Demanding distances in later life leisure travel

Emmet Fox, Russell Hitchings, Rosie Day, Susan Venn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
221 Downloads (Pure)


This article draws on a serial interview study of later life leisure travel in the UK to question how a wider trend towards holidaying further afield has come to feature in the lives of three cohorts of older Britons. Drawing on theories of social practice that see notions of desirable activity as produced through the interplay of opportunities to engage in relevant activities, collective apprehensions of what doing these activities should involve, and the physical capacities necessarily required to undertake them, we examine their leisure travel in two regards. Firstly, we consider how evolving social and infrastructural arrangements are effectively demanding greater distance travel in the sense that they shape what socially desirable leisure travel is taken to entail at certain points in time. Secondly, we examine how distance travel may be physically demanding in the
sense that older bodies may be particularly likely to face certain challenges when they travel. This strategy allows us to examine how broader social expectations regarding distance travel have become part of the lives of older Britons and the manner in which they are currently reconciling them with both the anticipation and the experience of bodily ageing. We end with the implications of our findings for the future of later life leisure travel as a potential hotspot of growing societal energy demand and the further application of social practice theory in view of the evidently variable capacities of human bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
Early online date8 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Senior leisure travel
  • Ageing
  • Energy demand
  • Long-haul
  • Practice theory
  • Sustainability


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