Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ready for Adventure; No Longer Satisfied with Purely Sightseeing, Travellers Are Planning More Ambitious Breaks. Is It Time for Your First Big Adventure, Asks Abi Jackson

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ready for Adventure; No Longer Satisfied with Purely Sightseeing, Travellers Are Planning More Ambitious Breaks. Is It Time for Your First Big Adventure, Asks Abi Jackson

Article excerpt

Byline: Abi Jackson

THERE was a time when conquering mountains, crossing countries on a bike or on foot and trekking through jungles was the sole domain of professional adventurers, something most people only read or dreamt about or watched on TV.

But all that is changing as holidaymakers embrace more adventurous travel choices.

Saga (www.saga.co.uk), the over-50s specialists, recently commissioned research to mark their 65th anniversary, which found a third of us now feel 'more empowered and adventurous than we did 10 years ago'. Bucket lists are expanding, and people are increasingly embracing physical challenges, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Travellers over 50 are often visiting places that have been on their wish-list for a long time.

"I climbed Kilimanjaro with a woman who was doing it for her 50th birthday; she had first read about it in a Michael Crichton essay when she was 21, and wanted to do it herself ever since," says Jae Hopkins, marketing director for adventure travel specialists Exodus (exodus.co.uk), who've noticed an increase in booking from people aged 50-plus.

"People of all ages often tell us a trip has changed their life - travel is life-changing, often in tiny ways, occasionally in big ones. Learning about a new culture, meeting new people, taking time out from our normal lives, all have the potential to make us see things in a different way. For some, that'll be climbing a mountain, for others it could be photographing a cheetah in the wild."

Explore (explore.co.uk), also adventure travel experts, say the average age of their customers in 2016 was 54, and they're seeing more and more travellers in their 50s and 60s. "These customers may be at a new stage of their lives and want to challenge themselves and experience new destinations and cultures," says Ashley Toft, Explore's managing director.

Of course, simply venturing beyond your comfort zone, and trying something totally new could be classed as a challenge. …

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