Travelers Over 60 Are Taking The "Gray Gap Year"

When you think of taking a gap year, many envision a teenager, fresh out of high school, embarking on a year-long journey before entering “the real world.” Gap years have rebranded, and the over-60 crowd is now taking part.

Recent research has shown that almost four out of 10 people over the age of 60 are stepping out of the norm and taking gap years.

Related: Senior Jet-Setting: Tips For Seamless Travel As An Older Adult

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The “gray gap year”

Known as the grown-up gap year, or “gray gap year,” baby boomers are ditching bingo and an afternoon at the golf course for epic jet-setting experiences. 

37% of travelers 60 years and up desire to take a trip that is extended. In fact, the ideal travel time for this age group is nine months.

Sparked by the pandemic

Norwegian Cruise Line surveyed travelers over 60, and 21% said they felt like they missed out on trips and experiences due to the pandemic. 

In fact, 19% revealed that they want to travel more than they did five years ago. 21% regret not taking a gap year earlier on in their teenage years and early twenties. 

Eamonn Ferrin, Vice President of International Business at Norwegian Cruise Line shares, “While globetrotting has long been associated with the young and carefree, our research suggests more boomers are traveling than ever before.”

“Whilst golden gap year travel is becoming a trend, we’ve seen a surge in all generations prioritizing travel, taking more frequent trips to long-haul destinations. No matter your age, travel has no limit,” Ferrin continues.

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Ultimate travel destinations for travelers over 60:

  1. Trip to the Northern Lights, Iceland 

  2. Walking through the wild countryside of New Zealand

  3. Eating pasta on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

  4. Drinking rum on the beach in the Caribbean

  5. Island hopping in Greece

  6. Going on a safari

  7. Visiting a rainforest

  8. Finding and eating the best burger in New York, New York, USA

  9. Volcano hiking in Iceland

  10. Seeing the Golden Triangle in Thailand

  11. Visiting the Louvre in Paris, France

  12. Climbing the Machu Picchu, Peru

  13. Wine tasting in Napa Valley, California

  14. Horseback riding through the Australian rainforest

  15. Surfing in Hawaii

  16. Star spotting in Los Angeles, California, USA 

  17. Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  18. River rafting in Arizona, USA

  19. Windsurfing at Lake Garda, Italy 

  20. Canyoneering at Zion National Park, Utah, USA

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