GAP years – where you take time out from work to volunteer and / or travel – used to be the thing that students did. This has changed, however, with GAP years becoming popular with mid-career professionals, tired of the daily grind.
The Guardian cites one example of a 40+ managing director at a City investment bank who took a year out to take part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race and another of a couple whose six-month, round-the-world trip with their two sons, 7 and 10, saw them visit stunning Australian beaches, explore Vietnam and go caravanning across New Zealand.
So, why are older people taking GAP years?
Steve Bradley, MD at property insurance provider UKinsuranceNET, says that since the introduction of pension freedoms (where people aged 55 and over can access their pension pots), the company has started to receive lots of enquiries from customers who want to insure their home whilst they go on a 4 or 6 month holiday.
He adds: “By the time you are in your 50’s, maybe the kids have grown up, and you have more financial freedom, so you want to do something a bit different. And why not? We have seen an increase in customers in their 50’s who are taking a sabbatical and want to make sure their property is properly insured with unoccupied property insurance for long stay travellers before they leave.”
Mr. Bradley adds that with concerns over burglary - a recent article in the Daily Mail warned homeowners that criminals are marking out empty houses with white stones to tip off their burglar friends – as well as damage caused by floods and fire etc., “getting the most appropriate unoccupied property insurance is as important as taking your passport before you leave”.