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The Boomer Travel Advantage

The Boomer Travel Advantage

By Paul Marshman  

When you ask older Canadians what they want to do in the years ahead,  travelling always ranks high on the list.

And no wonder: while travel is a great adventure at any age, being over 50 — or over 60 — presents opportunities to enjoy it even more fully than when you were younger.

Why is travel a great opportunity for Boomers? There are many reasons, but here are the five biggest ones.

You’re flexible: If you’re over 50, you likely don’t have young kids in school, so you can travel pretty much any time of year, not just during school holidays, when prices are at their peak. Consider travelling after Aug. 25, when airlines typically drop their rates by 10 to 30 per cent. Or take advantage of the good rates during the “dead zones” in the first two weeks of November and December.

Edge-of-Pacific-wYou have more time: If you’re still working, you likely have substantially more holiday time than when you were a junior employee, and the seniority to take it when you want. And if you’re retired, you can pretty much travel when you like. Even better, you can take longer trips, seeing several countries in a region, or having an extended stay in one place where you just feel comfortable.

You can get discounts: Those of us who are over 60 qualify for a range of discounts everywhere we go. You can get travel discounts by joining CARP  (formerly the Canadian Association for Retired Persons).  And if you travel in the U.S. frequently, it may be worth joining  AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons); members get 10- to 20-per-cent discounts on hotels and car rentals, and Canadians can join. As well, museums, art galleries, transit systems and various tourist attractions around the world offer discounts to people over 60 or 65 — don’t forget to ask.

You have more freedom: Now that you’re not travelling with a carload of children, you have more time to do the things you want to do. You can take a wine tour in France, or spend a week doing the museums of Vienna — things that just don’t work when you have five-year-olds (or 15-year-olds) along. As well, plane or train tickets for two cost a lot less than tickets for a whole family.

You’re more experienced: If you’re lived this long, you’ve probably seen a lot of the world already, and you know where you like to travel, and how. That allows you to concentrate on trips to places you’ve long wanted to see, and to do things that really interest you, rather than just seeing the major tourist attractions. You might want to revisit some people or places from the past, or try some voluntourism — the possibilities are endless.

There are lots of reasons to look forward to great trips after you turn 50. With the Boomer advantage on our side, there’s a big, wide horizon stretching out before you.

But it’s a good idea to use that advantage sooner rather than later. While some people travel happily into their 80s, health and other concerns can make travel more difficult as the years go by. So the time to take that trip you’ve always dreamed of is now, while you can enjoy it to the fullest.

Paul Marshman is a Travel Blogging Specialist.  Being both a Boomer and a world traveler himself, Paul shares travel tips and stories on his popular blog – The Travelling Boomer. You can also follow Paul on Twitter at @Travel_Boomer.

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Paul Marshman is a writer, photographer and traveler living in Toronto, Canada. Paul is semi-retired from a 30-year career as a reporter, editor and photographer on Canadian newspapers and magazines where his travels have taken him to 50 countries. Paul’s articles have been published everywhere from the Toronto Star to Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and Paul now shares travel tips and stories on his popular blog – The Travelling Boomer.

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