The Undauntable Travellers

If you think that age is an obstacle for jet setting…think again. Meet Susan Varty she is 75 lives in Harefield with husband Ray and has two children and three grandchildren. Susan has already booked her next bucket list Caribbean holiday at The Great House, Antigua.  “Since I married Ray my friends often say life […]

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If you think that age is an obstacle for jet setting…think again.

Meet Susan Varty she is 75 lives in Harefield with husband Ray and has two children and three grandchildren. Susan has already booked her next bucket list Caribbean holiday at The Great House, Antigua. 

“Since I married Ray my friends often say life has been an endless honeymoon! We love to travel and if anything the last year has shown us it is that life is for living well. Covid19 should not make people live in fear it should make them embrace wellness and joy in life. We love history, art, culture, great food, adventure, sun and literature. These are our best years so we don’t want to waste a moment. We will not become the invisible generation; we want to be the invincible ones.”

Susan Varty
Susan and Ray Varty

There’s so much to look forward to as you grow older and it’s not often talked about in mainstream media, but it should be. 

With years come freedom, freedom from work, home, responsibilities, the weight of other people’s judgements. Pure freedom to be yourselves and to go for it in life!

“It’s true that our older generations are free from the burdens of a young family and not limited by financial or work-related constraints. People do actually find more freedom to travel and explore the world in older age than when they are young.”

Woman and Home Magazine

For many the threat of the past year and COVID19 is becoming a distant memory. At The Great House a historic boutique hotel located on the Caribbean Island of Antigua and Barbuda, they are ready to welcome back their clientele who are more mature than many of the world’s frequent flyers.

They are not daunted by COVID testing or if they have to quarantine. Many say compared to what they or their relatives went through in the war the last twelve months have been a walk in the park. Whereas younger generations have been more deeply impacted perhaps because of their dependency on devices and the constant notifications with social media.

Ray Varty Undauntable jet setter

“We learn a lot from our guests there’s much wisdom that can be taken from our travellers who refuse to live small. A few phrases we have heard a lot since opening The Great House as a private paradise hotel are ‘wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been, don’t count your age in years, count them by friends. Also our personal favourite travel gets better as you get older as your tastes improve. The older you get the more you, you are. Knowing what you love, often means getting the very best of life.”

Ray Varty
Tropical paradise Bucket list trip

Gabriella Howell Direct at The Great House, Antigua said : “Our regular guests are now fully vaccinated, already booking longer stays and to be honest they are all pretty fearless. Well they do travel each year to the Caribbean to stay with us. We have grandparents already booking to come back , all excited to escape the monotony of the last year. I do think it helps that it’s a family business and it’s micro boutique also that our name is synonymous with safety with family heritage in owning and running BCB International a leading PPE provider.”

The Great House Antigua
Photo of the enchanting French suite at The Great House Antigua

“We learn a lot from our guests there’s much wisdom that can be taken from our travellers who refuse to live small. A few phrases we have heard a lot since opening The Great House as a private paradise hotel are ‘wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been, don’t count your age in years, count them by friends. Also our personal favourite travel gets better as you get older as your tastes improve. The older you get the more you, you are. Knowing what you love, often means getting the very best of life.”

Gabriella Howell Director
Pool at The Great House, Antigua

The travel agents we work with have let us know that senior undauntable travel is to become a post-pandemic trend with travel agents now promoting ‘Age-Friendly Tourism’ as more older people than ever before are looking to prioritise travel in their lives.

The over-60s travel market has become “more adventurous, diverse and lucrative than many realise” says Selling Travel who claims long haul destinations and luxury travel is important to this age group. Those in their 50’s are also more likely to take adult gap years to do their bucket list or take work sabbaticals in order to prioritise slow travel in their lives.

With their children grown up and leading independent lives, parents in their 50’s are now just as likely as those in their 20’s to embrace adventure and travel to exotic locations and spend longer periods of time away from home. 

Recently reported in The Times that the amount of people planning to retire early has more than doubled since the coronavirus pandemic. People have had time to re-assess what is of most importance to them. COVID has made everyone reflect on their own mortality and change priorities accordingly.

More than a third of those over 50 years old are likely to have a bucket list trip list of places they want to go and things they want to do before they die and according to an article in The Scotsman newspaper: “Having worked hard, many believe 50 is the point where their life is just getting started. In other research, it was uncovered that eight out of ten people age 55 and over will use assets such as property wealth to live a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement, with one in four admitting they would invest in a holiday of a lifetime.”

Bucket list holidays to places like the Caribbean will be particularly popular with the older generation, suggests Travel Up Website: “Those with a good amount of disposable income are researching private paradise hotels and holidays like never before.”

The Great House, Antigua is a historic hotel and is able to offer something unique compared to most Caribbean resorts, because it was a family home and has a real focus on antiques, history and island culture.

Photo of the dining room in the main house at The Great House, Antigua

“Typically, our guests have visited the Caribbean previously, they have always been keen travellers. Now they are returning with a renewed passion for life, exploring, learning and taking time for the unique. With only 8 suites, perfect for family reunions or for our guests to take time for themselves. The Great House is able to offer privacy. Unlike some of the larger hotels, with young couples kissing in the pool and crying children, our guests have 26 acres to explore. The hotel has a strict over 18s only policy, unless there is a close out of the whole hotel for a single party.” 

Isabella Howell Director

Photos of The Garden Cottage suites at The Great House, Antigua


All meals are included at The Great House Antigua meaning that guests are able to try the local cuisine, catch of the day, grilled lobster, salads from the garden or a more international menu. The hotel offers leisurely walks around the grounds and to neighbouring historic sites including information about the local scenery and uses of trees, bushes and fruit. The Great House features an on-site spa and weekly yoga and Pilates classes.  

“We are so excited to welcome back our undauntable travellers. The older generations that teach us so much about how to live well and who we want to be!”

Isabella Howell Director The Great House, Antigua
Photo by sk on Unsplash

Here are our 5 top REASONS  TO TRAVEL IN YOUR 50S AND 60S

  • Travel can give you a new purpose in life – It gives us  a boost like nothing else a raison d’etre . Plus we get to make the best rocking chair memories and that is what life is about, memories and inspiring others to live fully, not just live.
  • Frugal or fabulous? We are all born into this world with nothing and we leave this world the same way. “You can’t take it with you”, the best gift we give others is the imprint we leave on their lives, how we will be remembered is how we inspire them to live a more fulfilling life.
  • You’ll get to live life with no regrets – The one commodity none of us can buy no matter how rich we are is time. One proven way to increase the life in your years is to have an ever changing horizon. At the end of our days we will remember the bucket list trips and adventures more than anything else.
  • You can practice adventure before dementia! Mindfulness finds its blessings in bliss and relaxation. Switching the vision to different views and cultures, experiencing new places, languages, and people, have all been proven by scientists to improve and even rebuild cognitive functioning
  • Choose your rhythm and travel slow – You get to pick your pace and slow travel often can mean a longer happier life. Travelling in midlife can be tiring so why not take it slowly and stay longer? The Great House, Antigua supports a tranquil and restorative experience where you are made to feel very much at home and your every need is taken care of with warmth and care. 

Ask for Gabriella or Isabella Howell the owners of The Great House Antigua and they will look after you.

Photo left to right Isabella Howell and Gabriella Howell co-owners of The Great House, Antigua

For more information visit :

https://www.thegreathouseantigua.com

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