With Savings Intact, Over-50s Increase Their Travel Plans

While some of Britain’s biggest travel operators close shop, the number of adventure travel firms is increasing on a weekly basis. Offering skiing vacations, surfing, and mountain trekking holidays, a surge in bookings for high-end adventure holidays is changing the face of British travel. Even more strangely, the growth isn’t propelled by 20-somethings – it’s grandparents that are leading the way.

The amount of mature holidayers opting for slopes n’ slow on their holiday is increasingly at a rate few could have predicted, leaving adventure travel firms rushing to complete bookings and arrange trips. Over-fifty travellers are one of Britain’s high-growth markets – with a reasonable amount of income and a greater amount of free time than ever, they’re opting for exciting holidays in droves.

That means giving up the poolside lounger and picking up a snowboard, or even taking to the skies before leaping out of an aeroplane. Activities that were once reserved for those in their late teens are growing in popularity amongst fifty-somethings, with adrenaline the drug of choice for filling gaps left by redundancy. It’s not quite a mid-life crisis – for many it’s just a renewed appreciation of life.

Contradicting traditional travel industry trends, it seems as if poor economic performance is fuelling the boom in foreign adventure vacations. With many Britons expecting to remain out of work for an extended period of time, the career cost of an extended vacation is less of a strain than before. Many ‘adventure’ oldies have a reasonable amount of savings, making the financial cost fairly trivial.

Several UK and US-based travel agencies are researching the viability of a fifty-plus specialist firm, aiming to market to the demographic using targeted advertisements and special promotions. Should it succeed, Britain’s travel industry may find itself segmenting into a niche-style collection of small operators, with the current one-size-fits-all brands settling into the commercial background.

‘Funemployment’ Travel: The USA’s Recession-Friendly Travel Trend

In the midst of one of the world’s worst recessions, a growing number of unemployed Americans are opting to turn their dire financial situation into a period of ‘funemployment’. Thousands of the country’s growing unemployed population have started using their period of forced unemployment as an opportunity to improve their lives through domestic travel, dubbing it as ‘funemployment’.

Some have called it a revolt against Dilbert-style work environments, while others claim that the rise in funemployment is occurring alongside a change in America’s social outlook. Whichever is true, the increase in Americans enjoying their period of extended joblessness seems to be causing one of the largest domestic travel revolutions in history.

Prior to the recession, the professional ethic appeared to be one of endless work and limited time for travel and leisure. As salaries grew, so did hours worked, prompting what many call the ‘paid killing of time’ in the American workplace. With jobs now a rarity and stable employment an unlikely event for many of the country’s professionals, a lack of responsibility has lead to a surge in travel.

More Americans than ever are opting to work through the recession not in their offices, but in their vehicles. The Los Angeles Times reported about the rise of funemployment travel over one year ago, but the phenomenon appears to be hitting its peak today. With jobs limited and domestic travel one of several affordable options, entire families are taking to the road in search of new experiences.

It’s a phenomenon that’s unlikely to last, however, as savings accounts run dry and temporary relief benefits eventually end. But with almost ten percent of the United States population lacking a stable job, the revolution in funemployment and domestic travel could be one that remains ingrained in the nation’s culture.