Students Leave Gap Years to the Grandparents

Travellers in the over-55 age bracket are now more likely to jet off on a ‘gap year’ adventure than students, according to a recent survey.

With the increased cost of university fees and other expenses, fewer students can afford to take lengthy gap year trips abroad these days, leaving a new generation of ‘grey-gappers’ to take off on exotic adventures instead (source: Goodwin Barrett). With more disposable income (and presumably better credit-ratings), older travellers are taking the opportunity to see the world on extended trips. The survey, taken by Post Office Travel Insurance, found that a quarter of over 55s were planning on taking a gap year trip within the next two years.

The Post Office suggested that the rise in student tuition fees in 2012 will see a dramatic decrease in the number of students taking extended tours of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and other  popular your-out destinations. In contrast, older travellers with access to a pension fund are starting to crack into their assets, using tax-free cash to fund their trip of a lifetime. The survey found that older travellers were more likely to spend more on their trips – an average of £4,136 compared with £3,100 for the under 35 age bracket.

Interestingly the most popular destinations for UK travellers remain the same regardless of age, with Australia and New Zealand being voted the most desirable gap year destinations. More than half of respondents chose either or both of the destinations as their ultimate choice for a gap year. Over 55s also hankered after an extended trip to the US, Singapore and Spain.

The survey also found that a large number of families were also planning on taking their children on an extended trip, with two out of five saying they wanted to take their children on an adventure.



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