Some say ‘the good life’ doesn’t really start until you’re in your 50s and it’s certainly true when it comes to travel. You’ve backpacked your way through Asia, ticked off all the major cities in Europe and now wish for something else, something more. There’s no denying that travel to South America and the Polar regions is popular with the over-50s and there are many reasons why these seemingly remote and out-of-reach destinations attract a more mature crowd. We like to think it’s because South America, Antarctica and the Arctic have a bucket-list appeal to them that’s incomparable – long travel times and relative expense leading many to postpone their journey here until their time in life is just right. I’ll go there later, when I’m older and more financially secure, when I retire and have more time, when I’ve done the crazy stuff first – celebrate your 50th birthday and, before too long, you’ll finally realise that ‘later’ is ‘now’.
Here are some more reasons why South America and the Polar regions hold such appeal with the over-50s.
There’s an urgency to living and enjoying life that is enhanced when you’re over 50
We all know that life passes by in a flurry yet the sheer speed of it all doesn’t really hit you until you’re older. All of sudden you turn 50 and think ‘blimey, I was just 30!’ It’s a sobering but also very powerful experience, an impetus to stop delaying and start planning the kind of trips you’ve always dreamed. Travel to South America, Antarctica and the Arctic is certainly a huge dream of so many but the over-50s are the ones who won’t delay it any longer: they’re at the absolute prime in their travel life and they know it all too well.
Travellers over 50 years of age are more financially secure
Expedition cruises to the Polar regions of our planet are notoriously expensive when compared with other journeys (although, when it comes to Antarctica, they certainly don’t have to be) which is primarily why these voyages are so popular with the over-50s. They’ve reached a financially secure stage in life and, combined with the ‘urgency’ mentioned above, feel it’s the right time to make the financial commitment to a mammoth journey. South America, although more affordable than Europe and North America, requires more time and a longer trip adds up to a higher overall holiday cost. And that leads us to the next point…
There’s more freedom and time when you’re over 50
The kids have grown, you’ve climbed the work-ladder, most of the mortgage has been paid off and you’re finally soaking up the rewards of a hard-working life of sacrifice and commitment: life over 50 can be incredibly exciting! You need not be already retired to have some extra time on your hands and the ability to take a longer holiday certainly increases with age, as commitments and priorities decrease. Life over 50 can be free and fabulous and mature discerning explorers are certainly travelling like bonafide explorers nowadays.
The over-50 want to make the most of their long-service leave
Long-service leave, your reward for many years’ hard work, is a privilege not found in many other countries and Australians have an inherent desire to take advantage of it in a meaningful way. That’s why tours to South America and Polar expeditions are so very popular with the over-50s who find themselves with a few months’ paid leave up their sleeve. You can read out more about South America for Long-service Leave Travel.
The over-50s are aware that their health could potentially stop their adventure travels
From hiking the Ica Trail in Peru to dealing with the harsh tropical conditions of the Amazon rainforest or kayaking among gargantuan icebergs in the Polar regions: the three most popular destinations for the over-50s require a decent level of fitness and you’ll want to still be very mobile and nimble to enjoy them thoroughly. You may not be in your physical prime after 50 BUT now you’re aware that you will only get slower (and stiffer) with time and that’s the main impetus for active vacations later in life. Fifty years of age seems to be that time of awakening for many people, that time when the ‘now or never’ mantra gains a whole new meaning.
At Chimu Adventures, we specialise in organizing travels for the over-50s in South America and the Polar regions. We know what you crave (comfort and luxury, if possible), ease of travel and short transfer times, as well as an exciting itinerary that includes historical, cultural and wilderness highlights and, overall, the whirlwind trip of a lifetime. We hear you. And we can take you there.
Contact us today to know more.
Author: Laura Pattara
“Laura Pattara is a modern nomad who’s been vagabonding around the world, non-stop, for the past 13 years. She’s tour guided overland trips through South America and Africa, travelled independently through the Middle East and is now in the midst of a 5-year motorbike odyssey from Germany to Australia.”