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Are you one of the one in four over 55s planning a Gap Year?

Article by Fabafterfifty
Well , perhaps not quite a year, but it seems that gap years are no longer the preserve of the young. New research shows that more than 25% of those over the age of 55 are planning to take an extended break – travelling on average for 3.7 months.

Top gap year destinations

It would appear that Australia (which would be my first choice as soon as the opportunity arises) tops the list followed by New Zealand and the USA. Although Vietnam and India are proving to be popular destinations for ‘Grey Gappers’ (I HATE that expression perhaps we should change to ‘Fab Gappers- far more positive!)
However, over 55s will spend more to make sure they get good quality accommodation and the most from their time away. On average ‘Grey Gappers’ will spend £4,136 in total on their trip – the equivalent of £53.03 per day – compared to under 35s who will spend £3,100, the equivalent of £30.10 per day.

Take out the correct insurance

Only a quarter of those planning an extended holiday have purchased a specific gap year policy – six per cent have no insurance at all !
Sarah Munro, Head of Travel Insurance, Post Office said: “Age shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to experiencing different cultures and spreading your wings. Whilst holidays are a fantastic way to explore a new country, taking that extra bit of time out to travel and really get to grips with a place is great fun no matter how old you are.

“It’s worrying though that so few gap year holidaymakers take out adequate insurance. If you’re going abroad for an extended period of time the most vital areas to be insured for are medical treatment, repatriation in case you need to be flown home, and cancellation in case you fall ill and are unable to travel.”

I would also add that it’s best to check your home insurance policy too- make sure you are covered if you leave your home empty for more than 30 days.

For anyone who has taken a gap year- we would love to hear about your travels and experiences, do share!!

Image credit: Grant Cochrane



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  1. Jo Carroll

    June 6, 2013

    I took a Gap Year when I was 56. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. But you do need to plan – money, your house (you do need somewhere to come back to), how to keep in touch with those at home. And where to go? I knew where I was going to begin (in Sydney, Australia) and where I hope to fly home from (St Petersburg, in Russia) but left the in-between bit fluid. It worked for me – it meant I could change my mind as I went along where I wanted to go. It’s easy to book ahead if you have an internet connection (there are internet cafes all over the place if you decide not to carry anything connectable).
    I could go on – it was a wonderful year, and I haven’t stopped. Am I allowed to plug my book of the trip? Over the Hill and Far Away – it’s on Amazon. And there are ebooks of other trips there too. (If this is spam, please come back to me and I’ll delete that bit. I’d hate my enthusiasm for travelling to be lost for the sake of a book sale!)

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