Go Big Or Stay Home: Seven In Ten Canadian Boomers Have A Travel Bucket List

Whether it’s driving a Ferrari in Italy, hiking the Inca Trail or helping build clean water wells in Africa, Boomers are increasingly seeking out unforgettable travel experiences. But, sometimes these epic vacations can offer unexpected surprises. A recent TD Insurance survey conducted by Environics Research revealed more than a third of Canadian Boomers who travel annually say they or someone they’ve travelled with has had a travel emergency, such as an injury that required a trip to the doctor.

“With the freedom afforded by more disposable income and, in some cases, the luxury of more free time post-retirement, Boomers are travelling for adventure rather than relaxation,” said Neil Henderson, Manager, TD Insurance. “While embracing bucket list travel might mean trying new things off the beaten path, like visiting a World Heritage site like the Great Barrier Reef or taking in the scenery of Milford Sound in New Zealand, there’s always a risk that adventure could turn into misadventure.”

More than a third of Canadian Boomers who travel annually say they or someone they’ve travelled with has had a travel emergency

Not only are Boomers forgoing the traditional vacation spent relaxing at the beach or poolside – only 39 percent of Boomers say it’s their preferred travel experience – they are also travelling more frequently and for longer periods of time compared to other generations. The survey revealed that 52 percent take two or more vacations each year; and half the time, it’s for 10 days or more.

“Planning for extended travel can be exciting and also overwhelming, so ensuring you have sufficient travel insurance coverage can get lost in the mix,” said Henderson. “Many Boomer travellers report they don’t purchase travel insurance because they’re already covered under their work benefits or credit card. While these plans may cover certain emergencies, take the time to review them for any gaps in coverage and purchase supplementary coverage if needed, especially if you’re planning activities you haven’t tried before. And if you’re unsure whether your coverage extends to an activity, it’s worth checking with your travel insurance provider.”

For all those Boomers setting out to check off their travel bucket list items, TD Insurance offers the following pre-travel tips, so your epic adventure can be exactly that:

Follow your interests. What’s on your travel bucket list is very personal and will vary widely depending on your interests. Do you want to test your physical limits by hiking along the Great Wall of China? Do you dream of seeing the annual migration on the Serengeti Plains? Bucket list trips are experiences of a lifetime, so take the time to not only decide what you want to see or do, but also properly prepare in advance of your travels.

Pre-departure prep. Proper preparation is key to making your bucket list trip terrific. Prepay or set up autopayments for bills that will be due while you’re away. Verify whether your destination requires any vaccinations. Ensure you have enough prescriptions to last the trip. There’s lots to be done ahead of time to ensure that your bucket list travel experience is as dreamy as imagined. Check out TD Insurance’s Travel Checklist for more tips.

Ensure your property is safe. Before you leave, make sure your home, garage doors and windows are locked and secured. Given that your house will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, consider putting measures in place so that it doesn’t appear vacant. For example, buy a light switch timer to turn lights on and off, and ask a neighbour to collect your mail to prevent your mailbox from overflowing. Also, if you’re away from your home for more than seven consecutive days during the heating season, keep in mind that your water pipes may freeze. You’re required to take preventive steps, such as arranging for someone to ensure heating is maintained in your home. Make sure to check with your insurer on how this might affect your home insurance policy.

Make sure you’re covered. The last thing you want is to be saddled with an unforeseen medical bill while on vacation. If you travel frequently and for longer periods of time throughout the year – like Boomers often do – you may want to consider annual travel emergency medical insurance plans, which typically cover multiple trips of various durations (i.e., up to 9, 17, 30 or 60 days) throughout the year. If you’re unsure about what coverage best suits your particular needs, an advisor can provide options based on your situation.

Make it affordable. Having the time to travel is one thing, but affordability is another. Contrary to popular belief, bucket list travel doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, with the most expensive part of travelling usually being airfare, make the most of that investment and take a longer vacation. You may even be able to negotiate a better per night accommodation price with a longer stay. Where it makes sense, think about combining multiple trips into one, and cross two or more items off your travel bucket list.


 About the TD Boomer Travel Bucket List Survey

TD Insurance commissioned Environics Research to conduct a custom survey of 6,021 Canadians aged 18 and older, which included 1,648 Boomers who travel annually. Responses were collected between February 20 and March 1, 2018.

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