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Golden gap year: Boomer boon

Travel Trends 2023: Is your accommodation ready for the big spenders? Baby Boomers with a new lease on life have funds to explore

According to recent research released by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), over a third (37 percent) of Baby Boomers admit they have a new lease on life when it comes to travelling – coined ‘The Golden Gap Year’.

The Boomer gap year trend is seeing more Baby Boomers than ever taking the plunge and booking that long-awaited trip.

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For many Baby Boomers, travel was not as accessible when they were university-aged but after retirement, many now have the time and the funds to explore the world.

In fact, Baby Boomers reportedly spend an estimated $157 billion on travel each year.

Better, yet the NCL report found that Australia features high on the list of dream locations!

To help your accommodation appeal to this cohort of travellers, have a look at what people in their Golden Gap Year are looking for when they travel.

Personalised Service

While many other generations are moving towards contactless stays, with keyless check-in and room service ordered online, Baby Boomers value tradition and still appreciate that personalised touch.

Take a bit more time to help Golden Gap Years travellers check-in and get settled, and ensure staff are ready to provide that guest-focused service.

Additionally, ensure your website is easy to navigate and you have someone available to answer the phone to help these travellers feel welcomed.

Encourage social connections

Of all generations, Boomers appear to take more advantage of social connection while on trips, with 83 percent developing new friendships or relationships while on holiday.

Additionally, many Baby Boomers in their Golden Gap Year may be travelling solo. Help new friendships to blossom by organising BBQ Meet and Greets, or offering guided tours directly from your accommodation.

For both solo and paired-up travellers, making new friends is bound to become a treasured memory of their Golden Gap Year.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash


Baby boomers have an increased requirement in terms of accessibility. For accommodation providers, this means ensuring that your venue can comfortably cater to people who may be travelling with walking aids or unable to carry bags up flights of stairs.

Take a look at your accommodation and see if there are any areas that could be improved.

And accessibility can also mean taking a look at the technology that you’re implementing at your accommodation. Not all guests are completely tech-savvy, and older guests may struggle to download apps or use a check-in kiosk. To tackle this, ensure guests can still check-in or order room service the “old-fashioned way” if they would like.

Embrace authenticity

For travellers in their Golden Gap Years, embracing their new surroundings is all part of the appeal. 

Encourage guests to immerse themselves in their new environment by putting locally-sourced food and beverage at the top of the menu.

To help guests find activities with ease, consider linking up with local tours or attractions to help Baby Boomers see as much of their travel destination as possible.

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Embrace the serenity

A 2020  AARP travel trends survey found that when on holidays, Boomers prioritse dining out, tours and sightseeing, visiting museums, and quiet time.

Look around your accommodation and ensure you are providing comfortable and quiet zones for travellers to read a book or simply take in the serenity. After a busy day of sightseeing, nothing quite says Golden Gap Year like enjoying a glass of sparkling by the pool.

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