New research from Leger Holidays has revealed that it is the more mature generation that make the most adventurous travellers, with more than 4.6million UK ‘pensioners’ spending their free time travelling to exotic locations, trying new things and meeting new people.The research revealed that one in three (35%) of those aged 55 and over prefer to travel off-the-beaten-track on holiday - a higher figure than any of the younger generations and that 56% of the over 55s crave a holiday which allows them to see something new every day, while the younger generation are much more likely to want to spend a week on a beach.
The research also revealed that one in ten over 55s has abseiled, one in two has eaten something when they didn’t know what it was and one in 25 have done a parachute jump.
These 'Golden Globetrotters' - or 'Boldies' as they are also known - are also far more frequent with their trips away than the younger generation. Of those polled, 58% admit they go on holiday several times a year, with one in five clocking up at least a trip away every couple of months.
Those under 55 say money (86%), free time (31%) and family responsibilities (26%) hold them back from travelling as much as they would like.
Psychologist Dr David Lewis, who worked with the operator on the research and is the author of ‘Life Unlimited: Peak Performance Past Forty’, said: “In the past many people felt trapped by some of the myths of ageing imposed by society such as ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ or ‘Act your age’. Today more and more people over the age of 50 are refusing to become victims of chronology. Increasing numbers are prepared to strike out into unfamiliar territory, to visit new places and take on unfamiliar challenges.
“In relation to travel, this is due to several factors. Golden Globetrotters gain encouragement from the fact that increasing numbers of their generation are grabbing life by the horn and modern media gives them a wider awareness of what is happening in the world. They often have a more balanced and mature approach to travel that comes from greater experience of life in general. In addition they may be bored with familiar places which they perhaps visited with their children, and that goes hand in hand with a natural desire to recapture some of the excitement and challenge of their carefree youth.”
The operator's marketing director, Huw Williams, said: “An estimated 13.8million people in the UK are now aged 60 and above, and many of those people have the time and the resources to go to the places they’ve always dreamed of. We’ve just welcomed our oldest ever customer on board a tour, who was 102-years young, and she had an amazing time on a trip to Italy.
"Our research also revealed that socialising and meeting new people was very much part of the holiday experience for the Golden Globetrotter generation. This new trend has helped us shape the holidays we offer to include more ‘once in a lifetime’ trips through our Grand Explorer range. These are designed to help make visiting some of the world’s most spectacular places easy and comfortable, with tours across Europe, Russia, America, Canada, Africa and the Middle East.”
According to the research the destinations that the over 55s dream of visiting include The Arctic Circle (19%), the Far East (24%), Russia (14%), Eastern Europe (14%) and Canada (32%), while 36% are open to going anywhere in the world.