Older adults plan to travel in 2023, half by car

Older adults plan to travel in 2023, half by car

Sky-high costs of flying won’t stop older Americans from making travel plans, according to AARP’s annual Travel Trends survey of what’s on people’s long-range itineraries.

A majority of people 50 and older who were surveyed said they anticipate traveling in 2023 – similar to the results of last year’s survey. AARP reported road trips in particular are this year’s choice for adventures, due to affordability.  They’re also favored for visiting attractions on the way to destinations, experiencing local food and culture, and enjoying scenic routes on the drive.  

“Though costs are higher than normal this year, older adults are once again eager to travel,” said Patty David, AARP’s vice president of consumer insights. “And, with the ability to bring family members along, many find road trips to be budget-friendly as well as a fun. Multi-generational road trips can improve emotional well-being, increase connections with loved ones, and benefit overall energy.” 

The survey also revealed: 

  • 85 percent of older travelers rank trips in their top three priorities for discretionary spending. 
  • For 2023, 61 percent of travelers anticipate domestic-only travel, with half of those trips by car, mostly in the southern and western U.S.
  • Concerns about COVID decreased in the past year, resulting in most people feeling travel is safe. 

Americans 50 and older spend about $149 billion annually on leisure travel, according to AARP, which offers travel advice geared for older adults at www.aarp.org/travel