We've been writing a lot of features on older travellers this week, looking at trends, destinations and staying safe.
So, when we approached Saga, who specialise in holidays for older travellers, we knew we'd make a dynamite combo. We've asked them about the benefits and potential pitfalls of older people seeing the world; here's their advice for grey gappers.
Older people are travelling more, and further, than ever before. Why do you think this is?
While many over 50s are now working longer, many are choosing to do so but with a much better work life balance. Whether they’re retiring or rebalancing their work-life, in our experience they want to make the most of their holidays. So whether it’s their desire to travel and explore the world, or simply to 'fly and flop' to a short haul destination, their appetite for travel is huge.
What advice would you give to over 65s who are thinking about exploring the world?
Research your destination and make the most of your time. Our holidays are split into categories to make the decision as to which style of holiday would suit an individual much easier - from a 'Stay and relax' break to an 'Active Explorer' or 'Escorted Tour', there’s something for everyone. If you’re going on a more active tour we always ensure there are adequate rest days too for an even balance of activity and relaxation.
Which destinations would you recommend for older travellers?
We always suggest that travellers ensure that the accommodation and destination they choose is suitable for their needs. For example, exploring Machu Picchu requires a different agility level than sunbathing in Portugal. The older traveller has often already experienced standard holiday packages to popular destinations, so our team of 'holiday designers' have travelled the world and put together a selection of tours, from Ethiopia and Uzbekistan to the age-old favourites with a new twist in mainland Spain or the Greek islands.
Can city breaks be too tiring for older people, or are there some cities they won’t find too hectic? Which kinds of holidays suit an older traveller?
Many people like to intersperse their main holidays with shorter city breaks. For those that want a little more relaxation mixed with the sights of the city, a river cruise is an option. A relaxing, slower-paced ship can take you to the heart of a bustling city, offering you the best of both worlds.
Does being an older traveller have an advantage?
Absolutely! We offers holidays out of peak season so we can take advantage of lower rates and less busy destinations for our customers. Best of all, our ships and some hotels are child free for those that want a real adults only break.
Older people might need additional help and support – have you got any tips for them to make their travels easier? Do you have any safety tips for older people?
In busy towns and cities, be vigilant and keep you belongings close to your person. Don’t advertise any expensive gadgets, such as iPads and cameras, and in hotels always use the room safe for passports, cash and valuables. In hot areas, always carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated, and try to avoid the peak midday sun.
The 'Grey Gappers' are on the rise - here's what to look out for...
We've compiled some handy safety tips for travellers over 65