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55+ Travel Trends

Getaway2Give is a Guidestar client and partner. We were inspired by this Guidestar article to do some research of our own into the 55+ traveler and donor. We searched travel trends for that group to see what consignment travel might inspire  them. We researched event fundraising and important efforts like planned giving to see where those two types of donations dovetail in the 55+ donor’s world. This is the result. We hope you find it useful.


More travel

Turning 55 is a magical age in many ways. That’s when the kids are moving out and/or getting married. It’s when people are at their peak earning potential. And it’s when they start thinking seriously about retirement. And with less time dedicated to kids’ events and tournaments three times a week they’re traveling more.

According to the 2019 AARP Travel Trends survey, the 55+ audience are avid travelers, planning to take a total of four to five leisure trips in 2019.

This audience will plan on spending more, overall, on travel in 2019 ($6,600) than both Gen Xers ($5,400) and Millennials ($4,400). 47 percent expect to only travel domestically; 48 percent hope to travel both domestically and internationally, and 6 percent will travel abroad only. Top motivations for travel are to spend time with family and friends (57 percent), relax and rejuvenate (48 percent) and to get away from normal, everyday life (47 percent).

Fifty-five is also the age that people start contributing more heavily to charity. So if you run a nonprofit that regularly engages in auctions and special fundraising events, you can use these two pieces of information to your benefit:

55+ is the new 30

Your donors and supporters may be getting older, but don’t think that 55 is old. People are living longer and more vital lives, and they want to do things. They’re taking care of themselves, getting plenty of exercise, and eating better. And they’re traveling a lot more now that they can afford it and they have the time.

So don’t just look to beaches, golf and leisure. These days, trips to the mountains for skiing and hiking might capture their interest. You’d be surprised at the number of seniors setting bucket-list goals like a trek up Mount Everest. With disposable income, seniors have more money to invest in cultural experiences and afford the fine culinary, arts, and shopping experiences that trips to London, San Francisco, Sonoma, or New York City offer.

You can appeal to your donors’ active lives and growing interests by offering consignment travel trips to different parts of the world, as well as getting them to support your nonprofit in new and creative ways beyond just asking them for money.

By offering a travel package as part of your organization’s fundraising, you can capitalize on the growing trend of 55+ travel as well as their increased interest in donating to charities they love and support.

Event attendee to planned giver

It is important to recognize that the 55+ event attendee is helpful to meeting your event fundraising budget. But there is an even more important reason that these attendees are “mission critical” to your organization –planned giving.

In a Guidestar fundraising article, fundraising expert Jeff Brooks cites data that supports a definitive window where people significantly increase their charitable giving and make ongoing contributions. That window is 55-65. During that time, your organization must capture the hearts, then steer the heads of the planned giving contributor. Events help build mission awareness and loyalty with them. Fun donation options that help 55+ donors fulfill some bucket-list-worthy dreams are inviting ways to support your organization. Combined, you may find these donors turn around and express their loyalty to your mission and gratitude for your supporting their dreams in the form of a planned gift.

No-risk consignment trips

At Getaway2Give, a Guidestar partner, we help nonprofits raise money through consignment travel to a variety of vacation locations. People “purchase” the vacation package by donating to their favorite nonprofits, and buying them in the form of a silent auction or other fundraising method.

The way it works is that you offer a trip—let’s say to Deer Valley or Costa Rica —and you put it up for auction at a fundraising event.

The reserve price of the trip is $2,000, so you want to sell it for more than that. If you can sell it for $4,000, you’ve added $2,000 to your bottom line. The original $2,000 goes to Getaway2Give, and the remaining $2,000 goes to your organization. And with an active group of bidders, you can often sell those trips over and over again. At a recent auction, a professional auctioneer who partners with Getaway2Give sold a trip with a $2,750 reserve for $4,000 thirteen times for a gross revenue of $52,000.

And you can offer a number of different trips: To the mountains, to the city, or to an overseas location. You can sell these packages as a way to appeal to the growing interest in travel and take advantage of your 55+ supporters’ growing interest in contributing to your charity.

Learn more of how from beginning to end we take a hands on approach to ensure a simple and stress free process for your organization and trip winners. Click here to gain access to our Getaway2Give “How It Works” guide.