Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Grey gappers' get the travel bug


Agents should be targeting the over 55 market as less students can afford to go on gap years.

A survey carried out by The Post Office Travel Insurance found that with increased university fees, only 19% of students were considering a gap year or extended break this year.

But 25% of over 55s plan to take a break of three months or longer, spending more than £4,000 each.

The most popular destinations for ‘grey gappers’ are Australia, New Zealand and the United States but India and the Far East also feature.

Family adventures are also on the rise with three quarters of parents feeling it is important for their child’s education to experience life abroad.

Many travellers either use annual insurance policies when they travel or no insurance at all rather than opting for a tailormade gap year policy.

“Age shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to experiencing different cultures and spreading your wings,” said Sarah Munro, head of travel insurance at the Post Office.

“It's worrying though that so few gap year holidaymakers take out adequate insurance.

“If you're going abroad for an extended period of time the most vital areas to be insured for are medical treatment, repatriation in case you need to be flown home, and cancellation in case you fall ill and are unable to travel."

By Diane Evans

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