The Golden Years - Hitting the Road in Retirement

Wed 31 May, 2017

Some people can’t wait to reach pensionable age and quit their job for good, while others face retirement with a sense of dread. Whichever “camp” you fall into, you’ll find that the opportunity to travel is wide open for retirees.

Travelling in Retirement

A study by holiday company Travelsphere in conjunction with Mintel Research found that older travelers are far more adventurous and tech-savvy than they are given credit for. After all, the “Baby Boomer” generation has grown up with 21st century technology and all the advantages of the internet. Why stay home and vegetate, when the world is your oyster?

Retirement may herald more free time, but it may also mean a lower disposable income. However, travelling in retirement does not have to cost much more than staying at home.

Camping in retirement means you can:

  • Take advantage of lower off-season prices
  • Stay longer, as there’s no “back to work” obligation
  • Take lots of short holidays throughout the year, rather than one traditional summer holiday
  • Enjoy special discounts for pensioners, such as reduced admission to attractions and lower membership to camping groups. For example, the National Trust offers 25% discount on annual membership for loyal senior members
  • Arrange holidays at short notice. If you see the forecast is good, there’s nothing to stop you from heading for the hills (or the coast) and enjoying a spontaneous camping trip break
  • Visit all the places you never had time to see before – even if they are just a few miles down the road. Camping and caravanning in retirement means you can take your bed with you and stay over, making any journey more worthwhile
  • Re-visit places that you always meant to go back to
  • See more of family and friends. Camping in retirement gives you the freedom to stay close to family and friends, yet retain your own space and independence

In short, camping in retirement gives you the freedom to go where you wish, stay as long as you want, and do as you please, possibly for the first time in your life!

Caravanning in Retirement

Whether you have enjoyed camping in the past, perhaps as a family, or are embracing camping in retirement for the first time, you’ll find plenty of ways to take your home comforts with you. This is particularly important if you intend to travel for weeks at a time.

Modern caravans are easier to tow, particularly those with hard sides that fold down for towing. You can stock the refrigerator, hang clothes in the wardrobe, make up “proper” beds and fill the shelves with dishes and canned goods before setting off on your camping adventure.

Modern-day caravan sites have superb facilities with full hook-ups for electricity and water. Wi-Fi helps you stay in touch with the world while you’re away, and perhaps send some photos back to former colleagues. They’ll be green with envy when they see all the wonderful places you’ve discovered while caravanning in retirement!

Glamping is also a great option for camping for the older generation. Book a site with a pre-erected tent or temporary dwelling, such as a yurt or chalet, and you’ll have space to read, cook and relax whatever the weather.

Advantages of Camping for the Over 55s

Camping means that your budget goes so much further. While a luxury cruise or package holiday will cost thousands of pounds for 14 nights, you can stretch that budget over many camping trips throughout the year. This enables you to enjoy far more leisure time as you visit hundreds of new places when you embrace camping holidays in retirement.

Camping and caravanning in retirement also keeps you healthy and fit, both physically and mentally. At home you probably drive to the shops and walk no further than the end of the garden. On a camping trip you’ll want to walk around new towns, explore scenic national parks and perhaps take up a new hobby such as cycling or kayaking to get around. Visiting new places stimulates the mind, keeping boredom and mental decline at bay as you plan new trips, research places to visit and perhaps enjoy guided walks, museums and new experiences such as photography, nature spotting and hiking.

Finally, camping helps you meet like-minded people who may well become good friends.

Camping for the over 55s has never looked so good, so make plans to give it a try and make the most of those Golden Years ahead.