Gap years aren’t just for those going into university, in fact gap years for grown ups are becoming increasingly popular. It could easily be said that retirement is the best time for a gap year; you’ve been to school, you’ve got a job, you’ve done all that and now that all of a sudden you have more free time than you know what to do with, you want treat yourself for your years of hard work, by going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, and doing something that really interests you.
Golden gap years are also more common than you might think. It’s estimated that 200,000 people take retirement gap years every year, spending on average about £5,000. You might want to think about the type of activities you want to do, and if you want to take a physical challenge or just take it easy with a leisurely country tour or beach break.
A major regret that people in old age have is that they didn’t travel enough when they were young and had the energy to. Travelling is a great experience that allows you to learn foreign cultures, taste different food and do things that aren’t available to do at home. Travel requires time, however. You have to get to your destination of choice first, and spend long enough there to do what you want. That’s why it’s so difficult to do when you’re young – there just isn’t the time. When retirement comes, it’s really just an invitation to go travelling – you have all the time in the world.
It is, however, a decision that needs to be made with perhaps a bit more care and thought. You’re likely to have more responsibilities such as children, mortgages, loans, etc. You’re also not likely to be as energetic and physically fit as you were in your late teens and early twenties. This is something to consider, and perhaps you might want to steer clear of demanding adventure travel... or perhaps not! If you feel you can, and you want to, go for it!