Over the last year, interest in travel has decreased among all age groups, but the 50+ age group has been particularly affected. According to a study conducted by the AARP, 80 percent of seniors wanted to travel abroad in 2022, but only 40 percent expressed the same interest in 2023.
The main reason cited is the cost of travel due to inflation and other factors. While some studies predict a surge back to pre-pandemic levels, others predict the senior population settling into a low point for travel rates in 2023 and beyond.
Senior Travel and Tourism Statistics
The Big Picture
Adults aged 60 and above accounted for nearly 37 percent of travelers in 2023, up from 16.45 percent in 2020 – 2021, but not back to pre-pandemic levels (46.3 percent).
Adults over the age of 65 are half as likely to take vacations for personal trips such as shopping compared to younger generations, though they are nearly equally likely to take trips for holidays or leisure.
Seniors plan to take an average of 3.7 trips in 2023.
23 percent of seniors aged 50 and above report changing their trips to avoid crowded destinations (26 percent for seniors 70 and over).
Around one third of seniors are actively devoting savings to future vacations, compared to 42 percent in 2022.
58 percent of nontravelers cite finances as the number one reason they won’t travel this year.
63 percent of adults aged 50 and over report wanting to take a bucket list trip, 24 percent more than before the pandemic.
When asked why they hadn’t taken the trip, the same group of adults aged 50 years and over most commonly cited rising travel costs (21 percent), personal health problems (16 percent), and less available income (12 percent).
Seniors aged 70 and over report intending to spend 40 percent less on travel in 2023 compared to 2022.
Over half of the seniors who canceled trips in 2023 report devoting the unused funds to reducing debt and paying household expenses.
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Ryan has years of experience researching and testing products that help people successfully age in place. After years of working for various publications such as Boston Magazine and The Believer, he has found his home at The Senior List, writing about all things related to caregiving and senior healthcare.