Got a baby boomer facing milestone year? Quick, plan a trip to Vegas

A view of the Las Vegas Strip on Aug. 7, 2013.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Baby boomers like to travel to celebrate special events such as a milestone birthday or anniversary, and more than anywhere else, they want to go to Las Vegas, according to one survey.

The recent AARP Travel survey says about three-quarters of Americans 45 and older have taken or in the next two years will take a “celebration vacation,” and that what they spend on travel is not inconsequential.

The survey released last week said 76 million baby boomers in the U.S. collectively spend more than $120 billion each year on leisure travel.

“Our research shows that celebration vacations are replacing parties, special events, jewelry, big-ticket items for the home or new car purchases” among the boomer crowd, Sami Hassanyah, the organization’s chief digital officer, said in a statement.


Anniversaries topped the list of reasons to take a special vacation, followed by birthdays, retirement and weddings.

So where’s everyone going?

More than 60% said they stay in the U.S. when they take a celebration vacation, and that they like to go to cities more than beaches.

Las Vegas was the most popular destination, followed by Disney properties (theme parks in California and Orlando, Fla.) and Los Angeles at No. 3.

Other places that survey respondents said they go to party included:

4. Florida
5. Hawaii
6. New York City
7. New Orleans
8. Chicago
9. California
10. Alaska

The report comes from an online survey of 1,222 adults who in the last two years had taken at least one trip 50 miles or more from home and stayed at least two nights. It was conducted June 3-12.