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icons representing travel - airplane, hotel bed, car, suitcaseBaby boomers love, love, love to travel but hotels, restaurants and attractions could make it so much easier with not a lot of effort. I’m a baby boomer and I know what I’m talking about here. I’m going to list my top three pet peeves — each of which is also a business opportunity.

Pet Peeve #1: Hotels, motels, B&Bs and cute country inns listen up. All of you kindly provide soap, shampoo and conditioner. Thanks. My problem is when I’m in the shower and trying to distinguish which is the shampoo and which is the conditioner. (I admit to washing my hair with conditioner more than once only to have to redo with actual shampoo once I caught on.) Why?

Your baby boomer guests are more than likely to wear glasses. Since they provide little help when wet, we can’t make out what the little label with even littler print is saying. The font is too small and often the design features muted, modern colors with little contrast.

How to fix? Three suggestions:

  1. Take a clue from to the olden days when salt and pepper shakers had a big S and P on them … before we aspiring gourmets demanded expensive pepper mills on our kitchen islands. Try a big S and C.
  2. Use clear bottles (shampoo is transparent and conditioner is not).
  3. Download our “15 Top Tips” whitepaper with guidelines for designing for older adults.
Seniors traveling - overlooking Boston Harbor
Photo Credit: North Hill senior living

Pet Peeve #2: Another related to baby boomers’ vision. When my optometrist first broke the news that I needed bifocals he used the fancy term Presbyopia. Then I asked for the translation (presbyopia = as the eye ages, it loses the ability to focus on opjects that are up close). So I joined the millions of other baby boomers sporting fashion readers and soon had a pair in nearly every room of  my house plus a pair in my car.

Why my car? No, I don’t read while driving but I do occasionally need to refer to a map. And whether that map is on my smart phone, an actual printed map (that I can refold to its original form thank you very much) or on a travel brochure, chances are good that the print is too small for me to read without some assistance.

How to help?

  1. Make sure your driving directions are in a type style that is clear (not anything fancy like italics) and large enough to read without a magnifying glass.
  2. Your website’s directions and maps should be able to be enlarged. If the type isn’t big enough I’m probably not going to make it to your door.

Pet Peeve #3: The Pew Internet and American Life Project estimates that baby boomers account for approximately 80% of all leisure travel. That’s a lot of people and a lot of money. Another way to help them want to stay with you is back in the bathroom.

I hadn’t realized I was missing this feature until I stayed at a lovely small inn in Wilmington, North Carolina, called the Front Street Inn. In addition to clear shampoo and conditioner bottles, they have a magnifying mirror in the bathroom! What did this mean? I didn’t have to try and put my makeup on with a little 3″ travel magnifying mirror I had brought with me and my husband didn’t have to shave with his glasses on! (Yes, he too suffers with Presbyopia.)

 

So there you have it, my top three pet peeves for baby boomer travel. What are yours?

Maybe the travel industry will see the light and our next trip will be less perturbing, more pleasurable for us boomers — and more profitable for travel businesses.

About The Author

Kathy East

Kathy East serves as Vice President of Client Services at Creating Results, directing a talented staff and overseeing the strategic direction of all 50+ marketing programs.