The 5 Best Things About Being a Mature Traveller

Travelling is a young person’s game, isn’t it? The best time to explore the world is in your 20s, right? As if! Ask any enthusiastic traveller over 50 and they’ll tell you: travel gets better with age. You may have a couple more grey hairs, but – more importantly – you have the confidence and experience that comes from taking numerous holidays abroad.

In case you’re not already on board, here are the 5 best reasons to put your mail on hold and hop on a plane.

1. You Know What You Like

Louvre, Paris

When you’re a young traveller, you just do the things you’re “supposed” to do. You climb the Eiffel Tower because every tourist does. You walk around the Colosseum because every brochure says you have to. And you visit all the museums because “that’s just what you do when you travel, isn’t it?”

Well, not anymore. Now you know the best holidays involve doing the things that really interest you. Being a mature traveller means:

•    Spending hours at The Louvre because you actually love art (not because your travel agent told you to)
•    Walking an extra lap around Dubrovnik because it’s literally the most beautiful city you’ve ever seen
•    Skipping the guided tour of Pompeii this time because you’ve done it before.

We could go on and on, but you get the point. Having more travel experience means you’re more comfortable choosing how to spend your time. And that’s great, because our Europe tours have plenty of leisure time!

2. You Have More Time and Money

Dining on Lake Orta, Italy

Now the kids have moved out and you’ve got some time up your sleeve, you need to start spending their inheritance! Generally, having extra years under your belt also comes with having extra savings to spend on your getaways. No more budget Bali holidays or long weekends on the Sunshine Coast – you deserve to sip Limoncello on the Amalfi Coast or spend Christmas in the Swiss Alps.

It’s not just the destination you can upgrade, though. Having some spare cash also means you can treat yourself to:

•    Delicious feasts
•    Wonderful souvenirs
•    Comfortable accommodation.

If you might only visit a country once in your lifetime, you might as well make the most of it!

Having a healthy collection of annual leave is excellent. Being retired is even better. Either way, chances are you have more time to dedicate to travelling than you did a couple of decades ago. Take advantage of this by booking a longer holiday with multi-night stays in each city (instead of staying in a new hostel every night like your 20-year-old self might have!).

3. You’re More Confident and Experienced

courtesy of Paul Thornton

You’re not the nervous, naïve traveller you once were. You’ve made all those rookie mistakes that everyone makes the first time, and you’ve learned from them.

As a young person, you couldn’t help but see scams on every sidewalk and second-guess every stranger. Are they really just a friendly passer-by? Or are they trying to nab my passport somehow?

But with each journey abroad, you’ve gotten better at recognising the good guys and the not-so-good guys. You can see a conman a mile away, but you can also tell when a local is just being nice for the sake of being nice. This wisdom means you can travel a foreign country with more confidence and less anxiety.

4. You’re More Culturally Aware

Pantheon, Rome - courtesy of Paul Thornton

As you grow more mature, you often develop a keener appreciation for the finer things, like:

•    The arts
•    History and architecture
•    Cuisine and wine.

A lot of tourist attractions and activities around the world (and especially Europe) fall under the ‘cultural’ category. So it makes sense that experienced travellers can often enjoy a more immersive and rewarding time in foreign places.

Being more culturally aware also means you have more knowledge of and respect for local customs. You’re more likely to say the right thing while drinking a pint at the pub – and less likely to put your foot in your mouth!

5. The Locals Are Friendlier

Galway, Ireland

As a mature traveller, locals are less likely to see you as a threat or potential troublemaker. And this means you can have some great conversations on the street, on the train, or in a café. For example, a bartender will be more inclined to have a friendly chat with you while you enjoy your beer – instead of eyeing you suspiciously, wondering if you’re going to cause problems after a few drinks. Of course, it also helps if you can start the banter with some phrases in the local language.

Clearly, being ‘too old’ is never an excuse to avoid international travel. If you’ve been putting it off (or you’re overdue for your next adventure), what are you waiting for? Pick your destination, book your flights, and get ready to tick another country off your bucket list!

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Julia Austin

Julia Austin is the Marketing Executive at Albatross Tours