Mind the gap: over-50s have travel fever

Article by James Zhao


The general media picture is that the gap year is an entity for youngsters, university-goers and college kids. Bounds of paraphernalia speak of the brilliance of taking time out between studying and work, while the travel opportunities are endless and exciting. As the demands of education have spiralled, lifestyle choices have shifted to reflect this. Tourism operators have tapped into an all too wiling generation. Fresh-faced backpackers and rafters line the pages of brochures, screaming go abroad! There you can relax!

But it appears that there is another demographic gradually seeking out the positives such overseas jaunts can bring. Various parties have recently stated that the over-50s wish to fulfil unrealised foreign excursions, with the gap year taking centre stage. One such report came from the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), which suggested the older generation are getting more adventurous in their travel choices. Whereas a quaint beach holiday or a ramble in the countryside may have once been paramount, over-50s now have greater goals in their sights.

An official at Abta stated that the senior gap year sector is now growing as the young-at-heart look to add a flourish to their lives. Press officer with the organisation Sean Tipton claimed “as part of this growing trend for more daring holidays for the over-50s, the market for senior gap years and career breaks is growing, with many people choosing to travel the world when they are older”.

He added that, because the over-50s have been on a vast number of more traditional holidays, since the vacation trend began in the 60s, they now want to branch out and seek other ways to view the planet.

Indeed, with these things in mind, the new travel savvy may want ensure that they are completely insured while away from home, to make the experience an even better one. There are number of travel insurance products available for this specific age group, which may offer vital support in some of the far-flung and exotic corners of the globe.

While all of these factors may all play a part in the growth of the niche market, another has been touched upon by the Emeritus professor at Cardiff University Phil Thomas, who said that lifestyle and working arrangements have led to more free time for potential travellers. He commented that people are now a lot healthier in general than they used to be, while they are also not working to such a late age – meaning that time is freed up to stretch their wings and embark on a thrilling journey to other climes. They want to explore avenues they perhaps missed out on at an earlier age, he stated.

So, all the evidence is there – travelling is great. Taking a year out abroad is fantastic. Pictures of unfathomably young models adorning the pages of travel books would appear to be myth. The options for the over-50s are boundless, whether it be backpacking, cruising, or even working while away, the ‘old’ are staying in touch with their fresh-faced peers. The travel insurance plan could just add a little bit of a safety net, to make sure the conscience is clear and the possibilities are truly endless.

About the Author

James Zhao is an e-marketer working with various industries including travel, insurance, ebusiness. For more information on travel insurance for over 50s, please visit castlecover.co.uk/travelinsurance



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