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Holidaying, Exercising and Socialising: Living Life to the Full over 55

Lively Lifestyles Bring Positive Mental Health

We know that our customers were born to explore. On board our river cruises, we see adventurers just as hungry for discovery as ever but how do their day-to-day activities and interests compare to people in other stages of their lives?

Our most recent survey looked to find out. We asked 2,000 Brits about a variety of topics around their social lives and general wellbeing and looked at how over-55s embrace that period of life and live it to the full. Here’s what we found.

over 55 life friends in Budapest

The Modern Over-55s Lifestyle

Nearly seven in ten (69%) of over-55s in our survey said they have enough time to do the things they want to do. Liberated by the extra free time they enjoy, over-55s are heading out to socialise, exercise and discover.

Almost three-quarters of over-55s (74%) keep themselves active by exercising every week, one in five hit the gym at least once a month.

They’re enjoying exciting social lives too. Nearly three-quarters (74%) eat out in a restaurant at least once a month, while almost a third (32%) can be found out socialising with their friends on a weekly basis.

over 55 restaurant

Catching their favourite artists monthly at a gig (17%) and attending festivals annually (as 31% do) are also high on our to-do lists, proving that the sense of adventure doesn’t diminish with age.

Many are also savvy with new technologies. Over eight in ten (83%) can be found using a smartphone or tablet several times a week. Nearly six in ten (58%) will use the tech to engage with social media, and almost a third (32%) watch weekly videos online on the likes of Netflix or YouTube.

The modern-day lifestyle of an over-55 is one of ample excitement with plenty of activities and social lives that would be the envy of anyone. These lifestyles breed happiness and contentment, as we’ll explore later.

If you’re looking for a more active holiday, why not try one of Riviera Travel’s Walk & Discover tours? With fascinating sights to see in Italy, Croatia, Austria, and France and an expert walking guide, you’ll making lasting memories and take some amazing photos along the way.

Exploring and Adventuring Abroad

Departing from the day-to-day lifestyle, over-55s are putting more time aside than anyone to seek new cultures and see as much of the world as possible.

Over the last 12 months, nearly four in ten (39%) of over-55s have spent more than 20 days on holiday, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of under-35s.

With the bulk of working years completed, any children now in adulthood and more financial stability, there is no better time to head out and explore. That appetite for adventure does not diminish with age. In fact, it continues to thrive. During our recent Bucket List research, we saw that over-55s consider now to be the best time to head out into the world to explore.

over 55 safari bucket list

Lively Lifestyles Bring Positive Mental Health

Thanks to the enjoyable lives they lead, over-55s are benefitting from better mental health than those twenty years younger.

Seven in ten said they have good mental health, compared to just under six in ten (59%) of under-35s. Fewer over-55s suffer from other areas of poor mental health too. Three in ten over-55s said they are stressed or anxious, with at least double the amount of under-35s saying they feel stressed (63%) or anxious (60%).

The greater level of motivation and reduced capacity for stress and anxiety is fed by the engaging lifestyles that over-55s lead.

Add it all together and you get a generation that is happy living life the way they want to. When asked about how they feel about life, the positivity continued. Plenty of our respondents agreed when they were asked if they were comfortable with their age (72%), content in life (64%), and more confident than they’ve ever been (53%).

Able to do the things they enjoy, over-55s are healthy, happy and leading fruitful lives – so much so they don’t feel their age. More than half (53%) of people we asked said they feel younger than they actually are.

over 55 couple cycling

Advice for the younger generations

No matter how much fun we have fulfilling our dreams throughout adulthood chances are there are a few things you might have done differently. We asked the over-55s what piece of advice they would give to people younger than them, here, are the most popular:
1. Put time aside to be with loved ones
2. See as much of the world as you can
3. Don’t be scared to try new things
4. Don’t let others change you
5. Stop worrying so much/Don’t care what other people think

Over-55s enjoy more time to do the things that make them happy, motivated and stress-free, even with a career still in the picture. Based on the results of our survey, the enthusiasm we Brits have for life only grows with age.

If you’re planning on living life to the full, why not experience one of Riviera Travel’s escorted tours? To see more locations without having to repack your suitcase, we also have river cruises, with itineraries to suit every taste. There are solo traveller exclusive departures too if you want to make some new life-long friends, or you can browse our holiday types to find something perfect for you.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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