Medical studies have found that traveling is actually quite beneficial. The benefits of traveling include healthier hearts, brains and reduced risk of depression. Not to mention what a good vacation can do for your Facebook feed. So, if you’re looking for Senior-Friendly Travel Destinations, we’ve got the best places for you!
But where to go? While we admit that senior travelers have a wide range of things to consider such as:
- time allowed and
- physical abilities
we think you’ll find a few enticing options among the 10 senior-friendly spots that follow. And we’ve thrown in some expert tips along the way.
What to Consider When Looking for Travel Destinations for Seniors
The following are important considerations when seeking a senior-friendly travel destination:
- Access to amenities
- Activities geared toward seniors
- Access to a doctor, if needed
- Accessibility for seniors with limited mobility, including wheelchair access
- English-speaking destinations
Planning Your Trips: Best Travel Destinations for Seniors
‘Living your best life isn’t a cliché’. The phrase describes living in a way that reflects what you value and what satisfies you. This approach to life includes setting a few goals, infusing activities that make you happy, and being grateful for your life. It also encourages you to interact with those who bring out your best.
Current or soon-to-be retirees may think of travel destinations for seniors. Why? Because leaving the familiar routines opens the door to new opportunities:
- You learn about new cultures when you travel and expand your understanding of the world.
- Get first-hand experience and see the beautiful areas of planet Earth up-close.
- You can try delicious foods, create memories with those you love, and make new friends.
- You have the freedom to set your course. Be yourself, unconstrained by deadlines or management expectations.
- Travel can renew your energy and your enthusiasm for living. Your perspective may shift to one that appreciates your health, and financial stability.
But it’s a big, dynamic world. Finding the best travel destinations for seniors can be a daunting task. How do you find the places that match your interests, your energy level, and your budget? We’ve put together a few tips to help you with the planning process. We’ve also created a list of the best travel destinations for seniors.
– the time you’re committing to the trip
– how to budget a trip
– type of trips to go on
– the travelling season and many more
In this blog post, we will introduce the best senior-friendly places for you to visit.
Visiting Senior-Friendly Travel Destinations- How to Prepare
So, you’re thinking about traveling and you’re looking for travel destinations for seniors. In such a situation, take a few minutes to answer the following questions. You’ll be able to narrow your search and get on the road to your first (or your next) adventure!
How much time will you commit to the trip?
If you can stay in one place for a week or longer, a slow travel itinerary may be right for you. You’ll avoid the stress of those intense ‘five-cities-three-days’ scheduling. You can lower your expenses by having the flexibility to take public transportation. You’ll also receive better rates for more extended stays in hotels or vacation rentals.
Do you only have time for a weekend getaway? You may have to book some activities in advance. Affordable trips are available in the United States and other countries. So, don’t worry about making commitments beforehand. It’s perfectly natural to book in advance.
Who will be traveling with you?
If you are planning to travel solo, safety precautions and must be taken into account. You’ll need to check in with others regularly and share your itinerary, for example.
A group trip with friends or family will require more upfront research. For instance, group consensus on all aspects is unlikely when planning international tours. Having a conversation about interests and expectations can help create a great trip.
A discussion is very valuable when considering travel destinations for seniors. Talk about why you want to take the trip and outline key experiences that would make it enjoyable for both of you.
What kind of experience are you seeking?
Longer journeys allow multiple experiences. Yet, knowing if your trip will focus on relaxation or adventure, cultural experiences, or shopping and food is important. A popular travel destination for retirees will likely offer all of this and more.
You will also want to talk about the setting of your trip. Do you want to visit cities or the countryside, a beach or the mountains, or an all-inclusive resort?
If learning is an important goal, consider what you want to learn- from Spanish cooking to Mississippi River history. Your choice of travel destinations for seniors determines your trip.
What season do you prefer?
Most of us enjoy traveling by packing lighter and worrying less about the weather. However, if you have the flexibility to travel ‘off-season’ (November through March), go for it! Your trip will be more affordable and easier to schedule.
April through mid-June or September and October are also cost-effective travel times. You may have to pack a light jacket or sweater. But the still-pleasant weather and smaller crowds may be worth the additional luggage.
What is your budget?
Travel can be possible on almost every budget. To help you know how far you can go, decide whether you prefer a luxury or budget-friendly trip.
When planning an international trip, check the currency exchange rate to adjust your expectations. For example, taking travel tours in Europe means budgeting in terms of euros.
Travel Destinations for Seniors to Definitely Visit
1. U.S. National Parks
No matter where you land on the outdoorsy spectrum. From those who peer into the Grand Canyon from the rim to those who paddle through it on a canoe. The wonders of the U.S. national parks are available to visitors of all ages.
Not every traveler over 65 will want to haul herself up the sheer rock face of El Capitan at Yosemite. But how about a ranger-led nature walk amid the geysers of Yellowstone? Or a scenic drive past forests, wildflowers, and maybe a black bear or two in the Great Smoky Mountains?
For a one-time fee of $80, Americans aged 62 or older can get the National Park Service’s lifetime senior pass. This way, they get to experience all the natural splendor they could ever want to see.
2. The Caribbean
If taking it easy is what you’re after, the Caribbean supplies an ideal setting. With its velvety sands, sky-blue waters, and weather, it’s perfect to relax. Those who have trouble getting around might want to see the region via ocean cruise.
All the major lines have made their ships extremely accessible for all passengers. If you have specific needs, call ahead to let the cruise company know. A cruise is one of the easiest ways to make that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cuba happen, too.
You can even rent wheelchairs and other mobility equipment for a cruise. And for some travel destination inspiration, beaches on Antigua, and in Barbados should give you a good start.
Alaska is irrefutable proof that you don’t have to leave the United States to fulfil your travel list. Huge glaciers, whales, and grizzlies are all part of the state’s landscape. And you don’t have to be a wilderness explorer in peak physical condition to see some of the best stuff, either.
Alaskan cruises provide accessible accommodations for pretty much everyone. They showcase coastal marvels and port cities such as Sitka and Juneau. This place is renowned for its revitalized waterfront and burgeoning food scene. “Flightseeing” and helicopter shore excursions provide eye-popping views of mountains, forests, and waterways.
A leisurely inland alternative to cruising is a ride aboard the Aurora Winter Train. This travels through Christmas-card-worthy scenes between Anchorage and Fairbanks. From fall through spring, it coincides with prime time for seeing the Northern Lights.
4. Central Europe’s Rivers
A cruise is also a great way for seniors to journey through scenic swathes of Germany, Austria, and Hungary.
Yet despite the multitude of sights, the pace on deck is nice and easy. With picturesque landscapes scrolling by like an impressive backdrop, it’s perfect for seniors! Of course, travelers craving more action can opt for excursions. Many tours with electric-assist bikes are available for those who need a little added pedal power on hills and steep medieval streets.
5. Santa Fe
Santa Fe’s magical setting in the foothills have made New Mexico’s capital city a magnet for artists and other scenery hounds for generations.
Additional lures for the 65-and-over set include:
- a warm, dry climate,
- a compact and walkable historic downtown centered on a leafy plaza that dates to the early 1600s.
You don’t have to stroll far to find scores of art galleries, museums paying tribute to the region’s rich Native American traditions. There are restaurants serving Southwestern cuisine.
Depending on the time of year, rugged types can go hiking or skiing in the surrounding mountains.
6. Machu Picchu
The epic way to approach Peru’s mysterious citadel in the Andes is a hike along the Inca Trail. But if an arduous trek in high altitudes doesn’t sound like it’s for you, that doesn’t mean you have to scratch Machu Picchu off your bucket list.
A train from Cusco will get you there, too. You’ll be treated to spectacular views of lush valleys and snow-capped peaks along the way. A guided group tour can help with planning and accommodating specific needs and meeting new people. You can browse hundreds of available Machu Picchu tours, which even has a filter for tours.
7. The Canadian Rockies
Another stunning natural landscape that can be appreciated from the comfort of a train car is the Canadian Rockies. The top-of-the-line option would be to book a seat aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. It offers luxury rail journeys featuring gourmet meals, plush berths, and glass-domed carriages. It provides for unobstructed views of western Canada’s imposing peaks and glacier-fed lakes.
Prices for the ride are sometimes as steep as the Rockies. But you can piece together a more affordable alternative as well. From Alberta to British Columbia, routes link national parks, wildlife preserves, ski runs, and other beauties.
To find bargains overseas, it pays to go where you can benefit from a favorable exchange rate. The U.S. dollar stretches a long way in Southeast Asia right now. This makes upscale restaurants, spas, and four-star hotels sometimes remarkably affordable.
With its beaches, Buddhist temples, floating markets and overall ambiance, Thailand is perfect. It is an enticing choice for seniors who crave variety, culture, and a little relaxation without scrambling about too much. The locals’ deep respect for elders is just a bonus.
9. St. Augustine, Florida
America’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement is a must for history buffs. You can explore what remains of more than two centuries of Spanish rule, starting in 1565. A compact, magnolia-lined historic district—four blocks of St. George Street, from King Street to the Old City Gate, constitute the heart of it. It makes the sights easy to see for those who can’t walk far.
The convenient sightseeing trolleys (often at a discount for those over 55) make it easier. Good places to visit include the Castillo de San Marcos masonry fortification, and the Lightner Museum.
10. South Africa
We’d wager that “African safari” appears on more bucket lists than any other type of vacation. And there is a good reason behind it. Who doesn’t want to lay eyes on lions, elephants, giraffes, and zebras on their home turf?
The good news for older travelers is that wildlife-viewing tours are undertaken in all-terrain vehicles.
The ride can get bumpy, though, so for the sake of your joints. You might want to pick a game preserve that has a well-oiled tourism infrastructure to accommodate a wide range of visitors.
That makes South Africa’s Kruger National Park an obvious choice. And after you’ve spotted the Big 5 animals, you can use the dollar-friendly exchange rate toward adventures in other parts. Take your pick among vineyard tours, beach getaways, and the tram ride up Table Mountain in Cape Town. Your once-in-a-lifetime trip could turn into the first in a string of repeat visits.
As you can see, there are plenty of places you can visit within any budget as a senior. International and national treasures are scattered all across the globe. Just know that there are plenty of places you can discover with just a bit of research.