Rise of the 'grey gap year': 40% of over 60s planning trip of a lifetime
Gap years (or 'Gap Yahs' as they came to be known) may conjure up images of hedonistic full moon parties and 18 year old's slumming it in hostels, but turns out there's a whole new slew of wannabe travellers keen to tour the world.
New research has revealed almost four in 10 over 60s are throwing caution to the wind and booking the trip of a lifetime.
Dubbed the “grey gap year”, or, the grown-up gap year, these golden year travellers are opting to forgo the golf course to spend their retirement skitting round the world.
While cash-strapped adolescents are starting to think twice about taking a gap year, silver adventurers are on the rise as 37% of generation 60 plus are hoping to find themselves on an extended trip away.
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While the ideal length of time the older generation want to travel for is nine months, up to a fifth are considering a full year away in order to cram in and experience as much as they can.
It seems the pandemic may have had an influence on this sudden influx of golden year globetrotters with more than a fifth (21%) of the over sixties polled by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) feeling they missed out on trips and experiences.
It's no surprise, therefore, that almost a fifth (19%) admit they have much more of an urge to “seize the day” and travel than they did five years ago.
Wishing they'd done more travelling at an earlier age has also contributed to the desire to set sail in later life with 21% seriously regretting not taking a gap year in their teens or early twenties.
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As for the sights the seniors are keen to take in, the poll, of 1,500 Britons, reveals that the ultimate experiences include a trip to the Northern Lights (55%), walking through the wild countryside of New Zealand (33%) and eating pasta on the Amalfi coast (31%).
Adventurous over sixties also want to enjoy a cheeky rum on the beach in the Caribbean (26%), go island hopping in Greece (27%) and to seek out and enjoy the best burger that New York has to offer (14%).
When it comes to dream travel destinations for older Brits, at the top of the list were Australia (38%), New Zealand (37%) and Canada (31%).
Also on the “must visit” list is Italy (29%), America (29%), the Maldives (23%), Hawaii (23%) and Iceland (22%).
With so much they want to tick off their bucket list, it’s no surprise that 41% of those who are retired or approaching retirement believe that it’s definitely worthwhile spending their hard-earned cash on travelling, with 32% admitting they’re determined to explore as much of the world as possible while they still can.
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Commenting on the findings Eamonn Ferrin, vice president of international business at Norwegian Cruise Line said: “While globetrotting has long been associated with the young and carefree, our research suggests more boomers are travelling than ever before.
"Whilst golden gap year travel is becoming a trend, we’ve seen a surge in all generations prioritising travel, taking more frequent trips to long-haul destinations. No matter your age, travel has no limit."
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The ultimate travel experiences for those over 60
Trip to the Northern Lights, Iceland - 55%
Walking through the wild countryside of New Zealand - 33%
Eating pasta on the Amalfi coast - 31%
Drinking rum on the beach in the Caribbean - 26%
Island hopping in Greece - 27%
Going on safari - 22%
Visiting a rainforest - 17%
Finding and eating the best burger in New York - 14%
Volcano hiking in Iceland - 14%
Seeing the Golden Triangle in Thailand - 12%
Visiting the Louvre in Paris -12%
Climbing Machu Picchu, Peru - 11%
Wine tasting in Napa Valley, California - 11%
Horseback riding through the Australian rainforest - 10%
Surfing in Hawaii - 10%
Star spotting in Los Angeles - 9%
Scuba diving at the Great Barrier reef, Australia - 9%
River rafting in Arizona - 6%
Windsurfing at Lake Garda, Italy - 6%
Canyoneering at Zion National Park, America - 5%