As an alternative view on what it’s like to be in your prime, particularly for those over 55s who do have the resources to take holidays and enjoy themselves, comes a warning from the Foreign Office entitled “Overseas And Plastered phenomenon” (OAP – another witty acronym?). While the advice is basically sound, it did smack of coming from the John Cleese University of the B******g Obvious. Issued just before Easter it has aroused a great deal of indignation from journalists and readers alike. “Patronising” was a word often seen.
We don’t disagree with the basic sentiments and the call for sensible preparation and behaviour while on holiday but we are talking about people who are old enough and experienced enough to make their own choices and take the consequences.
And so, we reproduce the warning as published, and can do no better than then refer you to two articles in the Times Online (by Janice Turner and Minette Marrin) which provide another perspective.
“Taking risks abroad has no age limit
Foreign Office warns of Overseas And Plastered phenomenon
Although most of you might think that when your parents go on holiday it’s a civilised affair, this isn’t necessarily the case. Research from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office shows 1 in 5 older travellers take risks abroad that they wouldn’t contemplate at home, with favourite activities ranging from bungee jumping and parasailing to water-skiing and moped-riding. Hardly surprising then that 1 in 5 couples say they or their daredevil partner has been injured along the way, which is even more concerning when 65% of older travellers have previously admitted they didn’t take out travel insurance on their last trip abroad.
The research which surveyed over a thousand Brits aged over 55 further shows that older travellers are indulging in one Martini too many, putting their safety at even greater risk. Over half admit they drink more alcohol than usual whilst on holiday and a third say they’d indulge even more in an all-inclusive resort where the booze is included. This, according to the British Embassies in popular resorts, can lead to problems and has previously caused incidents of drowning.
What concerns the Foreign Office most is that more than 8 in 10 people don’t routinely have a health check before embarking on their travels, with more than a third never doing so, believing that they will feel better after a break in the sun. However, if pre-existing illnesses or undiagnosed symptoms flare up whilst away from home, receiving urgent medical attention can be costly.”
“I want to be a saga lout” by Janice Turner
“Saga louts cause ‘holiday havoc’ and ignore health risks” by Minette Marrin