AARP Predictions for 2016 Travel Trends

As travel continues to be the number one retirement activity that people look forward to, AARP is unveiling some of the popular travel trends for 2016 that I want to share.

In retirement we now have the time to travel! Let’s travel while we can.We are heading to Albuquerque in two weeks for our first 2016 trip and have several trips we are planning for.  Now is the time to plan for 2016 travel.  -Robert

Key Highlights of AARP Predictions for 2016 Travel Trends:

2016 will bring a travel boom for Boomers:

  • 99% of survey respondents said they are planning to travel in 2016
  • One in 10 said they booked their trip by September 2015, leaving opportunity to provide guidance on things to do, places to eat and other activities they can do once they arrive at their destination


Cost isn’t a factor:

  • 55% of survey respondents said cost was not a factor when planning their vacation. This is a sharp contrast to Millennials and Gen Xers, more than half of those respondents said cost was a barrier for leisure travel.
  • Baby Boomers control 70% of the nation’s disposable income, so in 2016 they plan to use this income to treat themselves to fun leisure trips. Survey respondents said the reason for these trips is to spend time with family and friends, relax and get away from normal everyday life.
  • However, 50+ survey respondents said they are still interested in getting great deals as they book their travel and want to get the most out of their dollars


Types of trips the 50+ will be embarking on in 2016:

  • Domestic: 95% said they will travel domestically this summer. These trips primarily include summer vacations, multi-generational trips and weekend getaways. Popular domestic destinations will be to places like Florida, Las Vegas, California, New York and Hawaii.
  • International: 32% said they will be embarking on an international once in a lifetime trip. International trips will be especially popular in the spring, with 29% travelling to other countries then. Also, England, the Caribbean and Mexico will be the top international destinations for these travelers.
  • Extended Family Trips: 26% of travelers 50+ will take at least one multi-generational domestic trip in 2016. While this is still a high percentage, it is down from 2015. In 2015 approximately 32% of 50+ travelers took a multi-generational trip.


What 50+ travels are looking for during these trips:

  • 43% of respondents said they must have free Wi-Fi in their hotel and 86% said they must have complimentary Wi-Fi in their vacation rental home.
  • 40% of respondents said they will stay at a hotel or motel. However, Airbnb and VRBO are gaining in popularity, with 9% of respondents saying they will be staying at one of these properties.

For more information visit and to plan y0ur 2016 travel, visit AARP Travel


Retirees will be spending plenty of money this holiday season so this information from our friends at AARP is timely because it can save you money.

I and other retirees love saving money. I love these discounts because it is for stuff we are buying anyway. -Robert Fowler

Many AARP members already know of the discounts available to them on travel-related goods and services, such as car rentals, hotels, vacation packages and cruises. However, they might be surprised to learn they qualify for additional discounts on everyday costs, such as groceries, car maintenance and movie tickets.

“AARP members often tell us they enjoy the popular travel and dining discounts that are available to them,” said Angela Jones, senior vice president, business development and lifestyle products at AARP Services, Inc. “In fact, since Denny’s launched their promotion in 2010, AARP members have utilized the discount more than 48 million times.”

However, they might not know they are missing out on additional opportunities to save every day, Jones added. With an AARP membership, Americans 50 and over can unlock the potential to save on electronics, concerts, pet insurance plans, shipping costs and even regular car maintenance.

In addition to popular travel offers, AARP members can save on the following products and services:

1. Movie Tickets: Regal Entertainment Group offers AARP members up to 25 percent off Regal movie tickets as well as $3.00 off a small or larger-size popcorn and soft drink combo.

2. E-readers and Books: AARP members save 10 percent on Amazon Kindle e-readers, 50 percent on a selection of Kindle eBooks and 10 percent on a selection of print and audio books on from popular genres such as romance, mystery, thriller, and historical fiction.

3. Car Maintenance: By presenting their AARP membership card at time of service, AARP members pay just $17.99 every day for an oil change, tire rotation and maintenance inspection at any Monro Muffler Brake & Service or Mr. Tire location. They also save 10 percent on auto repairs at any RepairPal certified shop.

4. Shoes: AARP members save 20 percent on their entire purchase at any Reebok and Rockport Outlet Store or on

5. Dining: AARP members receive 15 percent off every day at Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill; 15 percent off the entire check at Denny’s; 10 percent off at any of the 500 Landry’s Inc. restaurants nationwide, including McCormick & Schmick’s, Claim Jumper, Chart House and more.

6. Shipping: AARP members receive 15 percent off eligible products and services and 5 percent off domestic and international UPS® shipping services when using their AARP membership card at over 4,500 retail The UPS Store locations.

7. Pet Insurance: Pet owners save 10 percent or more insurance plans with Petplan pet insurance when they sign up online. They also receive up to a $35 Petplan Visa® Prepaid Card (restrictions may apply) to help with pet wellness expenses like flea/tick preventives, vaccines, dental cleanings and more.

8. Grocery and Household Items: AARP members receive instant savings on featured products by swiping their AARP membership card at select Meijer, Family Dollar and Fred’s Super Dollar locations, and earn 10 percent back on every order of delicious foods delivered right to their door by Schwan’s Home Service.

9. Concerts and Shows: AARP members save 25 percent or more when buying event tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster, and save up to 30 percent on Cirque du Soleil shows.

10. Mobile Phone Service: AARP members can choose from a variety of wireless service providers, including Consumer Cellular, AT&T and Cricket Wireless. Consumer Cellular offers AARP members a 5 percent discount on monthly service charges and a 30 percent discount on eligible accessories, AT&T offers AARP members a 10 percent discount on the monthly service charge of qualifying wireless plans and a 15 percent discount on eligible accessories, and Cricket Wireless offers a $20 mail-in rebate for each line of service with the purchase of a phone.

AARP memberships cost just $16 a year and can often be recouped by using just a few of the many discounts available. To take advantage of any discount or service offered to AARP members, or to find out about all the ways AARP members can save, download the free AARP Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app for iOS and Android devices or visit

Fall Road Trips

Since we have been retired, Mary Ann and I like to travel on the shoulder seasons when school is back in session and it is not so crowded. That’s a big plus of being retired, getting to travel when others have to work.

We are heading up to Tennessee on a road trip soon and hope to see some fall color that has not made it down to us yet. A road trip in this cooler weather will be great.  I just don’t want to handle the Summer heat in a car anymore.

We are not alone in our thinking. AARP just did a survey that finds 45+ adults prefer road trips in the fall. As we celebrate the first day of fall adults 45+ are planning their fall getaways and according to a recent study by AARP a majority will be traveling via car. The survey found that 87% of adults 45+ will take at least three road trips this year.

We were just talking about taking more road trips and less flying or even cruises, now that we have the time. We had identified a few places we would like to drive to including the Carolina Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach (the home of the Shag dance) and maybe back up to Williamsburg VA. Also last year we missed our annual trip down to Destin FL, so we need to get that back on schedule.

Key findings from the AARP Survey include:

  • On average, the one-way drive time for a Road Trip is 9 hours.  Upon arrival at the final destination, road trippers spend approximately 5 days, making the total Road Trip a 7-day excursion. (Note: 9 hour sound like more that we are used to, we usually about 5 hours one way)
  • Regardless of drive time, the 45-plus road tripping audience consistently cites their trips involve 2-3 family members driving together in only one vehicle (95%) – likely a car (55%) or SUV (30%).  (Note: wife and I equal 2. Don’t think I would want to travel too far with much more. But that’s just me.)

Road trip activities show some differences between Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers:

  • Boomers are more likely than Gen-Xers to do some routine maintenance on their vehicle prior to their trip. (Note: Yep, better be safe than sorry!)
  • Boomers are more likely to use a car on their road trip, while Gen-Xers are more likely to drive an SUV.

Some common Road Trips must haves:

  • Water, sunglasses and snacks top the list of non-tech items.
  • And when it comes to tech must-haves (beyond a cell phone), 62% cite cell coverage as imperative, followed by an iPad/Tablet (40%) and a digital camera (39%). ( I agree 100% with the cell phone or should I say Smartphone. Besides directions, you can find anything from places to east to attractions, etc. )

To see more, visit AARP’s Travel Research Survey

Travel Resources also from AARP include:

AARP Fall Travel Discounts:


AARP Travel Tools for Fall Road Trip: