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Feeling happy or feeling old? You must be travelling

Nov 8, 2017

Some say travel is like cheese or wine – it gets better with age. Others say travel is best when you’re young. The question of optimal age for travel was tackled from the perspective of a Millennial and a Boomer in British Airways’ November 2017 edition of The Club, however, WYSE Travel Confederation’s latest survey of more than 57,000 young travellers weighs in on the question from a slightly different perspective: happiness.
 
Does travel make us happy?
 
New Horizons IV, the global survey of youth and student travel, asked travellers how happy their last big trip abroad made them feel on a scale from 1 to 10. Findings from the nearly 60,000 responses suggest that the ‘sweet spot’ for travel seems to be in your late twenties, from age 26 to 29.
 
On average, travellers in the 26 to 29 age group rated their last trip in terms of happiness a 9.1 – that sounds pretty close to extreme happiness.
 
What makes the late twenties the optimal time for travel? Dolly Alderton, representing the Millennial viewpoint for The Club, says in the late twenties you’re “young enough to still have a shiny, nomadic sense of adventure and good working knees, but old enough to know the whole experience is a little easier.”
 
So, after age 29 does the adventure wear down just like your knee joints? No, according to Simon Calder, representing the Boomer perspective for The Club.
 
“Most empowering of all is the realisation that one’s risk tolerance should increase, not diminish, with age,” he says. At 61, you can afford to take more chances. And (more importantly) savour more thrills.”
 
We wonder: do the travel insurance providers agree?
 
No matter what, thank you to Alderton, Calder, and The Club for reminding us all that youth travel is not just about your age, but your state of mind. This is exactly what WYSE Travel Confederation means when we say ‘the power of youth travel’.
 
Learn more about power of youth travel as tracked by WYSE Travel Confederation and the only recurring global survey of youth travel, New Horizons.