What a drag it is getting old. Or at least, that’s what Mick Jagger sang on the Rolling Stones track Mother’s Little Helper, way back in 1966.
Fast-forward half a century and millions travellers of all ages are hitting the road every year – and even the Rolling Stones, who are all in their 60s and 70s, are still playing shows around the world.
This just goes to show that travel is open to all ages, and as you get older it can actually become more rewarding. Here are a few reasons we think travelling gets better with age...
1. There’s less pressure
Travellers in their 20s may have youth on their side, but being young also means there are certain pressures – to focus on a high-flying career, for example, or settle down and have kids. But a little later in life, you can afford to take a more carefree approach to exploring. Chances are, you’ve already got the career bit nailed, and any kids on the scene might even be big enough to take care of themselves at home.
2. You can travel when you like
Forget battling with the crowds on bank holidays or paying twice as much for a trip away just because you're on a summer break from studying or the kids are out of school. With all that behind you, you're free to travel whenever and wherever you please.
3. You know what you want
One of the best things about getting older is that you have a better idea of what you want from a trip away. Why waste your time on a guided tour when you know that your perfect holiday involves exploring alone?
And why bother with five different museums when you’re perfectly happy to lose yourself in a good book on the beach? With experience you learn to focus on what you really want to get out of travelling, rather than trying to keep others happy.
4. You can really live the dream
Ever wanted to go on safari in Tanzania? Or wake up in a hotel suite with views across Manhattan? As you progress from backpacker budgets, you might gain access to these kinds of top-end travel experiences, that your penny-pinching former-self might have once dreamed of.
That’s not to say that all older travellers are rich, but having a couple of years (even decades) of work behind you means that ‘luxury’ travel is now within reach – even if it is just on special occasions.
5. A digital detox is achievable
Getting away from the dreaded email inbox is difficult enough for everyone, but imagine if you also had to take care of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts every time you went on holiday.
You might not realise it but, being able to easily leave behind all things digital and reconnect with the ‘meatspace’ (that’s the physical, offline world) is a blessing.
6. It can make you healthier and happier
Getting ill abroad is a worry for travellers of any age. But the truth is, you could just as easily get ill at home – and wherever you are on the planet, medical help is usually easy for tourists to find (particularly those who have a decent travel insurance policy in place).
There’s a whole other angle to this: taking the plunge and heading out on a big adventure later in life could actually be beneficial for your health and happiness.
Travelling is one of those great pastimes that, if done properly, can keep mind and the body ticking along like clockwork. That isn’t just an opinion: studies have suggested that taking trips away may actually increase longevity.