Over-50s inspired by children to take gap years

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Nearly half of all people over 50 now plan to travel the world after retirement, says a new survey which reveals that gap years and backpacking are no longer reserved for the younger generation.

The study, carried out by Thomas Cook, has found that the older generation is turning its back on destinations such as Spain and Portugal and opting instead for far-flung countries such as Canada, Australia and the Caribbean.

One in ten people over 50 say they have been inspired by their children to go on holiday to a country they have never visited before.

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: "Parents and grandparents are now listening to experiences of their children or grandchildren after returning from their holidays and dream of doing the same thing.... over 50s are now booking similar trips themselves so they have their own adventurous tales to tell."

The company has reported a rise in the number of over-50s booking trips to long-haul destinations after their children have left home, as well as an increase in longer holidays - some as long as 42 days.

"Getting older no longer means relaxing and taking it easy," says the spokesman.

According to Thomas Cook, the top ten destinations for over 50s are:

  1. 1. Australia

  2. 2. Canada

  3. 3. New Zealand

  4. 4. USA

  5. 5. Caribbean

  6. 6. Italy

  7. 7. Seychelles

  8. 8. Ireland

  9. 9. Florida

  10. 10.Maldives

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