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The average 50-something holidaymaker is as much of a thrill-seeker as someone half their age, research has revealed. Experts, who studied the holiday habits of 2,000 over 50s, found the stereotypical image of a couple in deckchairs with hankies atop their heads to keep the sun away couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The report revealed the older generation are now just as likely to book themselves on breaks which involve walking, cycling and canoeing.
Other favoured holiday pursuits that the over 50s enjoy are horse riding, scuba diving and even parasailing.
It also emerged four out of ten of those who took part in the study said they became more adventurous with their holidays as they have got older.
The research was conducted by Luxury travel company Colletts Travel, in conjunction with their travel show at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London on Sunday 3rd March.
Roy Collett said:
”Many adults head off on lots of holidays when they hit retirement, with kids flown the nest, they have already achieved the car, the house etc.
”Now they want inspiration, to explore new parts of the world and sample new cultures, new cuisines and life experiences.
”After working for forty years and being restricted by only four or five weeks holiday per year it is a great feeling being able to travel as much as you want.
”We see lots of over 50′s booking adventurous holidays that they wouldn’t have dreamed of going on 20 years ago, mainly because the older generation want to go all out whilst they are still healthy enough to do so.
”Cruising is an ideal solution to this dilemma, travelling at a pace that suits you, you can do as much, or as little as you wish.
”When you work and have family commitments it can impact on the type of holidays you go on, so retirement can be the first opportunity people get to really to see the world.”
Nearly two thirds of those polled said the majority of their holidays are taken abroad now, whereas 20 years ago they would have opted for UK seaside resorts.
Of those, 70% said they could only afford to holiday in the UK, and 37% said they had to go on child friendly trips away.
One in ten said twenty years ago they wouldn’t have considered flying by plane two decades ago and simply said they weren’t well travelled back then.
But in contrast, one in ten over 50′s now go on skiing holidays, a quarter have cycled whilst on holiday and 10% have canoed.
22% said they embark on more far flung holidays, as their local airport flies to more destinations than it did years ago.
But the research also revealed one in twenty adults claim competition is fierce between their retired friends, with many trying to ‘out-do’ each other with adventures holidays.
More than one third said their grown-up children were happy for them to spend their hard-earned cash on luxury holidays, but one in ten said their kids didn’t like the fact they were getting through their potential inheritance.
The poll also found half of those questioned have visited America and over one quarter have holidayed in Canada.
Other favourite hotspots were listed as Australia, Barbados and Dubai.
Roy Collett added:
”As a nation we are much more well-travelled than we were say, 20 or 30 years ago, and more people are venturing further afield for their annual breaks, flying in premium classes and staying in deluxe hotels.
”It’s encouraging that so many people in the over 50 bracket are making the most of life and getting to see different countries and cultures.”