Bungee jumping, skydiving, abseiling, and swimming with sharks are just some of the adventures that over 50's are enjoying on their holidays - and an upsurge has been noted in cases of over 50's needing consular assistance abroad, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warns.
Over 50’s now represent 35% of people making all trips abroad, and new research reveals that nearly 70% of over 50’s say they are more adventurous with their trips now than ten years ago. Over a third have visited more than 20 countries and almost a fifth have taken part in adventure activities like bungee jumping or abseiling on recent holidays.
With 25% looking to swim with sharks and 15% wanting to skydive in the future, the FCO is advising over 50’s to start making better preparations for their adventurous travels.
In recent years cases of over 50’s approaching Foreign Office consuls have increased – seeking help with hospital costs because of a lack of travel insurance. The FCO believe the majority of the problems are due to over 50’s not making proper preparations before they leave.
“In our recent research we were surprised to discover that a massive 65% of over 50’s didn’t take out travel insurance.” says the FCO’s Steve Jewitt-Fleet.
An increasing number of over 50’s are swapping relaxing holidays in Marbella for treks in the Himalayas, and should be better prepared for their trips to ensure they are fully covered for any eventuality.
This trend has prompted the FCO to join forces with Lonely Planet to launch ‘World Wise’, an advice book aimed at older travellers that includes simple advice to ensure that they are fully prepared to have the most exciting travels without any unpleasant experiences.
Advice to over 50’s travelling abroad:
Take out fully comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for all activities you choose to do
Buy a guidebook and read up on your destination so you have an idea of the geography – your hotel in relation to the main tourist area etc
Know the local laws and customs e.g. acceptable behaviour and alcohol laws
Remember to check that your passport is valid, in good condition and that the ‘Next of Kin’ details are filled in. Take a photocopy and keep it with you
Ensure you take adequate back-up funds (credit or ATM cards, travellers’ cheques) for every eventuality and take copies of vital numbers
Keep the contact details of the nearest British Consulate with you; they could prove invaluable in times of trouble
Travel insurance: News update: February 2007