Rise of The Golden Gap Year

  • Nearly a quarter of retirees go on holiday five or more times each year
  • If cost was not an issue, retirees would increase travel from 11 days to three months per trip
  • Dream destinations are New Zealand, Australia and Canada
  • ONS figures show a 37% rise in spending by over 65s on trips abroad in last four years (£4.5bn up to £6.2bn)

Older people in Britain are enjoying more active retirements, with almost a quarter (23%) going away five times or more each year and exploring new places voted the favourite activity while abroad, according to research from Inspired Villages, an operator and developer of later living communities across the UK.

National research, conducted by OnePoll, of 2,000 retired people aged 65 or older, shows that a typical retiree goes away three times per year and pays an average of £1,280 on each holiday. In total, they typically go away for 33 days per year. However, if cost wasn’t an issue, retirees would like to extend their travels to three months for each holiday, with New Zealand voted the most popular destination by over one third (36%) of all respondents.

Aside from cost and health considerations, the main limitations behind travelling for longer than a fortnight are looking after the garden and household maintenance (21%), the added stress (17%) and caring for animals (15%). However, if someone looked after their home, the average retiree says that they would go away for an additional 15 days.

The research also revealed that a Golden Gap Year isn’t just a dream concept – nearly a quarter (23%) of retirees either have taken a year to go travelling in their retirement or would consider doing so. Retirees would be willing to spend £9,059 on one of these Golden Gap Years.

The findings are supported by ONS figures which show a 37 per cent increase in spending on trips abroad by people aged 65 or older in the last four years. Last year, retirees spent £6.2 billion abroad, compared to £4.5 billion in 2014.

Commenting on the research, Jamie Bunce, CEO at Inspired Villages, said:

“Many retirees are making the most of their free time to travel the world and explore new locations – clearly retirement has unleashed their sense of adventure.

“However, more than one-fifth of over 65s are self-limiting their travel due to worries around household and garden maintenance – with the average retiree admitting they would travel for an additional two weeks if they knew their home was being looked after. At Inspired Villages, we are very proud to be able to provide this peace of mind by offering a ‘lock up and leave’ facility. Our residents can go away for as long as they want, knowing that their homes and gardens are both secure and will be well-maintained in their absence.

“We want our residents to be able to enjoy their retirement to the absolute maximum and hope that by providing this support we can encourage more and more to embark on their own Golden Gap Year and be liberated to travel as freely as they want.”

Rise of the Golden Gap Year Infographic


Join our mailing list

Want to find out more?

We run events at our Inspired Villages all year around. Join our mailing list to get all of the updates on our future events.

Join our mailing list