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Retirees have impact on travel industry

February 6, 2013

As millions of baby boomers enter senior living, many are looking to continue the active lifestyle they have enjoyed throughout their lives. This desire is reflected in nearly every aspect of retirement, and is especially evident when it comes to travel. Today's seniors are not content to simply relax on the beach for a couple weeks, and the travel industry is quickly learning to adapt to the senior population's new expectations, reports The New York Times.

Among the areas seniors have had the biggest impact on is shortening the length of trips. Yet, while older adults may be steering away from vacations that extend two, or even three, weeks, that doesn't mean they're expecting to do any less during their journeys. For instance, organizations such as Road Scholar combine travel with continuing education by offering week-long trips to countries rich in history such as Italy and France. 

In a similar vein, many older adults are placing an emphasis on being able to customize their experience, according to the Times. Specifically, some seniors are looking for more of an individual experience rather than simply joining up with a travel group. This opens up a number of opportunities, but most importantly provides older travelers with the chance to pursue what interests them most. 

The shifting landscape of senior travel offers a number of new pathways for enrichment during retirement. There are a wide variety of destinations for older adults to choose from, some of which are perfectly suited to the active lifestyle many older adults want to pursue upon leaving the workforce. There are many to choose from, but USA Today recommends that seniors look into Europe's major cities, from Rome and Florence to Barcelona and Berlin, noting that these metropolises are often good choices for older travelers. 

Before a senior embarks on any trip, he or she should take some steps to make sure he or she stays healthy, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For instance, seniors who are prescribed multiple medications should be sure to carry them in their original containers along with the prescriptions. It may also be a good idea to see a doctor in the weeks leading up to the trip just to get a clean bill of health before setting off.