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Life abroad 'can improve soft skills'

Older generations are increasingly choosing to spend time in an unfamiliar country to boost their professional skills, make new contacts and break from their routine, says a travel expert.

According to career break specialist Gap Year for Grown Ups, parents are often inspired by their children’s adventures to seek a gap year of their own, where they can pursue an interest through a voluntary or work placement.

Lauren Mackay, brand manager at the firm, said: "People come back feeling refreshed and invigorated by their time away from their daily routines. It’s also a great way to improve your soft skill set no matter what your age."

While older travellers may be emulating their children by choosing more exotic locations, Ms Mackay noted many opt for something other than the traditional gap year.

"People are more active in later life and want to get out and see the world … [they] want to be able to give something back to the places they visit and increasingly want to volunteer their time and energy."

Her comments follow the release of a study by the Halifax bank, which revealed that nearly half of all 55 to 64-year olds in the UK would like to sample expatriate life overseas at some point.

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