Gap year gatecrashers

8 September 2009

With many young adults expected to take a gap year to avoid the credit crunch, research from Post Office Travel Insurance reveals they could be receiving some unexpected guests. A fifth of parents (21 per cent) aged 50+ with children that have lived or holidayed abroad, said they had visited their child to broaden their own horizons.

Most intrepid are those parents aged over-65 with almost half (48 per cent) admitting to ‘gatecrashing' their child's gap year or holiday.

With economising at the heart of many travellers' plans at present, one in five (19 per cent) of people from all age groups said they plan to holiday with friends and family abroad this year. Once again it is the over-65's who form one of the biggest groups - 32 per cent said they have already taken advantage of a family member living abroad or in the UK, or plan to so later this year.

Despite their willingness to travel, it's not always easy for over-65s to get travel insurance, with many providers simply not offering policies to this age group. The Post Office's research reveals that 14 per cent of those aged 65+ have struggled to get insurance in the past. To make life easier, the Post Office has recently extended its annual, multi-trip insurance policy to cater for over-65s.

Rachel Croft, Post Office head of travel insurance, said: "Many children may use their gap year as a chance to get away from their parents, only to find mum and dad have plans of their own to tag along! For parents, being able to stay with their child whilst they are living abroad means they can holiday for less, but often leads to them travelling to new places and holidaying for longer, making it even more important to have adequate travel insurance in place.

"We understand that finding affordable travel insurance can prove difficult for older travellers and can lead to people having to take out policies that impose high costs or heavy stipulations, which is why we are extending our multi-annual travel insurance policy to the over- 65s.

"We hope this move will signal the end for seniors to have to buy expensive single trip policies every time they go on holiday. Instead they can now buy one simple policy to cover all their trips for the year, including trips to stay with children living abroad on gap years."

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