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Over-50s taking 'gap year' trips

Gap year trips are being grabbed by the "grown-up" market, it has emerged.

While students struggle with tuition fees, the over-50s are taking more gap year-style breaks, according to travel operator Bridge the World.

Older travellers are going on trips as long as three months and spending around £7,000 per person, the company said.

Australia and New Zealand are the most popular destinations, with other favoured spots including Bangkok and Borneo.

Bridge the World commercial director James Herbert said: "The over-50s are in a great position to take these trips as they're likely to have high disposable income, are usually retired and have grown-up children who have left home.

"Also they're unlikely to have ever done a trip of this nature before so are making the most of the opportunity to get the chance to do a real round-the-world trip. Gap years are definitely not just for the students."

He went on: "We are seeing these grown-up gap trips being booked by people who have been to Australia or New Zealand once before to visit friends and family, however now they're returning to see more and to stay for longer.

"Also they aren't heading straight to Australasia - they're taking time via multiple destinations in Asia and the USA on their way there and back."

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