50 Is the New 20? Adventure Travel Not Just For the Young

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on August 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm

According to a recent article in the Daily Mail Online, adventure travel isn’t for the young anymore. It seems that the over-50 demographic are starting to ditch the idea of cruise ships, and instead are looking to cut loose by taking on activities through adventure travel companies, whether it’s camel-riding in Egypt or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.

Gary Wardrope, founder of adventure travel website get-lost.co.uk, attributes the new trend toward attitude shifts and major life changes:

Often clients have been through a life-changing experience such as divorce, redundancy, bereavement, or perhaps the kids have left home, and realise that life is too short and they need help to fulfil their ambition. Despite the economic uncertainty, more people have the courage to take these adventure trips alone and get lost in local culture.

STA Travel, which has typically marketed to the under 25 age group over its 30 year history, is set to launch their new offerings targeted to the 50+ crowd. Not only that, but googling “50+ adventure travel” brings up other agencies wading into the growing market. ElderTreks, as profiled on About.com, claims to have been the first in the water, starting their company back in 1987. Their itineraries involve travel to over 60 countries in all the continents, including Antarctica, and include activities like hiking and wildlife and tribal African safaris. Their tour groups are kept small (16 max) and must include at least one person over 50 years old, although all ages are welcome.

50PlusExpeditions.com – whose tagline is ‘Adventure Travel for People Over 50’ – say that their trips are “carefully designed to capture the very best of each destination” and are “selected specifically for active travelers 50 and over.” They say their tours are not for group travelers, but for those wanting to explore with just a few other like-minded souls, who want to combine their explorations “with the exhilaration that comes from rafting on a jungle river or riding an elephant.”

As I write this, my parents, both over 65, are somewhere in Spain, traveling independently. Cruise ship travel used to be the norm for them, but nowadays they look for other methods of seeing the world.

[Image: Paul Schultz / Flickr]

Tags: adventure, seniors, travel


  • Marco says:

    It makes the reviews seem a lot more worthwhile than many people probably think!

  • Tess says:

    As a frequent cruiser and travel consultant, I like to point out the advantages of cruising for those who love adventures. Do you know how easy it is to participate in adventure activities in numerous different cruise ports? We have hiked, bicycled, kayaked and snorkeled in many cruise ports. Cruising is no longer for the overfed, nearly dead or newlywed.
    Hiking in Alaska – via cruise ship – anyone?

    Cruise Bug

  • Tania says:

    The adventure travel market is definitely expanding (a new study even testifies to this, http://www.xolaconsulting.com/pr-2010-08-Benchmark-Study-Values-Adventure-Tourism-Market-89-Billion.php)

    I think this is great that more and more people from different backgrounds are beginning to embrace the smaller destinations that are “off the radar” yet have the potential to create a lasting impression among visitors about the local culture as well as allow people to just realize how much potential they themselves carry through the different activities they might participate in.

    I actually hadn’t heard of some of these niche agencies, very neat. Off the Radar (http://www.travelofftheradar.com/ ) usually tries to highlight these smaller agencies/tours being offered locally around the world and would be interested to learn if there are lodges, etc that also cater to this crowd…Anyone know of any??

  • heather -the kiwitravelwriter says:

    YAY to the older travellers …… way to go!

  • Peter says:

    Marrakech is a very popular destination for the older traveler, offering a seductive mix of exotic adventure and comforts, with fantastic gastronomy and charming service. We provide all of this and more at Dar Zaman riad in Marrakech!

  • josiah kabiru says:

    Welcome to Kenya.The home of wildlife and adventure.

  • Guy Kalti says:

    All of us have to find more possibilities in order to help save our planet. Great hearing about this.

  • Nile Cruises 2011 says:

    Absolutely, with many of these companies you can even mix up a bit of adventure with a bit of luxury


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