Fifty, feisty and fearless

Thursday 16 September 2010

Fifty, feisty and fearless

  • Saga Holidays' research reveals almost half of women over fifty are more confident in travel and in life than ever before

Hitting 50 has become a second coming of age for travellers, particularly women, and not a time to be slowing down according to new research from Saga Holidays, the UK’s leading travel company for the over fifties.

These women are enjoying their “carpe diem” years:

· A staggering 88% confirm that they see 50 as the beginning of an exciting life ahead

· 42% say they feel more confident now than they ever have

· Nearly 90% recognise that 50 is in reality a much younger age than in previous generations.

Women are also keener to follow their gap year-travelling children in exploring the globe whilst giving something back:

· 26% of women expressed a desire to experience the road less travelled, and a similar percentage confirmed their wish to do something worthwhile when on holiday.

Susan Hooper, CEO of Saga Holidays, said “Both men and women are seeing their fifties as an age for exploration. In most households women tend to make the final decisions on holiday plans, and with this we’ve seen the rise of the feisty at fifty female, demanding more exotic destinations and new challenging experiences.

She added: “ At Saga, we are seeing tremendous growth in bookings for our volunteer holidays in St Lucia, island hopping in Croatia, seeking culture in Cuba and trekking through Borneo or Nepal”

Popular options in the month long Saga Volunteer Holidays programmes include:

· A placement in the Dunnottar School or Child Development & Guidance Centre in St.Lucia passing on music, drama, speech, visual arts and other skills to staff

· Community care support including help with funding proposals, therapy sessions and after school programmes at Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

· Counselling, fund raising, educational play and more at the Naxal Orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal

It also appears that the fashion gap has been officially closed:

· 26% of women share outfit tastes with their daughters and one in five keep up to date with fashion trends

· Almost two thirds of women polled named Joanna Lumley as their favourite over 50 glamour puss, followed by Helen Mirren and Twiggy, with only 10% citing Madonna as an over fifty they admired, illustrating perhaps a greater confidence in celebrating age and not pursuing youth?

And on travel accessories? Less Agatha Christie novel and more technology; 18% of women won’t leave home without their MP3 player, and a quarter confirmed a glamorous outfit is a luggage essential.

2011 will see the fabulous fifties club welcome more stereotype-smashing names including KD Lang, Meera Syal, Caroline Quentin, Tom Ford, George Clooney, Ricky Gervais, Michael J Fox, and...Barack Obama.


For further information on this survey, including regional variance enquiries, contact Carl Catterall, Travel PR Manager, /Tel: 01303 771118

Further information on Saga Holidays including voluntourism programmes:

Notes to editors:

· The research for Saga was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 12 / 08 / 2010 and 19 / 08 / 2010 amongst a panel resulting in 1004 aged 50+ respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

· 7 nights Island hopping in Croatia on a 12 person ship from £699 per person on a full board basis including flights and transfers

· 14 night Borneo rainforest adventures in a maximum group of 16 from £1599 on a full board basis including flights and guide

· 29 night volunteer holiday options in St Lucia, Nepal, Kathmandu and South Africa from £2599 per person on a full board basis including flights and transfers

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