Home UK News European country helping pensioners go on holiday – Brit expats can benefit too | World | News

European country helping pensioners go on holiday – Brit expats can benefit too | World | News

European country helping pensioners go on holiday – Brit expats can benefit too | World | News

Spain is providing heavily subsidised trips for millions of pensioners living in the country, with the aim of improving their wellbeing and boosting the tourism sector during the low season.

The government of the nation, chosen by millions of people around the world as their holiday destination, launched this initiative in 2021, and it has since massively grown in popularity.

The scheme, with the stated goal of facilitating affordable holidays for the elderly, offers a range of trips, from short breaks costing as little as £98 (€115) to holidays lasting 10 days coming at £389 (€455). Applicants on particularly low incomes can benefit from even lower prices. The prices typically include all transport, accommodation and meals.

The shorter trips, usually around four days long, include destinations in inland provinces of Spain, while the more expensive holidays normally see beneficiaries visiting coastal areas such as the stunning Andalusia region or islands including the Balearics and Canaries.

People travelling to art cities and places of cultural interest can expect tailored itineraries filled with cultural activities. 

To the delight of the large British expat community in Spain, this initiative isn’t open to just Spanish pensioners but also to foreign nationals living in the country – including Britons.

The scheme is led by the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO), a government agency responsible for managing social services, and wants to help “active ageing and the promotion of active lifestyles, while favouring intergenerational solidarity, generating employment and economic activity and favouring inter-territorial solidarity through travel between different regions”, according to a spokesperson at the government agency quoted by Euronews.

As most of the subsidised trips are to be carried out during the low holiday season, this scheme helps the tourism sector remain active also between the months of October and June, less popular with foreign tourists. 

Moreover, by providing pensioners with these getaways, the Spanish government wants to improve their quality of life – which it hopes will translate into lower social care expenses.

Eligible applicants need to be either retired and receiving a Spanish public pension, aged 55 and older and receiving a widow or widower’s pension, aged 60 or older and receiving unemployment benefits or subsidies, or aged 60 or older and holders or beneficiaries of the Spanish social security system.

The government is so far prioritising a few categories, including first-time applicants, people with fewer financial means and those with a disability. 

Another perk of this scheme is that it allows successful applicants to take on their discounted travels a spouse, common-law partner or disabled child.

Most of the holidays being subsidised by this scheme are within the Spanish border, although there are a few offered with Portugal as a destination.

The IMSERSO allocated a total of 886,269 places for the 2023-2024 season – up 70,000 when compared to the previous year. The agency was also given a significantly larger budget to carry out this scheme, which is allowing more people to be able to access these holidays. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here