The Benefits of Boomer Road Trips

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Bonzah is sponsoring this look at how to road trips are good for boomer travel.

Updated 12.01.2019: The travel industry has changed quite a bit since Donna wrote her first post at My Itchy Travel Feet. Over 10 years later, baby boomers are some of the industry’s most powerful and active clients. In fact, baby boomers account for 80% of all luxury travel spending.

road passing throug large mountains
Our visit to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument included hiking, adventuresome drives and tons of beautiful desert scenery.

According to the latest report compiled by the AARP:

  • Boomer travelers anticipate taking 4-5 leisure trips throughout the year
  • Almost 50% are making plans for domestic travel while the other half is considering domestic and international travel
  • As regards destinations, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe are the most popular international destinations, while California and Florida continue to attract the attention of local travelers.

And that travel  report by the AARP also says that the first travel option for baby boomers is air travel both for domestic and international trips. However, road trips are a close second to air travel when it comes to domestic destinations.

As you know, we are big fans of hitting the open road in order to explore a new destination, or get to know a favorite area even better. Take a look at some of our favorite things about road tripping:

Freedom and Flexibility: All in One Package

Road trips make it easier to get out of your comfort zone and explore. They are usually easier to organize and you can pack stunning national parks, busy metropolitan cities and culture rich locations all in one trip.

a view of a road in front surrounded by rocky mountains
While in Oregon, make sure to visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Road trips definitely make it easier to come up with an absolutely personalized travel route. Since you don’t depend on large bus stations, airports  or busy passenger hubs to commute from one destination to the other, you can decide where you’ll start and end your trip. A road, personal documents and having an insured car is all you need!

Freedom is, probably, the word that best defines this kind of trip. And you know how baby boomers have always loved their freedom! Whether you’re traveling for days, weeks or months, it’s easy to plan a road trip getaway or  an adventure of a lifetime like driving the Alaska Highway.

Elk Meadows Road in Idaho
Amazing scenery is guaranteed on a road trip through Elk Meadows Road in Idaho.

Flexibility is another key aspect of road trips. Even though travelers usually have an itinerary in mind and a couple of activities and places they want to do, see and enjoy, the truth is that — as the road itself is an important part of the trip — so is the ability to deal with the unexpected. Being flexible helps travelers to accept and enjoy taking a detour or spending more time at a destination that has captured your attention.

 Embrace Slow Travel

Road trips help us to remember that the music we listen to during the drive, the people we meet and talk to in each stop and the places we see are part of the trip, too. “Getting there” is important, of course, but not the main goal of the experience.

people walking along a beach with a large rocky cliff to one side
Point Mugu State Park between Malibu and Ventura on a road trip through Southern California.

That said, road trips and rushing to get from point A to point B do not get well together. On the contrary, road trips are great for those who love slow traveling or for those who’d like to give it a try. Take the time to plan the best route to your next destination, making sure it offers a good balance between nice scenic views and good driving conditions. And don’t forget to allow enough time to taste that local dish or drink you’ve heard so much about. Slow traveling has to do with enjoying each curve in the road and appreciating every moment in your trip.

Inspired to hit the road? Check out a few of our favorite boomer road trip adventures!

Benedictine abbey on San Nicola
Alan took some great shots while road tripping through Southern Italy.

Design Your Own Adventure

Since you don’t need to depend on public transportation, the world as a whole turns into an open space for you to explore. Independent and curious travelers alike can easily design their own travel itinerary and include as many different attractions and places to visit as they want. Forget about those pre-organized tours that take you from one place to the other and from one attraction to the other without time to really take in what’s in front of you! In a road trip, you’re  the tour guide and you decide what you’ll see, what you’ll do and for how long!

Our fall road trip on the Glenn Highway provided beautiful views of the Nelchina Glacier view from Eureka Summit.

Road Trips Keep You Young

Whether you’ll drive only for a few hours for a weekend getaway or you’ll get started on the adventurous drive of a lifetime, being young at heart and having an always-ready attitude are essential to enjoy this experience.

That said, road trips are a great way to keep healthy, mentally and physically! Just think about it: driving focuses our attention on the road signs or checking the map or GPS from time to time,  helping travelers of all ages keep their minds active and alert.

British Columbia was as green as could be when we hit the road on our way to Vancouver Island.

When you reach your destination or any of the stops you may have planned along the way, you’ll probably go for a walk, do some mild climbing, take up some stairs, enjoy a hearty meal that may not be in your regular diet or simply engage in some kind of physical activity. You definitely need to be fit for all of this. Even if you’ll simply focus on cultural events and attractions, walking through the different exhibitions in any large museum or art gallery can also be a great way to stretch your legs.

Take your Time

Last, but not least, going on a road trip can be as exciting as hitting the open road in your twenties! But this time, your focus is not so much on showing off all the exciting places you’ve seen and the amazing experiences you’re having or the stunning views you’re enjoying but on YOU!

bike path widing along the coast
Spain has some beautiful options for road trip adventures!

Would you rather read that romantic or sci-fi novel as you sip a fragrant cup of tea or would you rather take a walk down the road to see the town? Would you like to spend a few more days in that small, historic town or would you rather leave now and discover what’s awaiting you a few miles ahead?

On a boomer road trip, it’s all up to you!

We invite you to LIKE Bonzah’s page in Facebook! You’ll enter into a draw to win an annual car rental insurance policy valued at $125!

Disclosure: Bonzah has sponsored this article. All opinions are my own.

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