12 Emerging Nomad Trends for the 50+ Explorer in 2024 & Beyond

The nomadic lifestyle is increasingly appealing to those over 50 looking for more freedom, adventure, and enriching life experiences in our second act.

Generally no longer bound by traditional career and family obligations, our age group has the flexibility and resources to truly embrace the nomad dream.

As more baby boomers join the nomad ranks, I’m witnessing some distinct trends emerge that cater to the unique needs and desires of the 50+ nomad.

From tailored travel services to connecting nomad families, the industry is adapting to this growing demographic.

Here are some of the biggest potential trends on the horizon:

Trend 1 – Rise of “Retirement Nomading”

While long embraced by younger digital nomads, the concept of nomading is now extending well into traditional retirement years.

Rather than fully stopping work at a set age, many 50+ individuals (me included) are leveraging remote work opportunities and passive income streams to fund an extended period of nomadic living before fully retiring (if we ever do!).

This allows a gradual transition into retirement, extending the ability to work and earn while slowly travelling the world at a relaxed pace.

Spending months at a time in various destinations lets you become deeply immersed in local cultures before moving on to explore new places.

The rise of “retirement nomading” is facilitated by technology that allows many workers to take their jobs on the road, and the growing FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement.

There are a growing number of dedicated online communities and networks to connect and support working nomad retirees. These communities provide a platform for like-minded individuals to share experiences, exchange tips, and offer support to one another as they navigate this new phase of their lives.

two old couple sitting in the chair with a van nearby in front of the lake

Trend 2 – Popularity of Longer Stays & Slower Travels

In general, we 50+ nomads tend to favour slower, more immersive travel compared to the constant country-hopping of younger backpackers and digital nomads.

The ability to spend 2-6 months living like a “temporary local” provides a richer cultural experience.

Many older nomads are adopting a “home base” model where they have a few set destinations they return to each year, alternating between those home bases and extended exploration periods. This facilitates the opportunity to build lasting relationships in communities rather than always being on the move.

As 50+ nomads in general value diving deeper into local experiences over rapid travels, we’ll likely see a rise in services tailored for longer, slower stays.

From extended-stay housing to resident tour guides, travel companies have an opportunity to innovate offerings for our demographic.

Trend 3 – Demand for Accessible & Assisted Nomad Services

As a 50+ nomad, you’re likely more active and adventurous compared to previous generations, but there is still an increased need for accessibility and assisted services.

Companies are beginning to take note of this growing demand for nomad-friendly travel gear, accommodation, and logistics assistance.

You can expect to see more housing options that cater to our needs as 50+ nomads including properties with accessibility features, equipped kitchens, on-site community spaces, etc.

Transportation providers and tour companies will also evolve to provide a smoother, hassle-free experience.

There’s also a potential market for more comprehensive “nomad concierge” services to coordinate all the travel details like visas, healthcare, transport and activities.

These types of high-touch services could be very appealing to 50+ nomads looking to take the stress and hassle out of being on the constant move.

group of people inside a lounge talking. women are sitting while man is standing

Trend 4 – Explosion of Nomad Cruises & Around-the-World Tours

Cruises have already gained popularity for younger nomads as affordable, hassle-free means to travel the world. But we’re likely to see cruising become an even bigger player for the 50+ nomad looking for a comfortable, all-inclusive nomadic experience with minimal logistics to deal with.

Cruise lines will adapt longer voyages into legitimate nomad-friendly “homes” at sea with resident communities. We’re already seeing the development of dedicated nomad residential cruise ships for those wishing to be a full-time seafaring nomad!

On the other end of the spectrum, tour companies will package extended around-the-world nomad experiences, with 6 month, 9 month or even year-long guided tours hitting the highlights while handling all logistics.

These nomad cruise and tour options allow for a hassle-free nomadic lifestyle where everything from housing to transportation to activities is planned for you.

This could hold a big appeal for 50+ nomads looking to experience the freedom of nomadic travel without the responsibilities of constant planning.

cruise ship sailing in the ocean with people inside sitting in a dinning set up place

Trend 5 – Rise of Nomad Living Communities

In addition to nomad-tailored cruises and tours, we may also see the development of more landed nomad communities and “hub” cities that cater to the needs of 50+ nomads.

Planned developments with co-living spaces, nomad-friendly amenities like housekeeping services, community activities, etc. could start popping up in popular nomad destinations.

These all-inclusive nomad living communities allow for turn-key living while still facilitating the nomadic experience.

We’re already seeing existing cities and towns branding themselves as “Nomad Hubs”, in places such as Chiang Mai & Bali for example, for the younger crowds.

We may well see more destinations that cater more specifically to the 50+ market, partner with local businesses to provide dedicated resources, offer nomad networking events, discounted long-term housing options, and other services to attract and host older nomads.

Trend 6 – Growth of Nomad Families & Multigenerational Travel

While singles and couples have traditionally made up the nomad lifestyle, we’re seeing a rise in the number of families embracing nomadic living, including those in the 50+ bracket.

This could take the form of multigenerational travel, with grandparents going nomad alongside their children and grandchildren.

As a result, there will likely be increasing demand for more nomad-friendly activities, education resources, and family services to accommodate these travelling families.

Everything from tutor/homeschool offerings to kid-friendly tours and classes will be needed for nomads juggling family life on the road.

There’s also an interesting potential for services and communities aimed at connecting nomad grandparents with their nomad children/grandchildren spread across the world, allowing multigenerational nomad families to easily reunite and travel together through creative networking.

group of people with their families camping with Vans and camping tents

Trend 7 – Remote Work Policies and Visas

One of the biggest factors enabling the rise of the 50+ nomad is new remote work policies and travel visas that make it easier to live and work abroad for extended periods.

Many companies have embraced remote workforces, while governments are rolling out the red carpet for digital nomads with new long-term visas.

Countries from Portugal to Costa Rica have introduced “digital nomad visas” aimed at attracting remote workers and freelancers to live in their borders long-term.

These visas often have simple income and healthcare coverage requirements, allowing nomads to legally live in-country for 1-2 years as they slowly travel.

We’ll likely continue seeing more countries jumping on this trend as they recognize the economic benefits of hosting location-independent nomads, particularly those in the 50+ range with more disposable income to spend locally.

For companies, the pandemic ushered in a wave of new remote work policies that empower employees to do their job from anywhere.

As these policies become permanent, it opens up more nomadic lifestyle possibilities for the 50+ workforce – both for those still working as well as those retired but taking on entrepreneurial passion projects.

people with luggage walking toward an arc with different flags surrounded on it.

Trend 8 – Technology for Nomads

New technologies are also evolving to better enable and enhance the nomadic experience for all.

From travel apps to connectivity solutions, innovative new tools are empowering nomads to take their lives on the road easier than ever before.

We’re seeing helpful new apps for nomads such as those that help find accessible accommodation, plan nomad-friendly travel routes, access telehealth services, and meet up with other nomads.

Technologies like portable WiFi hotspots and global cell plans allow nomads to stay seamlessly connected no matter where they are.

Wearable health devices and home health testing kits make it easy to monitor vitals and get medication refills while on the move.

Nomad life is even getting high-tech assistance with services like robot concierges and prompts for those who need a little extra help.

As new technologies continue developing to smooth out nomadic living logistics and connect nomads to resources, it will allow this way of life to become even more accessible for the 50+ crowd used to all the comforts of a sticks-and-bricks home.

Trend 9 – Educational and Skill-Building Retreats

In addition to exploring new places, there’s definitely growing interest from 50+ nomads to use extended travels to learn new skills, and languages, or even shift careers through educational retreats and immersion programs.

Many are taking this newfound nomadic lifestyle as an opportunity for continued growth and self-improvement, engrossing themselves in culinary, art, writing, language, and other creative/skillshare retreats while travelling the world. These could be week-long intensive retreats or months-long live/study programs.

There’s a big potential for tours, extended stays, and intentional communities built around developing new skills and knowledge banks for nomadic lifelong learners.

“Retirement” no longer means winding down, but a chance to finally go after long-held passions and dreams. 50+ nomads are seeking out enriching, educational experiences that allow them to grow while they explore the globe.

a man standing and painting the outside view with other people sitting and painting too

Trend 10 – Community and Connection

One concern for older nomads can be the feeling of isolation or disconnectedness without a grounded local community. But savvy 50+ nomads are proactively establishing connections wherever they land through both virtual and in-person communities.

We’re seeing the rise of local nomad meetup groups, home shares/co-living spaces, and networking events that help nomads develop real-life social connections even without a permanent home base.

Online nomad forums like Facebook groups and platforms like Nomad Cruise allow nomads to find and build digital communities with others on the same path.

For 50+ nomads travelling with partners or as part of a nomadic family, there’s an added community bond. There’s also the opportunity to better connect with nomadic kids/grandkids through periodic reunions in new places.

No matter their nomadic situation, older nomads are making an effort to cultivate communities that provide support systems, social outlets, and that feeling of belonging to help fight potential loneliness.

Trend 11 – Financial Strategies for Long-Term Travel

To sustain a nomadic lifestyle long-term, especially in the 50+ years, requires careful financial planning and strategy. We’re seeing nomads get more strategic about stretching their retirement savings and investment income to fund an extended period of exploration.

This could include things like:

• Diversifying investments across different countries/currencies

• Optimising drawdowns from accounts like 401ks

• Generating passive income streams from rentals or online businesses

• Taking advantage of lower costs of living in certain nomad hotspots

• Maximising travel hacking credit card rewards/points

    Many 50+ nomads are prioritising low-cost destinations, house-sitting opportunities, and affordable nomad hubs that allow them to live comfortably off their retirement savings for longer. Financial planning tools and communities centered around money management for nomads will continue growing.

    Careful budgeting is key, but so is ensuring you set yourself up with the right location-independent income sources and diversified investments to fund your nomadic dreams for the long haul.

    man and woman sitting inside an airplane. Man is holding an Ipad while woman is having a coffee

    Trend 12 – Longevity and Quality of Life

    With medical advancements and a focus on active lifestyles, people are not only living longer lives but seeking to prolong their health and vitality too.

    This longevity mentality is influencing how and where 50+ nomads choose to spend their golden years.

    The nomadic lifestyle itself, with its new activities and cultural immersions, can contribute to better mental and physical well being. But nomads are also consciously gravitating towards communities, locales, and philosophies that prioritise longevity from a holistic perspective.

    This could mean nomadic living in “blue zones” – areas like Sardinia, Italy, and Okinawa, Japan known for diets and lifestyles that promote longevity.

    Or forming nomadic tribes oriented around healthy living through things like plant-based eating, outdoor adventures, meditation/mindfulness, disconnecting from stress, and more.

    As healthspans extend along with lifespans, nomads aren’t just considering affordability – but how their nomadic choices will impact their quality of life and vigour over the long term.

    Longevity and the ability to live life to the fullest is a driving factor.

    a man riding a bicycle in the middle of a field toward a house in the middle of the hill

    The Future for 50+ Nomads

    These are just a few of the emerging trends I’m witnessing as more 50+ travellers trade in traditional retirement for the nomad lifestyle.

    As our demographic continues growing, the industry will need to adapt with innovative services, resources, and communities tailored specifically to our unique needs and desires.

    From nomad cruises to accessible housing to multigenerational nomad networking, there’s huge potential for companies looking to tap into the rising wave of 50+ nomads.

    For 50+ nomads, it’s an exciting time to embrace the nomad mindset and explore the world with more tailored options than ever before.

    So why stay still when you can see it all? The nomad way of life is only going to get easier and more accessible as you get older.

    Go make it happen!

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