Many people are now choosing to take a gap year from their employment during their 30’s, 40’s and beyond. In fact there are many people who now enjoy travelling well into their 70’s and 80’s! Often employers will allow people to take a career break from the workplace for up to a year which gives the options of travelling the world, whilst still having employment to return to. Travelling as a family is also achievable and will provide a fantastic bonding experience for the whole family as they discover new places.
Often people who are in work can experience travel a little more comfortably than the “strapped for cash” student. This will allow you to choose a better standard of accommodation and may allow you to visit more countries, as you can foot the cost of airfares a little more easily.
As an older traveller you won’t be stuck to travelling during college term times, so you can cut the cost of the necessity of travelling at peak times.
This has got to be the most exciting part of taking a gap year, choosing where to visit! It could also prove to be a little stressful as you try to narrow down your choices and tie them into your methods of travel. There are lots of books and websites that can advise you on tried and trusted routes, there will also be tips on hotels or hostels to stay in as well as restaurants. “Must see” sightseeing opportunities in your country of travel should be factored into your route as well as the more authentic off the beaten track areas.
Every country that you visit will have their own individual safety issues. Safety should remain a priority at all times, as it would be for a younger person taking a gap year. In fact older people may become more of a target for petty crime, as the assailant may assume you have more cash and valuable items on your person. Be vigilant at all times and seek advice and guidance from the tourist contact for the area in which you are travelling.
Travel insurance is a “must have” and needs to cover the whole duration of your travel. When booking your travel insurance, ensure you tell them all the countries you are travelling to, your age and any medical conditions. No matter what your age there will be travel insurance available. Some insurance companies offer travel insurance for the over 75s, which will provide reassurance to older travellers.
Gap year work
There are many companies that offer you the opportunity to work and volunteer during your gap year. This will give you the chance to contribute to valuable conservation work and help develop communities. This option is ideal if you would like more structure to your travel, it will also enable you to meet like minded people, so if you’re a single traveller, the prospect will not be as daunting.
If you have the finances, the world is your oyster! The hardest part will be choosing where to go.