Retirees go on holiday more often

22 July 2016


Dutch retirees are fond of holidays. In fact, for 36 percent of them, it is one of their most important activities after their retirement. A quarter of them go on holiday more often than in the past, when they were still working.

This was found in a survey that the online pension administrator BeFrank arranged to be performed among more than 600 Dutch people aged 65 years and older. Eighty percent of them go on holiday at least once a year. On average, these mobile retirees pack their suitcases 2.5 times a year. In most cases, they go on holiday with a partner (64 percent) or with friends (11 percent), their children (10 percent) or grandchildren (6.9 percent).

Spending levels falling
Travelling and going on holiday continue to be something of a basic need for many Dutch people that they cannot do without even after they have retired. Among the retirees, 36 percent call this one of their most important activities. However, a substantial group have cut back their spending levels to some extent. Almost 40 percent spend less while on holiday than they used to in the past. This is mainly due to the purchasing power of retirees. “It is important for people who are still working to plan ahead for this now,” comments Marianne de Boer, managing director of BeFrank. “If you want to continue to go on holiday after you have retired, you will have to start setting aside money for that now.” BeFrank launched the first comprehensive pension app in the Netherlands in 2012, enabling people to see, whenever and wherever they want to, how much pension they have accrued.

Close to home
Many Dutch retirees tend to stay a bit closer to home than younger holidaymakers. Almost 40 percent spend their holidays in the Netherlands, 49 percent opt for a country in Europe and only 7 percent for destinations further afield. While the retirees were still working, they used to travel much more frequently to holiday destinations in Asia, America, Africa or Australia. Over 35 percent sometimes flew to destinations outside Europe. A small group among those surveyed (12 percent) always return to the same destination. That is not adventurous enough for 36 percent. They want a new setting every time they go on holiday.

Walks and cultural trips
Doing nothing is not something most retirees like doing when on holiday. They prefer to be more active. They like walking, for instance, 67 percent of those surveyed do this regularly when on holiday, as well as cultural trips (57 percent), eating out (52 percent) and cycling (37 percent). Reading is a preferred form of relaxation for the retirees, more than half of them like to immerse themselves in an entertaining novel, gripping thriller or intriguing biography while on holiday.

WhatsApp messaging to keep in touch
Today’s retirees keep in touch with people back home much more closely than preceding generations. They are helped, of course by today’s technology. Half of them send WhatsApp messages with their smartphone, one third opt for SMS text messages and the same percentage send e-mails. Around 45 percent call their children, grandchildren or friends at least once during their trip. The traditional postcard still exists but is hardly used any longer. Only 12 percent of retirees send a postcard during their holiday.

Which types of holiday do retirees prefer?
Beach holiday: 20.4 percent
City break: 15.2 percent
Active tour: 11.4 percent
Cruise: 10.4 percent
Cultural tour: 9.4 percent
Long-haul holidays: 8.5 percent

Favourite types of accommodation
Hotel: 32 percent
Apartment: 16 percent
Chalet in holiday park: 11 percent
Caravan: 9 percent

About BeFrank
BeFrank has been active in the group pensions market since 2011 and was the first Premium Pension Institution (PPI) in the Netherlands. BeFrank offers a straightforward pension, clear communications, online service provision and low costs. It is part of the Delta Lloyd Group.

About the survey
The survey was carried out by PanelWizard Direct. This is the research panel of the market research agency Kien, comprising more than 30,000 members aged 16 years and above. The members of the panel stated their willingness to participate in market surveys in advance. PanelWizard applies the MOA Gold Standard, the weighting method for survey results recognised throughout the sector. More than 600 Dutch people aged 65 years or above took part in this survey.

More information: Isabelle van Ast. E-mail:, Phone: 020 5621118.