It seems 40 is the new 20 when it comes to travelling. With young people saddled with student loans, rising levels of debt, and ever-increasing house prices, the early 20s is no longer the only chance we have to get out and explore. Waiting until after you hit 40 to go and have the time of your life is becoming ever more popular.
With so much focus on younger travellers, older travellers can sometimes feel ignored by the travel industry or can feel stereotyped as wanting things to be gentle or unchallenging. Here at Rough Guides we wanted to find out more about travelling habits of people over 40, and the results were enlightening.
More Money, More Time
Nearly half of over 40s polled say they go on more holidays now than at any other point in their lives, many saying this is because they have more money than they used to. It also helps when the kids have flown the nest of course, affording older travellers more time to jet-set around the globe. In fact, 40% of the 2,000 people polled think their lives are simpler now they’re older, so they feel they now have more freedom – in their 50s and beyond – to see the globe.
And it’s not just cruises and coach holidays. 30% of over 40s reckon they are more adventurous with their holiday choices now than they ever used to be, with nearly 4 in 10 preferring to go off the beaten track when they travel abroad. Rather than sitting by the pool, a 20% of over 40s have tried snorkelling on a trip abroad and more than one in 10 have been on a safari. And perhaps surprisingly, more than 1 in 5 have also ‘gone travelling’ – meaning they’ve taken a month or more off work to visit different countries.
Aimee White, editor at Rough Guides said: “It’s great to see an appetite for adventure isn’t limited to anyone under the age of 25. The world is more accessible than ever before, and as a result holidays are something many people can enjoy.
“As a society, we need to get away from this assumption that only young people want to travel and have adventures whilst stereotyping older travellers as wanting a particular type of holiday.
“It’s important that the travel industry gives older travellers the same opportunities to have adventurous travel experiences as younger people if they want to and not dismiss them as being too ‘old’ or ‘boring’.”
And this is just what Rough Guides aims to do with the recent launch of its new tailor-made adventure trips service. A local travel expert creates a unique trip based on your criteria, making sure it is full of new experiences and ‘off-the-beaten-track’ elements. And as we take care of all the accommodation and transport, you can have all the ‘rough’ bits but still have your creature comforts. The best of both worlds, and open to anyone who fancies travelling with a bit of a difference.
Most popular destinations
The research also showed that the average 40-something still has seven countries to visit on their travel bucket list.
The top 20 countries on Brits’ wishlists are:
1. New Zealand
4. Mainland USA
6. The Caribbean