According to the New York Times, more than half of baby boomers have been vaccinated as of April 2021, with the figure continuing to rise. This group of seniors, who were the first to be vaccinated and were most likely to take quarantine seriously, is eager to finally leave home for new adventures. According to the AARP Travel Trends Survey, 54 percent of baby boomers want to travel in 2021.
Granted, arranging a vacation has become more time-consuming as passengers study continually changing safety standards. While Americans have become more optimistic since the vaccines were introduced, AARP says that a whopping 23% of seniors planning a trip in 2021 did not travel far from home in 2020, restricting outside activities to trips for needs such as food, prescription drugs, and gas.
Many baby boomers are inspired to travel in order to reconnect with family and friends, which is unsurprising. Domestic travel is currently significantly more appealing. Smart travel companies are paying attention to baby boomers and giving completely refundable reservations, which are in great demand during these uncertain times.
Trends in Travel
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on how boomers think about travel, with more boomers preferring domestic trips and individualized experiences than crowded city tours and indoor attractions. In a dangerous world, socially detached travel is the new way ahead, providing a feasible option to feed the boomers’ appetite for adventure.
This newfound focus on safety explains why camping and driving vacations have become increasingly popular. In December 2020, Travel Awaits announces a substantial 46.8 percent rise in RV sales over December 2019. RVs provide excitement as well as the security of a controlled environment. National parks, recreation areas, and campers have sparked renewed interest.
Road excursions, with their draw of stopping along the way to see quaint local villages and picturesque scenery, are a pleasant and safe alternative to flying. Longer work/play trips are more prevalent now that many baby boomers are capable of working from the road. Senior travelers like integrating themselves into the community and remaining for up to a month, if not longer, to take up the local culture.
While the CDC and potential passengers continue to scrutinize huge cruise ships, little river cruises are becoming increasingly popular. To meet the rising demand, these cruises are expanding their destinations and itinerary. These cruises will be much more appealing in 2021 due to smaller group excursions and the elimination of buffets.
Restrictions on Travel
There are state and country-specific travel limitations to consider. These guidelines are regularly updated.
Restrictions in the Home
States are beginning to remove or eliminate travel restrictions when Covid-19 infection rates continue to decline. According to Forbes, 40 states are entirely open with no travel restrictions as of the time of this story. Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, Kansas, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., on the other hand, still have regulations that make travel difficult and prevent visitors.
Anyone traveling within the United States should examine the rules in each state they pass through. It’s worth noting that some states have rigorous quarantine laws that can be inconvenient for visitors with limited time in the state. For example, all passengers coming in Oregon must undergo a 14-day quarantine period. Vaccinated people, on the other hand, are exempt.
Kansas is a particularly rigorous state, with very specific travel restrictions that define the countries and periods of visit that necessitate a 10-day quarantine. Other Kansas state guidelines suggest that passengers who have been on a cruise or who have been in a crowd of 500 or more can undergo a test after six days in quarantine to minimize the length of confinement.
Domestic travelers who are fully vaccinated avoid much of the pain associated with obligatory quarantines and tests in many states. In most states, testing is another way to get around quarantine restrictions.
Restrictions at the International Level
Before leaving the nation, travelers should check the State Department’s website for the most up-to-date travel warnings. As of the publishing of this article, several European countries are still off-limits to American citizens. By the summer of 2021, the European Union is expected to begin allowing U.S. passengers who have received vaccinations.
American citizens are required to take a Covid-19 test when returning home from a trip outside the country. Before arranging a trip abroad, keep in mind that the State Department has issued numerous Level-4 cautions against international travel at this time.
The CDC’s Safety Recommendations
Many safety advice have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will fuel boomer travel patterns in 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated before traveling.
The CDC also advises travelers to take short car journeys only with family members or others who have been vaccinated. If travelling is necessary, try to avoid layovers by flying nonstop. Bus, ship, and train travels over long distances are not recommended.
Staying in a house or cabin with fully vaccinated persons or family members from your home is recommended by the CDC. Visiting with vaccinated family or friends while avoiding unvaccinated persons is also a preferred mode of transportation. Hotels, youth hostels, and B&Bs where groups of people mingle in common areas are less safe options that should not be considered when looking for lodging.
Rather than eating out, bring food with you on your trip. Getting meals from a drive-thru or takeout window is likewise a low-risk option. Another safe alternative is to eat outside, where servers wear masks and social separation is possible.
The Key Point
While the face of travel has changed dramatically as a result of the Covid pandemic, vaccinated boomers are ready to explore in new and safe ways. Leaders in the travel industry must continue to provide innovative new solutions for seniors seeking to satisfy their wanderlust in safe ways.