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Travel bridges the generation gap in 2011 Survey reveals the new gap year generation


According to escorted touring specialist, Journeys of Distinction, 2011 is the year of the 60+ gap year with more older travelers taking more exotic and longer travels than ever before, a marked change from 2000 when a much younger gap year generation were travelling the world between school and university.

The survey of 1000 regular travelers was undertaken to establish how social attitudes and attitudes towards travel have changed in the last 10 years.

Journeys of Distinction MD Karen Gee says “There’s a marked trend that older people are the new gap year generation, those aged 60+ are travelling more often and further afield than ever before. We also discovered that of there is a much greater concern about the environment and the effects of travel, as well as a far greater interest in taking part and experiencing local life”

The survey found that:-

• Over 80% of people now research their holiday destination on the internet and then fact-check if necessary with a tour operator before booking.

• 90% of those asked wanted several holidays and breaks / year, some taking up to 7 holidays / year

• 74% felt that holidays become more important with age

• The 60+ age group are taking the most holidays, now travelling to more exotic locations than any previous generations of that age

• Those in the 40+ age group feel they work much harder than past generations and therefore feel they deserve more holidays

• 62% of respondents feel that they have helped their children financially more than their parents or grandparents helped them and now want to enjoy life

• 60% of respondents agreed that they would rather take a holiday than spend money on a new car or home improvements.

• 99% of respondents feel they are busier and more active than their parents and grandparents were at the same age.

• As a direct result of the recession travelers now want to know the true cost of products and services and what they are really spending on travel

• A holiday for most people means being active, discovering something new, the opportunity for a rich, rewarding and life-enhancing experience

Journeys of Distinction’s Karen Gee added “It’s clear we are becoming increasingly adventurous in our choice of destinations as we get older, people are inspired by their grandchildren taking time off to see the world and now many older people are now taking the time to explore and take their own gap year.

The Antarctic, Bhutan, Ecuador, Cambodia, the Baltic States and The Amazon South America escorted tours are just some of the destinations that our respondents aged 60+ told us they would like to try. This age group are fitter, healthier and more active than ever and have more travel opportunities than ever before, on top of which the advent of more affordable air travel, greater social mobility and the introduction of the internet have all helped make exotic travel such as Africa escorted tours more feasible.

Travelling on an escorted tour was once considered a soft option, but today the Journeys of Distinction product team have to travel further afield than ever to find destinations that will satisfy our ambitious clients, hungry for new life-enhancing experiences.

We’re currently working on exciting new tours to some of the world’s most diverse and remote destinations. In 2011 our clients aren’t after safety in numbers or a soft travel option, but want to feed off our expertise to see as much as they possibly can and gain as broad an experience as they can”.


For information about Journeys of Distinction’s global programme of escorted tours visit or call 0161 491 7616.


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 Journeys of Distinction
 Gap Year

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