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Six Boomer Travel Tips

Surprise, surprise: A recent AARP survey says that boomer-age groups rate travel higher in importance than everything else. That includes, shockingly, spending time with their families, dealing with health issues and their personal training regimens.

You need to tailor your bank loyalty programs to meet that generation smack-dab in the middle. Here are six tips for checking your programs against their need.

• “Be careful what you call me.” The word “boomer” may be OK at times and in the right context. What is not accepted is “senior citizen,” “golden ager” or terms that label them. In my research with banks and investment companies, I have found that a large number of people who qualify to be called “senior citizens” don’t like the term.

So what do you call them?  My advice is you don’t call them anything. If you have to refer to their age, use an indirect approach. You might say, “People like yourself whom I deal with do it this way.”

• Plan flexible programs.
The natural tendency for boomers is toward increased individualism. That streak runs strong and wide in the boomer generation’s DNA. “Give me enough free time to pursue my own interests in the travel you design.”

• Keep it short. Although you may want to program for every minute, this group wants to veer off and do its own thing. That may be hard to justify to your bank board of directors and your direct reports, but it is clearly what your boomer travelers want. Remember, it’s a different generation.

• Don’t forget “creature comforts” for this generation of travelers. They may not want to camp out in their “grubbies.” At one of the popular travel venues in Africa, they want luxury tents, a cozy bed and even electronic safes, showers and other amenities.

• Let them touch the local cultures. They want culturally immersive, active travel experiences. The key words are “active” and “experiences.” They want hands-on learning with local experts and inhabitants who share the culture’s experience and, especially, their passions.

• Going along.
Travel with grandkids is one thing many boomers prefer. Large numbers are involved. More than 80 percent of boomers have grandchildren. Half of all boomers have five or more grandchildren. They want to share the joys of travel with their grandkids. They want the opportunity to pass along family values in a difficult world. They want to communicate family history firsthand to their grandkids. Travel, which they love, provides an excellent time to achieve those objectives with the loves of their life.

For information about his training programs, contact me at Michael P. Sullivan, president, 50-Plus Communications Consulting, Charlotte, North Carolina, 704-554-7863, consults and trains staff at banks, financial services and health care organizations. He is listed on LinkedIn under Michael P. Sullivan. His book, “101 Easy Ways to Increase Business with Boomerplus Clients” is available on his website,