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If you are over 50, you may be yearning to travel the world and experience adventures which many in their 20’s now take for granted. It may be that you have more time and money after a long working life, as well as a renewed inspiration for exploration and so may be looking to grab golden travel opportunities – whether for an extended holiday, or even a whole year off abroad.
You may be lucky enough to be able to fund these trips through private pensions, especially by taking the tax-free 25 per cent drawdown. Or, it could be that you are looking for a career break to quench your wanderlust!
If so, then you are not alone as there is now the growing phenomenon known as a ‘grown up gap year’, made popular by people in their 50’s and beyond embarking on a trip of a lifetime extending from anything between six weeks and up to 18 months.
However, if you are considering this, it is worth getting some expert advice before you go, so that your trip goes smoothly, even if something goes wrong whilst you are away.
Tim himself has travelled all over the world, including Australia, the Far East and Nepal. He set up True Traveller in 2010 with two other travellers who first met each other when they all worked for a very well-known travel company in Earls Court, London in the late 1980s.
Tim’s Grown Up Travel Tips…
Tim says, “If you can, my first piece of advice is to book your trip through a really good travel agent. Trailfinders and Hays Travel are well known, financially secure and made sure they refunded people quickly during the pandemic when it all went wrong.
Check how flexible your tickets are and how much it would cost to to change or re-route. Trailfinders operates an extremely useful 24/7 number for urgent travel customer enquiries for when you’re overseas and airlines prove unhelpful when it comes to changes.
Tim continues, “It may be boring, but it is vital to make sure you have adequate travel insurance for your particular needs when you are away.
For example, do you need cover which allows you to return home at any point? Our specialist gap year and backpacker cover allows you to return home mid-trip – which many over 50’s may well need to do so that they can keep an eye on children, their home, parents or pets. This is worth noting, as with many insurers, returning home mid-trip may immediately void the cover.
As well as this, check that your insurance provider will allow you to extend your policy if necessary. Also, does it cover all your activities you may take part in, such as white water rafting or bungee jumping? It’s also important to make sure you have a policy which allows you to travel for a full year for one long trip.”
It is worth getting a full medical check-up, including a trip to the dentist before you go away, according to Tim: “No one ever wants to go to the dentist, but if you’re away for more than a few weeks, you probably won’t want to see one in a far-flung area of the world. You’d be wishing you’d just gone to see your dentist before you left.
In general, dentists are the same as at home, aside from very remote areas in Africa and parts of Asia, where you’d probably need to get to a large city to get treatment. Costs do vary wildly though, and in North America dentistry is extremely expensive.
Travel insurance generally has limits as to how much you can spend on dentistry, and usually it’s only for emergency treatment to relieve pain. We pay out hundreds of dental claims each year, and usually the amount paid out doesn’t cover the whole cost of treatment anyway, so, do yourself a favour. See your dentist before you set off!”
If you lose your passport abroad, getting the local embassy to issue you with an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) is made a lot easier if you can provide them with printed out copies of your documentation.
So before you go, take photos, or scan all your important documents such as passports, visas, e-tickets, credit cards, and travel insurance policy documents and email that to yourself.
Another useful feature of True Traveller cover is that it is the first travel insurer to be compatible with Apple and Android Wallet. This means that policy details are available on smartphones supporting Wallet functions as soon as cover is purchased, so you have all your travel insurance cover details at your fingertips, alongside flight boarding passes and other tickets needed for travel.
Tim says, “This new function makes it convenient as people like the ease of using wallets on their phones – especially for travel – and so now they’ll never lose their insurance details and can be safe in the knowledge that we’ll update any changes they may need. However, for a long trip, I always advise that it is prudent to have all your important documents ‘backed up’ by emailing them to yourself before you go.”
Tim says, “Getting a full new British passport when you’re abroad takes many weeks to process, so, if you’re going through lots of different countries on your journey, you may want to consider getting a second passport before you leave and get a family member to FedEx it to you should your original passport be lost or stolen.”
Tim adds, “Getting a currency card is very useful, as usually you get free withdrawals from cash machines throughout the world, rather than the 2% or more your bank will probably charge you. You can do all the transfers to it from the internet, and usually you get a secondary card just in case you lose your first one, or have one in your travel wallet and one in your main wallet. The popular choices for traveller’s currency cards are Revolut or Currensea, but there are others out there as well!”
True Traveller’s Gap Year and Backpacker travel insurance can both be taken out up to the age of 65, so are ideal for those taking a for career break or ‘grown up gap year’. Benefits include medical and repatriation cover of up to £10m, and 92 activities as standard.
Both are available for trips up to 18 months, or even up to two years for trips to the USA and Canada, with prices starting from around £35.80 for a month in Europe.
For information or a quote go to https://www.truetraveller.com/
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.