Finally, an influencer opportunity for the more experienced generation: One travel company in the UK is seeking a retired "travel addict" for an all-expenses-paid "senior gap year."
Lonely Planet reports that travel comparison site Compare the Market is currently running a competition to find the perfect pensioner-ambassador to spend a year traveling the world and posting about it on blogs and social media — all on the company dime.
In response to the booming rise of retiree travelers worldwide, the company is collecting essay submissions by February 12th in the hopes of underwriting an inspirational, real-time guide for fellow senior citizens who "regret never taking a gap year when they were younger."
The nationwide search hopes to find one lucky globe-trotting UK citizen for a 12-month Senior Gap Year, traveling all around the world with £10,000 in expenses plus "brand-new photography gear supplied by us, to capture their adventures which showcase their exotic travels," according to the Compare the Market contest application page.
According to a September report by International Living magazine, more and more Baby Boomers are giving a "gap year" a whole new spin, trading an idle retirement at home for one spent traveling overseas, some for months at a time — like this one Seattle couple who did a world tour for three years staying only in Airbnbs.
Seniors like the Campbells — who started a travel blog, Senior Nomads, and took to Instagram to document their adventures, then turned it into a book, Your Keys Our Home — are embracing a roving, globetrotting retirement, minimizing visa hurdles and reducing expenses by visiting countries where the cost of living is lower than in the U.S.
Though US News and AARP find that 65 percent of seniors prefer to travel with a companion (don't we all?), Lonely Planet found that women over 50 are leading the solo-travel trend worldwide. AARP also found that 38 percent of seniors surveyed have a travel bucket list, including an average of eight destinations.
If you're a UK citizen and want to throw your hat in the ring for this once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity, submit your persuasive 200-word personal statement about why you're the best man or woman for the job by February 12th, 2018.