Travel is alluring in every sense: it’s a chance to see the unknown, explore, and grow as an individual. Unfortunately, the everyday demands of work often prevent people from traveling as much as they’d like.
Of all the things to look forward to about post-work life, travel is one of the most enticing. According to a survey conducted by AARP on 2015 travel trends, Baby Boomers will take an average of four to five trips next year with the top reasons for travel including getting away from their day-to-day experiences, relaxing, and spending time with family and friends. Knowing all this, we looked into all you need to know about traveling after retirement, including tour groups and top destinations. Happy planning and bon voyage!
Senior Travel Groups
Whether you are traveling alone, with a partner, or with friends, senior travel groups are a great way to meet people and expertly navigate any locale. For those who like to run with a pack, check out these top-rated groups that cater to seniors.
Established in 1987, ElderTreks is the world’s first adventure travel company designed exclusively for people aged 50 and over. It offers active, small-group adventures by both land and sea in over 100 countries. From African safaris to hiking trips in the Himalayas, ElderTreks has a wide variety of amazing tours all over the world.
- Grand Circle Travel
Established in 1958 by Ethel Andrus, educator and founder of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Grand Circle Travel offers amazing international vacations for older Americans. Because they view travel as a catalyst for lifelong learning, they make the world accessible through trips that deliver unmatched discoveries, leisurely pacing, more travel choices and good value. Among their offerings include the Grand Circle Cruise Line, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) and Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises.
- Road Scholar
Road Scholar is a program of Elderhostel, a not-for-profit organization started in 1975 that provides learning opportunities for adults at an excellent value. Road Scholar’s mission is to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel with expert instructors and have extraordinary access to some of the world’s greatest wonders.
- Senior Tours
For over 35 years and for thousands of guests, Senior Tours aims to provide comfort, value, convenience, fun and attention to detail. They offer a complete line of fully escorted tours and cruises in destinations across the globe and strive to maintain leisurely paces, fun-filled entertainment, and great service at a reasonable price.
- Elder Expeditions
Elder Expeditions offers vacations for seniors that are especially designed for fit and energetic travelers. They firmly believe that physical fitness, activity, and changing up one’s daily routine are essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind.
97% of those surveyed by AARP said they would take at least one Domestic trip in 2015. For those interested in exploring America the Beautiful, consider these stunning but senior-friendly spots.
As one of the most breathtaking states in the U.S., Hawaii has a lot to offer for senior visitors. Beaches, forest trails and island cruises make Hawaii not only a beautiful site to navigate and behold, but it allows tourists to relax and decompress.
In addition to its exciting cities, Arizona boasts incredible parks and natural desert terrain that allow for a wide range of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, boating and golf. Not to mention the dry air is perfect for health restoration!
- Niagara Falls:
This attraction is one for the bucket list: accommodations and amenities are meant to rejuvenate while the falls invigorate. The most famous way to view the falls is by the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour. Another not-to-miss activity is through the Cave of the Winds tour, which is an elevator ride down into the Niagara Gorge.
With 100,000 glaciers and 17 of the 20 highest mountain peaks in the U.S., senior travelers can take in Alaska’s breathtaking scenery by plane, train, RV or automobile, but we recommend a cruise! Especially gorgeous between May and September, Alaska is easy to navigate and unlike anything you’ll ever see.
- Branson, Missouri:
Branson has long been a popular destination for senior vacationers from Missouri and neighboring areas, but the establishment of music theaters by nationally-known performers along Highway 76 has increased Branson’s popularity as a tourist destination.
47% in the AARP study planned on at least one international trip in 2015. Not only are these overseas spots once-in-a-lifetime experiences, they’re perfect for senior globetrotters.
Italians know the importance of pausing to smell the coffee (literally). This is a country that is meant to be savored and taken in at a slow pace, whether that’s by strolling down beautiful city streets or enjoying a meal in a distant countryside eatery. Because of all this, Italy is a senior-friendly destination for those who are looking to unwind and enjoy the beauty of living.
Scandinavia is one of the most spectacular regions of the world, with bustling cities, majestic fjords, stunning coastlines and scenic countryside. These features, which happen to be situated in countries with the highest standards of living in the world, make Scandinavia a truly wonderful travel destination for seniors.
Not only is Japan a country that respects its elders, it possesses geographic marvels and fascinating cities. Because of their advanced public transit, getting around is a lot easier than many other countries. We recommend staying in a major city like Tokyo and taking day trips to neighboring rural areas via guided tours.
- Eastern Europe:
Eastern Europe is home to tons of amazing countries and cities, many of which can be accessed via multi-country tours geared toward seniors. Eastern Europe’s architectural wonders, delicious food and amazing culture can all be enjoyed for a good value.
- South Africa:
The country boasts some of the world’s greatest natural beauty that is accessible for seniors via guided safaris. In addition to the wild landscapes of rural regions, Cape Town is one of the world’s most remarkable cities, where luxury accommodations are available to relax and unwind before and after hitting the city streets.
Retirement is an exciting new stage in life. Along with its other advantages comes the freedom to travel, and you’re bound to have amazing, life-changing experiences as long as you plan carefully. But before you start planning, it’s good to daydream: What’s your fantasy vacation?