The summer holiday season may have come to an end for most of us, but there's one sector of the population who could be anything but finished with their travelling plans for the year – the over-50s. Indeed, research shows that this age group is spending more and more on holidays, with their jet-setting lifestyles putting the younger generations to shame.
The research, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) for over-50s travel specialists Saga, shows that this age group has now overtaken youngsters as the nation's biggest travellers, with the over-50s now accounting for 58% of all travel and tourism spend – up from 49% five years ago.
In total, spending by over-50s households on travel and tourism was worth £38.9bn in 2015, having increased by almost a quarter (23%) over the past five years. Conversely, equivalent spending by younger households has fallen by 5%, suggesting that while many of the older generation are able to splash out, the younger age groups are having to tighten their belts.
The older age group certainly seems to be spending more on their holidays than their younger counterparts, and much of this could be due to where they're travelling to. Indeed, while European destinations remain the firm favourite among this age group, more adventurous (and arguably more expensive) destinations are also being sought, with the likes of Africa, India, America, the Andes, rainforests and the Caribbean proving increasingly popular.
Older travellers also continue to be the drivers of the cruise market, where they account for the overwhelming majority of passengers, spending an estimated £2.1bn. This is expected to increase even more in the years ahead, rising by 37% to £2.8bn by 2020.
Many are taking longer holidays as a result of all this wanderlust. Indeed, growth in holiday spending over the past decade has been particularly prevalent among the 65-74 age group, with 28% of overseas holidays taken by those over-55 lasting longer than two weeks.
"The over 50s want to spend their retirement exploring the world and discovering new and exciting destinations - they truly are enjoying life through travel," said Andrew Strong, chief executive officer of Saga Holidays.
"Despite industry concerns that the recent Brexit vote might see people change their travel plans, older travellers have no intention of letting it clip their wings. In a recent poll of almost 10,000 over 50s it was clear that less than one percent would reconsider their plans and if our customers are anything to go by, they are in fact now looking further afield!
"Over 50s account for well over half of UK spending on travel and tourism and that is set to grow as people live longer and healthier lives."
Indeed, the figures went on to reveal that more than a third (36%) of working over-50s plan to increase their spending on long-haul holidays after retirement, and 31% expect to spend more on cruises. There's certainly no sign of them slowing down!
Are you thinking of joining them? One sure way to ensure you'll be able to splash out for many years to come is by building up a suitable holiday fund, ideally in a dedicated savings account. To make sure nothing else spoils your fun, remember to invest in suitable travel insurance so you're completely covered. Make sure to pack the right travel credit card, too, and after that, there's nothing to stop you from jet-setting away to enjoy your well-deserved holiday!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.