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New Research Says Older Travelers Still Seek Adventure

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 3/19/2019 Janeen Christoff
a person standing in front of a mountain: Beautiful hiker enjoying the view from top of a mountain. (photo courtesy of michaeljung/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus) © michaeljung/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus Beautiful hiker enjoying the view from top of a mountain. (photo courtesy of michaeljung/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus)

News about adventure travel and its growing popularity is usually focused on younger generations such as millennial and Gen-Z travelers. However, new research suggests that older generations are also avid adventure-seekers.

Rough Guides new research revealed that the average 40-something still has seven countries to visit on their travel bucket list. Many of them have only visited a quarter of the countries they have on their wish lists, and many dream of going around the world to destinations popular with backpackers such as New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

In fact, more than six in 10 travelers over the age of 40 are already looking forward to at least one trip abroad in 2019, and three in 10 say that they are more adventure now, over 40, than they were when they were younger. Thirty-eight percent said that they prefer to go off the beaten track when they travel abroad.

Travelers over 40 are definitely not sitting by the pool these with one-fifth saying that they have tried snorkeling on a trip abroad and more than one in 10 have been on a safari.

“The great thing about travel is you can get out of it exactly what you like,” said Aimee White, editor at Rough Guides. “If you want a wild adventure, then go ahead–if you’d rather chill out on holiday, that’s fine too. But often our tastes change as we get older, and it’s great to see an appetite for adventure isn’t limited to anyone under the age of 25.”

For younger travelers in a hurry to see the world, Rough Guides research indicates there’s no rush. The survey found that travelers over 40 go on more trips now than when they were younger. Six in 10 indicated that this is because, at this point in their lives, they have more money now than they did in the past.

Additionally, older travelers have kids who are grown and they find it easier to get away. Forty-six percent said that they have more time, and 40 percent said that their lives were simplified in their 50s and beyond, making it easier to see the world.

Travel is no longer the sole preserve of the young. It is important that the travel industry gives older travelers the same opportunities to have adventurous travel experiences as younger people if they want to and not dismiss them as being too ‘old’ or ‘boring,’” said White.

With this research in mind, Rough Guides is now offering tailor-made journeys that combine adventure with relaxation for older travelers.

“While many of our loyal readers would never travel without their Rough Guide, they perhaps want an itinerary that is a little less rough and accommodations that are not rough at all,” said Rough Guides CEO, Rene Frey. “So as part of our commitment to continue to serve adventurous travelers of all ages, we’re proud to launch our tailor-made trips.”

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