer blogs may focus on travel experiences that might be too strenuous for some older seniors, but generally they are writing about places that are off the backpacker trails because for many boomers and seniors, they’ve “been there, done that”.
When deciding on travel blogs to follow (subscribing to their email list is the easiest way to do that) choose those that most closely match your own travel needs.
Check that the bloggers are ‘real’ travellers and it’s not just a blog that has been created to sell products. If the blog doesn’t have an ‘About’ page with profiles of the principal writers, then it’s not one that will be providing good advice.
Many boomers and seniors who are still active world travellers are people with substantial retirement savings or high disposable incomes from investments, so a significant proportion of the boomer blogs are primarily writing about luxury destinations. That will suit some, but those blogs won’t meet the needs of the budget traveller.
Others focus on wining and dining destinations, spa experiences and cultural experiences, whilst others are into ‘soft adventure’ and travelling to locations that are off the beaten track or to which they never had time to go during the years that they were working full-time.
Some focus more on group travel for those who are not interested in planning their own itineraries and doing their own bookings, although the majority are targeted at independent travellers (as is xyzAsia).
One of the best boomer blogs around is Bonvoyageurs, written by Denis and Lynn Gagnon. It’s a blog that focuses on luxury travel in the US and Europe, but there are a good number of useful articles on Asian destinations. Denis and Lynn are foodies, so many of the articles are about good places to eat and local delicacies to try.
Another good boomer blog that has the tagline “Where travel, food and culture meet” is Anita’s Feast, which is written by Anita Breland and supported by photographer Tom Fakler. They have some excellent articles about their culinary experiences in many Asian countries.
As far as senior travel blogs are concerned, there are far fewer than there are boomer blogs, so it is hard to identify one as the best senior travel blog. Perhaps that is an accolade that xyzAsia can earn in the near future – at least for this part of the world.
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