Older people are increasingly planning on taking long-term holidays and gap years, new research suggests.

Bradford and Bingley found that over half (53 per cent) of people aged over 35 in the UK wish to travel more in the future.

A third of the people who now take gap years are more than 50 years old, the research also indicated.

"Over 35s need not despair as there is plenty of time for them to change their lives for the better," commented Paul Whitlock, head of savings at Bradford & Bingley.

"Putting money aside and making it work for them means it will be easier for them to realise their dreams."

Recently, the Guardian newspaper published a list of suggestions for gap years for older travellers.

These included volunteering in Cambodia, teaching sport in Shanghai, travelling overland from the UK to Cameroon or taking children on a tour of Ecuador.

Gwen Dale-Jones, a 66-year-old woman who recently returned from teaching in India for several months, told the paper: "The best advice I could give is don't think about it, just do it. I didn't want to reach 75, look back and wish I'd done more with my life."

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(Tony Hill and Helen Gillilan)

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