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Retirement gap years on the rise

29 March 2012 09:51

More older people are heading off on exotic holidays, research showed

More older people are heading off on exotic holidays, research showed

For many people over 50, retirement is no longer a time to slow things down, according to research.

"Grey gap year" trips are becoming increasingly popular, with 44% of over-50s saying they are jealous of the travelling their children do, according to Thomas Cook.

The research found that 40% of those people intend to follow the lead of their children on retirement, however before heading off on a far-flung trip they're advised to arrange some seniors travel insurance first.

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: "We've seen a rise in the number of over-50s booking trips to far-flung destinations once their children have left home and an increase in long-duration holidays, with some booking 21-night and 42-night packages."

Up to 10% of people in the age group had visited the same countries as their children did during their gap year, with many saying they planned to enjoy similar experiences.

Peter Slowe, managing director of volunteering organisation Projects Abroad, said there had been an explosion of interest in their scheme.

He said: "Some of our most successful placements have involved working professionals and retirees who are volunteering in a role in which they have many years of experience."