Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Wed September 14 2016

The 5 Trips Empty Nesters Most Want to Take

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | September 14, 2016

The 5 Trips Empty Nesters Most Want to Take

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

New research from adventure tour operator Peregrine Adventures shows that U.S. empty nesters are eager to put their newfound freedom to use through travel, with 44 percent making it a priority to travel to a new place once their children leave home.

But where do empty nesters want to go?

Peregrine Adventures' study of 2,000 Americans age 50 and up who have raised children who are no longer at home reveals tropical locales to be the most popular destination, with 21 percent seeking a warm-weather getaway.

Scratching off a bucket list destination and a romantic getaway with a significant other tied for second, each receiving approval from 19 percent of empty nesters. 

Unsurprisingly, 17 percent have their sights set on a relaxing cruise, while another 17 percent would opt for an outdoor adventure providing an up-close experience with Mother Nature.

Road tripping is the most popular type of vacation among U.S. empty nesters, with more than half singling it out as their preferred style. Trailing road trips are impromptu getaways (46 percent) and cruises (32 percent).

Meanwhile, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) want to travel outside of the U.S.

Bringing up the rear in terms of popularity among empty nesters are small group guided tours (16 percent) and large big bus-style tours (7 percent).

READ MORE: 5 Couples Getaways During Your Negril Visit

No matter the destination, though, nearly one-third of empty nesters (28 percent) most want to travel with a spouse or partner once the kids venture out on their own.

When it comes to traveling without children, empty nesters most value being able to spend more time on vacation, with 54 percent in agreement. Spending less money (40 percent), choosing more appealing restaurants (36 percent) and having more freedom to explore previously visited destinations (29 percent) are also exciting aspects of a kid-less getaway.

Behind travel, visiting family members they haven't seen in some time ranks as the next priority on empty nesters' to-do list (34 percent), followed by transforming their child's bedroom (20 percent) and pursuing a new hobby (20 percent). 

"Once the kids leave the house for adventures of their own, it’s clear that the parents want to feed their wanderlust and have fun as well," said Peregrine Adventures North America regional director Leigh Barnes in a statement. "As much as we hear about the travel habits of millennials, it’s clear that the empty nesters may be the real explorers."


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