March 16, 2016 — We don’t know what your biggest regrets in life are, but one of the top ones for many boomers is that they didn’t travel enough. A British Airways survey of 2,000 U.S. baby boomers (aged 55 and over) shows that a fifth (20 percent) of baby boomers said not traveling enough is one of their biggest regrets when thinking back over their life so far. Women are slightly more likely to regret not traveling than men.
All work and no play: More than a fifth (22 percent) of baby boomers said a reason they haven’t traveled overseas more over the years is due to work commitments. And in thinking back over their life so far, 17 percent of male baby boomers said working too much is one of their biggest regrets, whereas just 8 percent of women said this was a regret.
Cost and lack of passport: The survey data shows that despite working for several decades, many baby boomers perceive cost to be a prohibitive factor. The concern is bigger for female American baby boomers, with nearly two thirds (63 percent) of women saying they have never owned a passport because they don’t think they can afford to travel overseas, compared to nearly half of men (48 percent).
Family heritage drives some travel: More than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents have visited a certain destination after being inspired by knowing their family history and/or heritage with 7 percent of these saying they have visited all these countries. 8 out of 10 (79 percent) of baby boomers also agree that knowing their family history and/or heritage inspire them to visit a certain destination.
Spend time with loved ones: When asked what their biggest regrets were looking back over their lives, more than a quarter (26 percent) of the respondents said it was losing contact with friends. 17 percent of male baby boomers said not spending enough time with their children is one of their biggest regrets when thinking back over their life so far compared to 12 percent of women.
Bottom Line – It is never too late
British Airways, the sponsor of the survey, of course would like you to travel more. They point out that a strong dollar and an ample supply of packages make it easier than ever to travel. We second that, if you can possibly afford to, it’s never too late to have fun and enrich your life with travel.
For further reading
Baby Boomers Travel Regrets
Comments? What are your biggest regrets in life so far? Do you agree that not traveling enough is right up there, or would something else loom larger. If you are thinking about traveling, where do you most want to go? Please let us know in the Comments section below.