By Carolyn Worthington, publisher of Healthy Aging®
“Action, action, we want action,” was the message from the Boomers and GenX-ers heard round the New York Times Travel Show held January 27 – 29, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City.
Over 29,000 would-be travelers roamed the aisles in search of their next vacation destination. The travel options appeared endless through the offerings of the more than 500 exhibitors.
Healthy Aging® Magazine, one of the official media sponsors of the event, led a Meet the Experts session and the Active Traveler seminar which attracted over 300 travel attendees.
Active Travel Tops Bucket List
“The overwhelming interest that we saw at the show was on active travel,” said Carolyn Worthington, publisher of Healthy Aging® Magazine. “I had the chance to meet first-hand with members of our audience, the active 45-plus crowd at the Meet the Experts session.
The opportunity punctuated what we have been researching and writing for our readers all along. They want active vacations. Unique experiences. Ideas for off-the-beaten path travels. They are looking for new ways to define themselves.”
Visitors to the show also expressed their desire to visit places beyond the well-known destination sites. Although they enjoyed museums and culture of key cities, they said they wanted to travel in small groups, with their significant other or solo.
Some were searching for the perfect spot to celebrate a special wedding anniversary, a place to add to their bucket list, a place where they would do something rather than just lie on the beach. “Been there, done that,” was often heard by the Healthy Aging® staff members at the show.
Baby Boomers, GenXers Are On the Move
Today, active adults, 45-plus are no longer just talking the baby boomers, the last of whom turned 50 in 2014. The group not gathering moss under their feet now includes GenXers … those born in the early to mid-60s through the early 80s.
Baby boomers are big luxury travel spenders. Four out of five dollars spent on luxury travel today is by boomers and GenXers. Travel is the top choice for how they want to spend their money. Almost a third of baby boomers have taken an international trip over the past year.
The active 45-plus crowd packed the Javit’s Center seminar room on Sunday to hear active travel ideas from Healthy Aging® Magazine staff and panel members.
The seminar panel included these speakers who are all featured in the latest issue of Healthy Aging Magazine:
Soren “Sojo” West, Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker
One of the oldest Thru-Hikers of the 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail, 75-year-old Soren “Sojo” West. He told his amazing story of how he hiked the trail in eight months and six days with only his dog and his backpack.
“Sojo” was introduced by Derick Lugo, also a Thru-Hiker, and a spokesperson for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
The AT presentation was introduced by a stunning video produced by Craig McPhearson, “The Appalachian Trail in 3 Minutes.” A five minute version can be seen here on YouTube.
Gary Sikorski, author, 101 Things to Do in Rhode Island
Gary Sikorski, author of 101 Things to Do in Rhode Island (Schiffer Publishing), presented insider Rhode Island travel tips from spending a night in a lighthouse and dancing to live blues on the beach, to enjoying live international jazz over fabulous Chinese food and picking-ur-own live lobster right out of the tub on the boat. Sikorski’s presentation was opened with a call to visit Rhode Island through a video from the Providence, Rhode Island Tourism Department.
Irene Giannakopoulos, Aegialis Hotel & Spa; Amorgos, Greece
Irene Giannakopoulos, Owner & CEO, Aegialis Hotel & Spa – Aegialis Tours, Amorgos Island, Greece took the audience vicariously to the stunning island in the Aegean Sea that you can only reach by ferry boat. It is here where you can hike, enjoy the sundrenched beaches in the summer, and find a place to hibernate or retire to in the winter.
A drawing for 101 Things to Do in Rhode Island books as well as for 5 nights, 2 guests, at the Aegialis Hotel was done at the conclusion of the seminar.
More ideas from the show as well as other recommended unique destinations gathered by the editors of Healthy Aging® appear in this article on the Healthy Aging® website, Active Vacation Ideas.