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  • Writer's picturePoonam Maini

50 shades of Travel

Over 50 travel is now the fastest-growing market. According to reports published in 2018, by the Sliver Travel Advisor, its believed that by 2050, there will be over half a million centenarians in the UK.

Escorted coach trip are now outdated stereotypes for most older travellers. This age group is now rarely considered as a 'mature traveller'. Clients in this age bracket are still working and likely to be physically fit.

Another element of this market is affectionately referred to as ‘silver splitters’, that is those travelling alone. The divorce rate is the highest in the over 50s, so there is a growing solo/singles travel market.

One of the hardest parts of travel is deciding where to go next when over 50. This age bracket is equally happy discovering medieval foundations below a gothic church as trekking up a mountain in Tasmania or pleased to take their seats at a play in London.

Here are examples of different types of adventures one might like to go on!

Active Travel If you like to get your blood pumping and try something new, then the trips below are recommend for the more adventurous traveller! However, everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace!

The Inca Trail The Inca Trail is the ultimate gap year thing! Trekking on ancient pathways through Andean high, windswept tundra or cloud forest to share the magic of Machu Picchu is amazing. Solo travellers also enjoy small group tours on the Inca Trail.

Indochina Chaotic, crumbling, modern and ancient, is how many people describe Indochina. One day darting around, the next feeling a bit dilapidated. Which is why the four countries of Indochina work perfectly. Immerse yourself in full octane Thailand, chill in rural Vietnam, bounce around the culture of Cambodia or lose yourself in little-explored Laos.

African safari An African safari is hard to beat, although travelling with a responsible safari company is recommended. You need someone, who doesn’t mistreat animals, works with expert local guides and interacts with communities. There are 20 countries and a plethora of national parks, reserves and conservancies, so the choice is huge!

Costa Rica If you haven’t zip lined through a rainforest before, Costa Rica is the where, and your 50s are the when. As well as the wildlife that it’s rightly famous for, such as turtles, dolphins, birds galore and howler monkeys, you can do all the adventurous things you never thought you would. Raft down the Pacuare River, wild swim in the Sarapiquí Valley, volunteer on a turtle conservation project. Or you could just chill.

Ecuador & Galapagos The Galapagos are unique and no better way to celebrate your half century than swimming with sea lions, walking with tortoises or sailing around this archipelagic paradise on a traditional schooner. However, one big tip! Don’t overlook mainland Ecuador. The size of the UK, it’s a packed piñata of Amazon jungle, Andean páramo, cloud forest and snow-capped volcanoes.

Foodie Travel The best countries for food and drink are a treat for every single sense. What better way to experience a country than by discovering the local food and drink? Indulging in new culinary delights will broaden your horizons and palate.

Thailand The wonders of the Thai cuisine are as diverse and detailed as the country itself. With influences from countries such as China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar, Thai food is a combination of its many neighbouring nations.

France France, arguably one of the most famous countries in the world for food and wine, does not disappoint. The French are notably passionate about their cuisine, seducing travellers on their journey with warm croissants, hearty cassoulet and locally produced wine.

Enjoy a pain au chocolat at a gorgeous sidewalk cafe, lunch on crepes sprinkled with lemon and sugar, and then stop for a quick croques-monsieur snack. Finish your day clinking your filled champagne flute in an ancient underground cellar. Combine it with a cheese tasting, and you’ll know why the rest of the world is in love with France.

Mexico Even just the thought of Mexican cuisine conjures up vivid images: beans and corn, tortillas and tamales, tequila and margaritas. A fiesta for the senses, Mexico’s cuisine is like the country itself: fiery, colourful and never boring.

Arts and Culture Travel When it comes to arts and culture there are so many places that come to mind. But I thought I’ll share with you some that are not so obvious to help broaden your horizons!

Cordoba Strategically located on the north bank of the Guadalquivir River, Córdoba was the Roman and Moorish capital of Spain, and its old quarter, clustered around its famous Mezquita, remains one of the country's grandest and yet most intimate examples of its Moorish heritage. Córdoba today, with its modest population of a little more than 330,000, offers a cultural depth and intensity—a direct legacy from the great emirs, caliphs, philosophers, physicians, poets, and engineers of the days of the caliphate—that far outstrips the city's current commercial and political power.

Florence Florence, the city of the lily, gave birth to the Renaissance and changed the way we see the world. For centuries it has captured the imaginations of travellers, who have come seeking rooms with views and phenomenal art. Navigating Piazza della Signoria, always packed with tourists, requires patience; there's a reason why everyone seems to be here. It's the heart of the city, and home to the Uffizi—the world's finest repository of Italian Renaissance art.

Basel The hub of Switzerland's vibrant pharma industry, wedged between France and Germany. This city on the Rhine has more than 30 museums, including the world-class Kunstmuseum, the Museum Tinguely and the Fondation Beyeler. Baselworld in spring and Art Basel in summer—the world's premier fairs for watches and contemporary art respectively—as well as Switzerland's most famous carnival, or Fasnacht, gives midsized Basel an outsized role as an international destination.

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