Not Just Travel reports boom in over 55s bookings as school holidays end

Not Just Travel has reported a “boom” in over 55s booking last-minute holidays.

The homeworking agency said travel from September 1 has increased 34% year on year in the over 55s market, citing “exhausted grandparents” looking to go abroad after spending the summer helping take care of their grandchildren.

NJT co-founder Steve Witt (pictured) said 46% of bookings made in August – which was a record month for the agency – were for holidays departing in the next eight weeks, while 81% of bookings were made by couples and older travellers.

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The agency also reported August cruise sales were up 41% year on year, which it attributed to its cruise division and cruise mastery programme, while 42% of bookings made in the last two weeks were for long-haul destinations.

Average booking value was also up an average of £607 per booking, from £3,633 to £4,240.

“The high costs of living and child care have meant grandparents have been relied on during the summer holidays more than ever before, yet many older travellers are affluent and resource rich,” said Witt.

“We’re seeing the trend that exhausted mature travellers are rewarding their hard work with trips abroad.

“Following a washout summer of mostly looking after children indoors, exhausted grandparents are also taking advantage of the tumbling prices, great deals to be had and extraordinary value that the ever-growing cruise market provides, especially in the shoulder months.”

He added: “Long-haul destinations are no longer bucket list special occasion destinations, they are becoming the norm for sectors of the over 55s market, especially over the winter period.”

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