Research Reveals People Aged 26 And Above Are More Likely To Take A Gap Year

13 September 2016

Research reveals people aged 26 and above are more likely to take a gap year

• 34% of people in Britain who’ve taken a gap year were between 26 and 40 years old(1)
• 45% of those planning a gap year will do so between 26 and 40 years old(1)
• A desire to see the world (16%) is the strongest inspiration(1)

It’s traditionally thought that gap years are for students taking time out before entering the world of work, however research(1) from Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money reveals that people aged between 26 and 40 are actually the most likely to do so. The survey(1) asked people how old they were when they took a gap year: 34% were between 26-40 years old, 28% were between 20 and 25 years old, followed by pre-University 18-19 year-olds (19%). The research also highlights a new generation of mature gappers, with 12% aged 41-59 and 4% aged 60 or over taking a gap year. 4% of those who went away were younger teenagers aged 18 and under.

Grown-up gap year planners
The research(1) also suggests that 45% of people in Britain who want to take a gap year are planning to do so between the ages of 26-40, followed by those who say they’ll be 41-59 years old (19%). 18% plan to take time out between the ages of 20-25 and 17% say they’ll be aged 60 or over. Just 1% of 18-19 year olds have plans to take a gap year in the near future.

A desire to see the world (16%) was the most important factor to inspire Britons to take a gap year. Those who wanted a break from school or university accounted for 12% of those who had; the search of a once in a lifetime experience inspired 11% of travellers and 8% were looking for a career break to gain a fresh perspective. 6% of travellers opted for redundancy gap years; 5% of gap year takers were retirees and only 4% of travellers considered their gap year as an experience that would enhance their CV.

Most popular destinations

The most popular destination for British gappers who travelled abroad is Europe (32%), followed by the USA (20%) and a round the world trip (19%). Other popular destinations include South East Asia (15%), Australia and New Zealand (14%) and South America (9%).

Funding a gap year
According to the research, gap years are most commonly funded through savings (40%), working throughout the gap year (20%) or through financial support from family (14%).

Regional gappers
Regionally, London has the largest number of gap year takers (39%) followed by the North West (21%) and North East (20%), then Scotland (16%) and Wales (16%). The research suggests the Northern Irish are the most ‘gap year shy’ (2%).

Those that have taken a gap year opted to travel with their spouse or partner (25%), followed by solo travelling (22%) and travelling with friends (20%). The findings show that 27% of women prefer travelling solo in comparison to men (18%).

Simon Taylor, Head of Travel Money at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “Budgeting is a crucial part of gap year planning; travellers should consider how much money they are going to need each day and the differences in costs per country. For travellers who’ll be on the go most days, it’s safer to carry a mixture of currency, a pre-paid travel money card that can be used just like a debit card in case of emergency.”

Sainsbury’s Bank has prepared a ‘know before you go’ checklist designed to help travellers plan their trip and ensure they stay safe overseas:
1. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s country specific travel advice.
2. Make sure whoever you book through is with ABTA or ATOL registered.
3. Consider taking out a travel insurance policy and declare any sports / activities you might want to do. An EHIC card will only provide you with the same basic healthcare as the European country you’re visiting (e.g. medical treatment for accidents or illness).
4. Research the currency for your planned destinations – you might need several, so consider a pre-paid travel money card that you can load (and reload) multiple currencies on to.
5. Take some back-up funds or means of payment for your trip e.g. credit cards, a pre-paid travel money card, Sterling or US dollars.
6. Ensure you have a valid passport and necessary visa(s).
7. Research your destination, e.g. vaccinations before you go, local laws, driving and culture.
8. Take a guide/phrase book or download an app on your phone.
9. Leave a copy of important information (passport, tickets etc.) at home or with a trusted friend.
10. Make sure family and friends know where you are and where you’re heading to, including dates and who you’re travelling with.

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money offers Nectar cardholders an even better rate at its instore bureaux and online, 0% commission on foreign currency and competitive exchange rates(2). There are over 50 currencies available to order. Open seven days a week and with convenient parking, customers can also purchase a travel money card at bureau. Sainsbury’s Bank’s Multi-currency Cash PassportTM MasterCard®(3) can be used like a debit card whilst abroad, giving customers a safe and secure way of carrying their spending money.

Notes to Editors
1. Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned Opinium Research to survey 2,008 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+ between 27th to 31st May 2016. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
2. Rates may vary depending on whether you order over the phone, instore or online. A £1.99 administration fee applies to all online orders under £100 collected instore. Home delivery charge of £5 applies on minimum orders of £100 – £499.99 and free delivery on orders of £500 or more. By phone – call 0845 301 2724 for home delivery on orders over £100. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day). Better rates for Nectar card holders are calculated by reducing our retail margins on single purchase transactions of Euros & US Dollars bought instore and on all foreign currencies available online or by phone. A Nectar card must be presented at the time of purchase.

The Nectar loyalty programme is operated independently of Sainsbury’s Bank by Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Ltd; and the collection and use of points is governed by the Nectar Collector Rules, set out in the registration pack and available at Sainsbury’s Bank reserves the right to alter, cancel or withdraw this offer without prior notice.
3. See for more information, including fees and limits.
Regional breakdown of gap year takers

North East North West Yorkhires & Humberside East Midlands West Midlands East of England London South East South West Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
20% 21% 19% 17% 16% 11% 39% 15% 13% 16% 16% 2%

For more information please contact:
Natasha Virtue / Jennifer Johnston-Watt – Sainsbury’s Bank on 0131 286 0010 /

Saira Khan or Patricia DeBidegain, Citigate Dewe Rogerson on 020 7638 9571

Sainsbury’s Bank Multi-currency Cash Passport™ is issued by R. Raphael & Sons plc, pursuant to license by MasterCard International Inc. MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. R. Raphael & Sons plc is a UK bank authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (registration number 161302) and is permitted to issue e-money. Head office and registered office at 19/21 Shaftesbury Ave, London, W1D 7ED, company registration number 01288938.

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