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Five Things I Appreciate More About Travelling In My Forties

This week I’m writing about travel for us oldies, technically known as middle-aged people. There’s so many blogs dedicated to travel for millennials, travel for those in their twenties and thirties, but very little for those who are maturer in years, if not in behaviour. It’s almost as though, the youth of today, the font of all knowledge, assume that we stop travelling (like we assume our parents stop having sex. I know, gross right?!) as soon as we hit a certain number. They say life begins at forty and frankly there’s a ton of reasons why travelling in my forties is way more rewarding and memorable than my travels of yesteryear, although I wouldn’t change those for the world either.

Earn points at Crowne Plaza
A bit more luxury at the Crowne Plaza, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

I’ll try not to bore you though (after all, us oldies are prone to naps!) so here’s just five things I appreciate more about travelling in my forties.

Travel hacking

Travel hacking in the U.K. is hard work. It is less rewarding and more effort than for our friends on the other side of the pond. The best credit card bonus here is around 30,000 compared to 110,000 in the USA. Sickening!

By now though, I’ve had time to figure out some pretty impressive ways to rack up the points quicker without become a flight bore. This means that I now mainly do my long haul journeys in business. That flat bed makes all the difference to my achy back plus I don’t have to hang out with the rowdy stag groups in the heaving Weatherspoons. Instead I can sit back and sip on my free wine with my free wifi in comfort. If you haven’t already got in on the act, here is my 14 week guide to bagging tons of points.

BA lounge
Enjoying relaxation in the Business Class Lounge

More disposable income

I’ve done some pretty frugal travel in my time, shared hundred-bed dorms (although it was in amazing Fiji!), grotty dorms in gang infested cities and cockroach invaded dorms in Oz. I’m not complaining. Those experiences make great stories years down the line, occasionally even reminding the teenagers that I can be pretty cool. Let’s face it though, if I could do over in five-star luxury, would I really turn down all-inclusive hotels with personal butlers and heavenly spas? Having a little more money in the bank means I get to splurge every now and then.

The spa by night at Stanley House
The gorgeous spa by night courtesy of Stanley House

Shock resistant

My nineteen year old self might never have left the U.K again if I’d suffered through some of my recent mishaps. From running for our lives in a Tunis riot, to crashing a snowmobile or being stranded in Bali or Brazil (take your pick!) my younger self would have been apocalyptic at such nightmares. Jason and I, on the other hand, find this adds to the rich travel tapestry of our life. It’s fuel for the dinner table and serves to remind us of our blessings on a regular basis.

Travelling in my forties is great for dinner party chats
Source: PIxabay

Just do it

A sad reality of aging is discovering that you fear something more than aging. That’s not aging. I’d been to one funeral before the age of 27. Now I go to at least one a year and they seem to be increasing in frequency. People die before their time, which reminds me to live now. Just this Christmas, a dear friend, not much older than I, passed away but boy did he live a full life.

Got an opportunity to dive with sharks? Take it! To jump out of a plane or raft a wild river? Go for it! It might be your one chance!

Wading through Goynuk Canyon
Wading through Goynuk Canyon on an adventurous day out

Home is where the heart is

My heart is torn, because much as I love travel, and the itch doesn’t ever go away, I also love coming home. The lure of my huge, super comfy bed is just too great after weeks of sleeping in concrete panelled beds in the east. Sometimes you also just need a huge Sunday roast with tons of veg!

What do you appreciate more about travelling as you age?

How about you? How have your travels changed as you age, and what do you appreciate more now?

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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  1. Every age has its benefits! Enjoy your travels and keep sharing your experiences!

  2. The article is about an amazing theme, no one really talks about it now, Age is a number and one is as old as one thinks. The secret lies in living each moment as if it was the last and enjoying to the full.

  3. I love this perspective — you’ve done it all over the years and it’s good to know you’re feeling good about where you are now. It’s nice to be able to spend a little bit more here and there, which is something that I certainly didn’t used to do as much either (though I’m 28, I am willing to pay a bit more these days than I would even a few years ago)

  4. I definitely prefer traveling since I turned thirty than I did when I traveled when I was in my twenties. Having a disposable income is a really big plus. But I also know what I like better now that I’m older. So I’m sure I’ll enjoy traveling in my 40s even more.

    • Yes that’s true that we figure out more of what we like. I no longer attempt to assuage the critics by visiting art museums and cultural centres. It simply isn’t me. I like to explore a city, feel its buzz, get out into nature and do a plethora of activities. I don’t want to be stuck in endless museums having facts and figures rammed down my neck, although I do go to some. I am usually very strategic in my visits and don’t linger too long

  5. We are in our mid-30s and early 40s and totally agree that traveling isn’t just for the millennials. Our travel habits have changed as well over the years, and with more disposable income (after years of hard work!) we are now able to pick a hotel that isn’t on a super budget 🙂 And, yes, just do it!

    • Yep, it is definitely one of the benefits of aging! Nice hotels was something I simply could not imagine when I was in my twenties. I needed spending money after all!

  6. I got goose bumps while reading this post. I couldn’t agree more. Though I’m still not hitting the 40s for quite a while I couldn’t agree more with the JUST DO IT! People always tend to think that they have time but they just don’t: 1. Time flies. 2. You might not even get the time that you should.. so GO FOR IT! 🙂
    And the luxury travel part is a nice perk of not being 21 anymore and adventuring through Latin America with a bunch of other 21 year old crazy people haha (though that was fun too! 🙂 )

    • Yes and given the events in Manchester this week (not far from where I live), this message becomes even clearer. Life is very mysterious in some ways. Your travel round south america sounds like something I did in NZ which was awesome but now I prefer slower travel

  7. Wow, this is really written so deep and it hit me straight to my heart. it is something new and I find it really interesting at least I can see myself in my forties with how well I can still manage life. You’re truly an inspiration to many and I’m sure that you have touched their heart as well. I hope when I reach your age, I can still manage to travel and enjoy life just like you do. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  8. these days i spend more time understanding the history and culture of the destination instead of checking off a Top 10 list.

    Just last weekend I randomly walked up a skateboard halfpipe while visiting Sweden to chat with a random skater and got his perspective of life ….. and I’ve never skateboarded in my entire life.

    • How cool. Isn’t Stockholm a great city? I definitely find it much easier to strike up random conversations with people the older I get. What is the worst that can happen?

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