Oh, glorious retirement. With the daily grind in the rearview mirror, it’s time to indulge your curiosity and explore. Travel tops the to-do lists of most people retirement age and older.
And that’s exactly what seniors are doing. According to AARP’s 2019 Boomer Travel Trends, 94% of baby boomers anticipated at least one domestic getaway last year, with an average of four to five total trips planned. And 53% expected to travel internationally. So where are you headed in 2020?
Communities make it easy
At Essex Meadows, we love to help fuel our residents’ wanderlust. If you’re not a resident in a senior living community, you may not be aware how much easier traveling can be when you live in a place like Essex Meadows.
From transportation to the airport to assistance with baggage, collecting your mail and arranging for pet care, senior living communities have the staff and resources that allow you to travel with ease and without worry about the safety of your home.
Senior travel tours
If you’d rather not plan a trip yourself or would just prefer some company, consider joining a senior travel tour group. You’ll be able to travel with other people your age and make new friends as well as great memories. These are a few large, established options:
ElderTreks is a company designed exclusively for the senior travel crowd. Groups consist of 16 people or less and the locations are exotic, with itineraries designed specifically with seniors in mind.
Road Scholar is designed for anyone 50 and older interested in traveling to learn. There are dozens of trip options that include everything from a night at the symphony to an afternoon at the baseball park. And you can choose a trip based on your activity level and ability.
StrideTravel offers a wide variety of international tours that are planned for senior travelers exclusively.
Traveling with disabilities
If mobility is an issue, look at tours for seniors with limited mobility. Easy Access Travel specializes in cruise vacations and packaged tours for persons with physical disabilities. All the major cruise lines have worked to make their ships and excursions more accessible for all passengers. Also, many destinations that once seemed too remote or exotic are increasingly accessible via multiple options.
The world is your oyster
It’s your time to see the world. But where to go? Here are a few exciting destinations we hope will spark your desire to hit the road.
Central Europe’s rivers
River cruises are one of the hotter recent travel trends, especially through central Europe. They’re the perfect combination of luxury and activity. You can choose which ports you’d like to see and which guided excursions you’d like to participate in. Itineraries often string together up-close views of bankside castles, vineyards, storybook villages, and showstopping cities like Vienna and Budapest.
With breathtaking scenery featuring over thousands of glaciers, wildlife, and 17 of America’s 20 highest mountain peaks, Alaska is one of the most popular travel destinations for seniors. Hopping on one of the cruise lines out of Seattle is a great way to visit an adventurous, rugged land while also enjoying a certain level of comfort. The wildlife viewing in Alaska is next to none. Photographers and whale watching enthusiasts will love this destination.
National parks are a great opportunity for multigenerational travel and are easy to visit on a budget while still being comfortable. No matter where you are on the outdoorsy spectrum, the wonders of the U.S. national parks system are accessible to visitors with a range of interests and physical abilities. And the National Park Service offers an unbeatable bargain for seniors — Americans ages 62 and older can purchase a lifetime pass for only $80.
The United Kingdom
This country attracts many senior travelers with its history and charm. It offers everything from the bustling city of London and English country gardens to the rugged landscapes of Scotland. You can even live like royalty there (for a night or two). Rent a tower with a rooftop patio in the privately owned Drummond Castle in Drogheda, Ireland. Or stay at Kilcolgan Castle near Galway and enjoy easy access to the famed Cliffs of Moher.
Always a hit for those interested in relaxing, the Caribbean is another popular cruise destination for senior travelers. The warm weather is a great appeal and many different cruise lines offer trips in the Caribbean, so there’s a lot of choice. But be aware that Caribbean vacations are popular choices for everyone, so retirees looking for a more peaceful experience should consider traveling in May or September/October to avoid the crowds.
Okay, this isn’t a destination. But birding is one of the quickest growing tour types for seniors. Guided by professional photographers and fellow birding enthusiasts who offer in-depth advice on the best way to spot new birds, the correct lenses to use, and the camera settings for the ideal shot. Some of the most popular birding destinations include British Columbia, Costa Rica, the Amazon, and the United Kingdom.
Now that you’re mentally planning your next excursion, are you wishing you didn’t have to worry about your home while out traveling? It may be time to consider a move to Essex Meadows and enjoy all the benefits of independent living here.