Couples aged 50+ more likely to celebrate Christmas abroad

It’s that age-old dilemma: Christmas at home by the fireside, or on a sunlounger under the sun? This Christmas, around 71% of holidaymakers aged 51 or over will be heading out for some winter sunshine, according to a new survey by UK travel retailer Holiday Hypermarket.

The survey also reveals the top destination for this Christmas – it’s top timeshare favourite Tenerife!  And out of the 71%, 81% who confirmed they’d be jetting off were couples, indicating that they’ll be away from their families for at least part of the holiday.

Tenerife topped the list with almost one quarter, 24% of those surveyed, saying they’ll be flying to the island on 20 December.

However, the go abroad trend seems to “end” in the fifties, as holidaymakers in their sixties indicated that instead they’d mainly be staying close to home.  This age group makes up just 14% of bookings for Christmas in the sun this year.

Traditionally, the most popular Christmas sunshine destinations are: The Canary Islands (Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, with Fuerteventura more popular with the windsurfing crowd), Malaga, with its cheap, wide network of flights in and out, Cyprus, a perennial favourite, and for longer haul trips, Florida. Some California destinations like Palm Springs and Las Vegas, which are dry and warm in winter, are also regular destination picks at this time of year.

Marrakech is also a favourite for guaranteed winter sun with constant daytime temps in the mid 20s and it is fast becoming a winter sun long weekend destination for those who don’t have time to take off a week but can hop on a 3.5hr flight from the UK on a Friday (a shorter flight than the Canary Islands) and be back home on Monday night.

One theory why couples in their sixties stay home (with just 14% spending Christmas abroad this year, according to the research) is that they may want to spend the holiday season with the grandchildren.

However, why the number of winter sun holidaymakers drops at the age of 60 plus is something of a mystery.

Martin Lock, CEO of, a leading online community for the 50+ demographic says:

“Many people in their 50s spend Christmas abroad with friends and family, and we also know that quite a lot of over 50s have second homes overseas that they regularly visit.  A lot of the over 50s also have relatives living in destinations like Spain, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand and visit them at this festive time of year.”

Will you be going away this Christmas, taking a staycation or celebrating at home to avoid the Christmas airport chaos? Tweet us at @Gotimeshare.

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