Boomers and millennials find common ground — on vacation

Posted On March 1, 2018

Many Baby Boomers think millennials are lazy, coddled and have entitlement issues. Many millennials find Baby Boomers out of touch, technologically illiterate and over-judgmental.

Frank Sinatra or Kanye West. All in the Family or The Walking Dead. Encyclopedias and card catalogues or the internet and smartphones.

These two generations can’t have any common ground, can they?

Actually, it appears they do – when it comes to travel.

Lisa Iannucci, a contributing writer for, recently talked with several travel industry professionals who saw many similarities between Baby Boomers and millennials in what they want in a vacation:

  • Authentic experiences
  • Learning about other cultures
  • “Soft” adventure
  • Value

Both generations, it seems, enjoy traveling for pleasure and exploring new areas. They like to go off the beaten path, even to remote destinations, but while taking their creature comforts with them. They want to stay within a budget. And as they retire and leave the screeching race for wealth and status behind, many Baby Boomers are starting to lean toward the millennial ideal of valuing experiences over things.

Where differences still remain is in the best ways to market these vacations. While traditional advertising methods may still be best to reach Baby Boomers, social media is a better route to target a millennial generation that tends to get its news from Facebook and Twitter rather than straight from the New York Times and Washington Post.

But some of the messages that entice millennials, according to the travel professionals cited by Iannucci, aren’t as different from their parents as one might think — nostalgia for childhood familiarities, and a connection with something beyond the digital world.

Baby Boomers want to leave the world of stuff behind and have an adventure? Millennials want to put down their phones and live in the moment? Do we even know these people?

So take your old man to Iceland, Johnny Millennial. Bring your twenty-something daughter along to Barcelona, Brenda Boomer. You guys have more in common than you think.

Categories: Baby Boomers, Generation Y / Millennials, Travel