Rise of the Grey Gapper

9 September 2009

New research by Halifax Unsecured Personal Loans reveals it's not just students who'll be taking time out to go traveling. For many working Brits it seems there aren't enough hours in the day and to escape, they are choosing to take a gap year at a later stage in life.

The Halifax research found that almost half (49%) of 55-64 years would like to take time out to travel and over half (58%) of 16-24 years old would be prepared to wait until later life to do this. Even in the current economic climate, over half (59%) of 55-64 year olds wouldn't be put off taking a trip of a life time.

Mind the Gap

Not everyone can afford the time or money to go traveling for a full year; it seems more Brits are choosing shorter trips to the beat the travelling bug and ensure they don't spend more money and time than actually needed. Time is precious for one in ten Brits (12%) who would prefer to travel for only three to six months, whilst one in ten of us (11%) would prefer to be away for six months or more.

Cost of a Grey Gap Year

Taking time out to travel can be costly with the average 18-25 year old spending up to £4,000 on their travels. One in five (20%) Brits traveling for only three months expect to spend £2,000 whilst one in five (20%) traveling up to six months expect to spend £3,000.

The average grey gapper (aged between 55 and 64) expects to spend £2,604.20 taking time out, however almost one in five (18%) would be willing to spend over £5,000.

When it comes to paying for the trip of the life time, a quarter of Brits (23%) would use unsecured borrowing such as credit cards, loans and overdrafts to cover their costs.

For some grey gappers a year out doesn't mean the end to their working life, as one in five (22%) people aged 55-64 would consider working whilst traveling to ensure they can cover the costs of their dream trip.

Where in the world

Europe is the place where people are most likely to take a gap year; with over two thirds of Brits (69%) stating this is where they would go. However, over half (61%) of those surveyed also indicated they may look further afield, opting for Australia and New Zealand instead.

A third (33%) of 55 - 64 year olds want to see the world and are most likely to choose an around the world trip rather than just sticking to one continent.

Top 5 Places for Grey Gap travel:

Europe (68%)
Australia/New Zealand (57%)
Asia/ Far East (44%)
Africa (40%)
North America (37%)

Russell Galley, Director of Loans at Halifax comments: "A mature gap year is a wonderful opportunity to experience different ways of life and see other parts of the world. But such a big adventure requires careful financial planning.

"By taking a Halifax Loan to cover the cost of a mature gap year you'll have no monthly repayment for the first three months. This breathing space could help you to pay for other essential extras, such as accommodation, insurance and transport costs."

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