The truth about travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

There’s a commonly held belief that once a person retires from work that they also retire from the rest of their life. But if you think over-60s are spending their golden years sitting at home, in their rocking chairs, waiting for their family to visit, locked up from the world, boy, have we got news for you!

Here at Travel at 60, we know the opposite to be true and we have proof. People in their 60s and beyond are canoeing between ice bergs in Antarctica, walking amongst gorillas in Rwanda and swimming with whale sharks in Australia. No doubt, the experience of travel is very different for a person in their 20s compared to a person in their 60s, but we think it’s time to debunk some myths and tell the truth about what the experience is like for both. 

Read more: Here’s proof travellers over 60 are the most adventurous

1. Accommodation

Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

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Millennials may have claimed overseas travel as their own personal rite of passage, but 80 per cent of luxury travel is done by Baby Boomers, and when we say luxury, we mean luxury. In your 20s, the lure of adventure might mean you’re willing to sleep on a stranger’s couch or in a bedbug-infested budget hostel. Whereas over-60 travellers, while they like their adventure and don’t mind roughing it every once in a while, are living it up in some of the fanciest hotels in the world. “I can afford a little more luxury, so no more tents or backpackers,” reminisces Travel at 60 reader, Carol. 

2. Travel timeframes

Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

While travellers in their 20s are either taking gap years or hurrying their travel plans along to get back to work after they’ve used all their annual leave, travellers over 60 have all the time in the world. They’ve said goodbye to their alarm clocks and can now spend more time taking their time to enjoy the real charm and atmosphere of the locations they find themselves in. Travellers in their 60s take things slow rather than racing through 16 countries on one trip so they can tick it off their bucket list and brag about it to their colleagues back at the office. “You don’t have to worry about work, and when you get back you can take your time and still relax as there’s no need to adjust to going back to your job!” says Marilyn.

3. Holiday budget

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Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

While travellers in their 20s might be known for their lavish avocado-laden breakfasts, when it comes to travel, they’re not as willing to part with their hard-earned cash. Sure, travelling in your 20s is all about adventure and visiting as many countries as possible, but that money probably gets spent on flights, trains and lost luggage. Travelling in your 60s, on the other hand, have downsized their homes, sold up, cashed their money, if they’re lucky, and hopefully have a generous amount of the kids’ inheritance to spend on the next big overseas adventure. “Finances take the stress out of forever calculating money, a real feel good as we head into our 60-plus years,” says Lee.

Read more: Millennials make ironic video taunting ‘older generations’

4. Culture

Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

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It’s no secret that travellers in their 20s are known for getting a bit rowdy and a bit drunk while on holiday. While the lure of a liquid high might entice a younger traveller, a traveller in their 60s is much more interested in the natural highs that come with learning about a new culture, an ancient site or a hike in a truly gorgeous natural place. Travel at 60 reader, Virginia, has the right ideas, saying: “We travelled for three months in Europe on Contiki camping trips in our 20s. Had a ball, partied all night slept all day and missed half the sights. We travel now and while we socialise at night we take in more of the sights during the day.”

5. Experiences

Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

Photo filters, the perfect selfie and how many hashtags to use on an Instagram post are pretty high priorities for travellers in their 20s, leading to some travellers ending up in quite dangerous situations. Travellers in their 60s, however, are more likely to spend time taking in their beautiful and interesting surrounds, rather than just capturing them on the camera. And Dianne agrees, saying: “You appreciate and absorb more of your surroundings. You realise life is short and enjoy it.”

6. Food

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Travelling in your 60s compared to your 20s

Avocado on toast aside, people in their 20s are known to prioritise certain things in life, leaving less money to spend on food. While a traveller in their 20s is looking for a cheap meal at the end of a long night out — think hot chips and kebabs — the savvy over-60 traveller is enjoying a night of seafood platters and sauvignon blanc in style and hardly counting their pennies for the privilege. 

Have we hit the nail on the head? What do you think about the differences between how people in their 20s and 60s travel? Let us know all about your own experiences in the comments section below.

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