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The lure of adventure travel strong for Australians in retirement

Published on 14/06/2016

Antarctica, Iceland and Galapagos Islands make list of exotic bucket list destinations.

  • 63 per cent of Australians seeking ‘off the beaten track’ holidays in retirement
  • One in ten Australians plan to take a bungee jumping or skydiving holiday
  • 23 per cent will join the trend towards volun-tourism
  • Over one million Australians plan to visit Antarctica in retirement

New research from ING DIRECT has revealed our desire to venture off the beaten track doesn’t dwindle with age. From trekking to volunteering in developing countries, almost two in three Australians (63 per cent) plan to set off on ‘outside the norm’ holidays when they retire.

The research showed one in two people want to use their golden years to embark on adventure holidays. Almost 40 per cent will head for ancient cities to see archaeological artefacts, while 23 per cent intend to venture on some form of volun-tourism (volunteer tourism).

John Arnott from ING DIRECT said there’s a clear appetite for more adventurous travel in retirement, with just one third of Australians leaning towards traditional holiday options:

“While it’s not surprising millennials are planning adventure holidays in retirement, it’s fascinating to see those close to retirement are also attracted to adventure travel.”

From African safaris (1.5 million Baby Boomers) to volunteering in developing countries (850,000 Baby Boomers) and even bungee jumping or sky diving (194,000 Baby Boomers), older Australians are increasingly seeking adventure.

Top retirement adventure activities

  • African safari (44 per cent)
  • Biking or trekking (43 per cent)
  • Hot air ballooning (37 per cent)
  • Volunteering in developing country (23 per cent)
  • Sailing (22 per cent)
  • Joining an archaeological dig (22 per cent)
  • Skiing / snowboarding (17 per cent)
  • Bungee jumping / skydiving (12 per cent)

Passion for adventure travel plays out in bucket list destinations

The research revealed that while traditional destinations like the USA, Canada and the UK are still attractive, exotic locations are increasingly holding greater appeal for Australians.

“With the gap year for Millennials firmly entrenched in our culture in recent years, it appears that older Australians are seeing their retirement as an opportunity for a grown-up gap year of sorts and an opportunity to experience non-conventional destinations,” Mr Arnott said.

Australia’s exotic bucket list destinations

  • Greek Islands (1.9 million Australians)
  • Caribbean (1.6 million Australians)
  • Antarctica (1.1 million Australians)
  • Iceland (1 million Australians)
  • Vietnam (967,000 Australians)
  • Galapagos Islands (637,000 Australians)
  • Brazil  (630,000 Australians)
  • Russia (625,000 Australians)
  • Nepal (590,000 Australians)
  • Cuba (537,000 Australians)

Overseas travel a high priority in retirement, yet Australians aren’t adequately planning to fund this lifestyle

Nine in 10 Australians plan to travel overseas in retirement, and on average they’re looking for holidays of six weeks in length, with 6 per cent (900,000) keen to jet-set for more than two months.

The research found most Australians plan to fund retirement travel plans from their personal savings (55 per cent) or super (43 per cent), but worryingly, less than 20 per cent intend to top up super before retirement.

Mr Arnott said there is a disconnect between retirement travel aspirations and smart money management now:

“Two thirds of Australians are concerned they won’t have enough money to fund their overseas travel in retirement, yet people aren’t helping themselves to get ahead by taking control of their super.

“Finding the right super fund, tracking its performance, considering additional contributions and minimising fees and charges can go a long way towards setting you up for a comfortable retirement where you can achieve your travel dreams.”

Mr Arnott added: “Adventure holidays don’t come cheap but taking simple action now could mean the difference between a holiday around Australia or taking off for whatever exotic location is on your bucket list.”


Notes to editors
The research was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of ING DIRECT in May 2016 and comprised an online poll of over 1,000 respondents.

Media contact
Kallie Hunter, N2N Communications, 0411 143 963
Lauren Magid, N2N Communications, 0468 598 683
Kristen Costandi, ING DIRECT, 0413 317 225

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