Baby boomers are hitting the road and travelling further and longer. Senior Travel is one of the fastest growing travel markets around the world. We are more cashed up than our parents were, we want to travel further, travel longer and we want to do it now!
Senior Travel: The Baby Boomers are Taking Over
The latest technology is the baby boomers best friend, we know how to tackle the internet to research destinations, book hotels, cars and search for the best airfares. We use the latest smart phones and ipads as our cameras and we use apps to enhance our photos. Forget about full immersion into learning languages for us, our apps translate for us and even read the road signs for us. One day they will replace our reading glasses!
We use Skype to chat with family and friends and post our photos on Facebook for the world to see. We might even tackle Snapchat if our younger family members allow us to be their friends.
The grey nomad army is advancing! Catch us if you can.
Baby Boomers Having Fun:
So what if our senior travel adventures are a bit on the dodgy side:
- getting attacked by wild dogs at Mendoza’s Bus Station in Argentina at 2am in the morning
- being mistaken for a drug mule at Quito airport with suspect gaffer tape that we picked up on a building site to repair the inside of our suitcase
- being scammed in Quito Bus Station and having our passports, credit cards and ID stolen
- surviving a 12 hour train ride from Pyay to Bagan in Myanmar which was described as a cross between bungy jumping and dodgem car dodging. We even ensured our passports were in our travel pants so they could identify our bodies in case of an accident
- joining the locals eating crickets and drinking out of dirty whiskey glasses in Yangon, Myanmar and ending up in bed for the next 24 hours with a stomach bug, of course!
But hey! We are still alive and we enjoy regaling our stories at dinner parties. Don’t you?
Age is definitely no barrier when it comes to travel – this is our tag line and we live it daily! We come across travellers older seniors travelers than us who are staying in hostels enjoying the camaraderie of those 70 years younger than themselves. One of those travellers (with two hip replacements) was last seen on a donkey in Petra heading towards the Monastery. Nothing or no-one was going to stop him! Even us baby boomers struggled.
We trekked Machu Picchu with one of us having no camping experience or even trekking experience for that matter. After a huge meltdown at lunch time on Day 2 that same said person managed to complete the 4 day trek and has put it down to one of her biggest challenges in life! (now you know which member of the team it was!)
Of course we have had some calming experiences as well:
- hot air ballooning in Cappadocia in Turkey and Bagan in Myanmar
- getting soaked on the Devil’s Throat Ride at the Iguassu Falls in Argentina
- touring the favelas in Rio
- night time stroll through the Amazonian Jungle of Ecuador by the light of our iphone torch
We have time to smell the roses at Rumi’s garden in Konya, Turkey and side-step the odours of the slums in Bangkok, Thailand.
Coffee time is high on our agenda as we travel the world enjoying our daily brew and comparing each city’s baristas with the last. Our beer repertoire is second to none and we can wax lyrically about the best beers and why. (Join us when we have a few under our belt, and you won’t be dismayed).
As for food, with one being a vegetarian and one loving their meat, meal times often bring with it its challenges. As you can see from our photos it has not hindered us!
Left brain right brain hinders our map reading at times, but getting lost is just a state of mind, isn’t it?
Bus travel is preferable to plane travel. There is no turbulence and the queues for the toilet are smaller or non-existent as we come into our final destination. Food is about the same, a bag of crisps and a can of lemonade and if you are lucky and are on a longer journey the questionable ham and cheese roll appears and sends your stomach into a spin for the next 24 hours. Although we miss our wine with dinner. Saying that we did have wine with our dinner on the bus from Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aires, but we had opted for first class for the long journey.
Baby boomers can do what those younger than us can do, we can climb pyramids in Mexico, temples in Guatemala, ride horses at sunset in the Andes, kayak around Lake Nicaragua and hike the length of the Caldera on the Island of Santorini. Ok, we do it slower, but we can do it! We just take a moment longer and enjoy the scenery more often!
Our visits to the major archaeological sites of the world helps us to remember our history lessons and to evaluate the extensive knowledge of our teachers.
As we sit sipping our cocktails at sunset in an exotic location, our thoughts go to our children, who are probably wondering whether these crazy baby boomer travellers will ever return home. One day there may be grandchildren! There is nothing to stop baby boomers travelling with their grandchildren (except their parents!)
Are you a baby boomer or Senior Traveller? Let us know where your travels are taking you next?
Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith are nomadic semi-retirees, baby boomers, and travellers, House Sitters and co-founders of To Travel Too. Their motto is ‘’Age is no barrier when it comes to travel’. Although, not yet pensioners their goal is to travel the world on what is currently the Australian Age Pension of approx.. AUD33,716 or AUD92 per day.