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Feb 28, 2017
AARP Travel Study Reveals Benefits of Creating a Travel Bucket List
AARP Travel survey unveils positive physical and mental effects baby boomers feel when creating and accomplishing items on travel bucket list

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, AARP Travel releases the results of its latest study, diving into the emotional, mental and physical benefits of creating a travel-related bucket list. According to the survey, nearly 4 out of ten baby boomers have a travel bucket list, with 58% planning to take their next trip in two to five years. AARP found that just creating a travel bucket list motivated boomers with a sense of hope and gave them something to look forward to. Additionally, 53% of those preparing for their next trip report that they are getting in shape to fully enjoy the experience.

Key Findings from the AARP Travel Bucket List Survey:

  • Travel is the top aspirational activity for 50-plus Americans.
  • 69% of baby boomers are optimistic that they will visit the next destination on their travel bucket list
  • Baby boomers hope to get to more than 80% of their list in their lifetime, but consider it a success to check off 65%
  • 53% of baby boomers are getting in shape to prepare for their next bucket list trip
  • 36% of baby boomers have already started saving money for their next bucket list trip
  • Of the eight destinations on their travel bucket lists, half are domestic and half are international
  • 52% of baby boomers go online to get inspired

An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that Americans over 50 years of age are investing over $125 billion per year in personal travel, a statistic that will grow as boomers have more time to travel. With baby boomers having already completed 25% of their travel bucket list, 37% of those surveyed will continue to create and check trips off of their lists because it gives them something to look forward to.

"Traveling keeps our body and mind active, from planning and creating an itinerary to getting in better physical shape for the trip," explained Denise Austin, renowned fitness expert, health advocate and AARP Wellness Ambassador.  "Not only can being physically fit help make the vacation more enjoyable, it often leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated when we're back home."

While the benefits of bucket list vacations are clear, there are barriers.  According to the survey, 45% of baby boomers identify money as the biggest barrier to accomplishing their travel bucket list. This statistic is further solidified by the fact that 79% of people have investigated their next trip, but only 11% have booked it.

"Usability studies have indicated that consumers frequently check on the weather of possible travel destinations," said AARP researcher, Patty David. "It's important to not only consider saving funds and budgeting for the trip, but also ensuring you've researched the best time to travel."

At the center of AARP Travel is travel.aarp.org, an integrated website for idea generation, planning and booking support to simplify travel for 50-plus Americans. Overall, the AARP Travel resources enable members and others to make the most of their travel experience. From now until March 31 AARP is giving away $10,000 to help make travel dreams come true. To enter The Great American Expedition Travel Sweepstakes, visit sweeps.aarp.org/entertravel2017.

The full survey results can be found at www.aarp.org/2017travelbucketlist.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media. 

For further information: Jessica Winn, (202) 434-2506, jwinn@aarp.org; Caty Bennett Gray, (212) 730-7046, caty.bennett.gray@coburnww.com