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Do travel legs get wobbly?

TravellerEvery day until 2030, 10,000 American baby boomers will be turning 65 and many of them will be travelling. They will need something to fill their days when they’re no longer commuting to the office. Collecting “memorable experiences” seems promising, according to “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending”. It is that time in life when collecting more stuff has little appeal.

In fact, the World Tourism Organization predicts international travel worldwide will rise by 3.3% each year to 2030. Many of these travellers will be heading for Europe, the most visited region in the world. Just try getting into one of those museums in Vatican City, the smallest independent state on earth!

Travel from the UK to Europe alone increased by 483% since the 1970s, according to a survey commissioned by Titan Travel. These days, UK travellers over age 65 were found to be three times more adventurous in their choice of destination than they were in the 70s, and 47% think they will probably travel every year, so the upward trend continues.

Another surprising survey says that those in their fifties are more likely to take risks, change career, come out, get divorced or start a new business. So having ‘itchy feet’ fits the profile nicely.

During one of my travel-snobby moments, I would assume that those new to travel will go almost exclusively to the traditionally favoured destinations of Europe and North America. But travel has not only expanded, it has also diversified. In fact, Asia and the Pacific recorded the strongest growth as a travel destination last year followed by Europe and Africa. And it seems that everyone is talking about those inexpensive, “promotional tours” of China.

I was going to write this blog about a couple I know who at the last moment cancelled a trip to Tanzania that they had been planning for ages. They’re nearing retirement, in good health, active folks. Years ago they quit their jobs and travelled around the world for a year with their young children, and not many were doing that in those days. So when they told me their travel legs were getting wobbly, I concluded that it was an age thing. And now after doing this random bit of research I realize it isn’t so much about age, maybe more about “done that; need something different.”

And so another year closes.

Sylvia Fanjoy
sylvia@ridingthebuses.com

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