Whether you're looking to escape a cold winter, planning ahead for the summer or just feeling a bit restless, now is the perfect time to plan your next trip. Maybe you've been waiting for years to hit retirement to finally take the trip you've been dreaming of, or are in need of a little inspiration. Here are a few vacation ideas for traveling in your golden years:
For solo travelers or those looking for a bit more structure to their trips, group tours are the perfect choice. You can explore options all over the world – from wine tasting in Northern California to a trip through Tuscany, there are more choices than ever for seniors to take part in. There are a few ways to approach group tours – you can put together your own group to join a larger endeavor, taking the family along for an all-ages tour.
Or you can seek out tours specially designed for seniors and spend time with your peers while you explore the Australian Outback. Group tours are sometimes more expensive than planning your own itinerary, but they do offer conveniences you may not otherwise find – itineraries are set, activities planned and lodging either provided or suggested for the group, making these trips worth it for many seniors who would rather be in the hands of a knowledgeable guide than go it alone.
Cruises are a favorite for travelers of all ages, especially those who would rather sit back and relax without having to worry about logistics. Cruises operate all over the world, from Europe to the Arctic. If you'd prefer to leave from the United States, Caribbean tours are popular – sign up for a three-day, five-day or two-week cruise that will take you on a tour through sunny islands and crystal-clear waters. Choose between all-ages cruises for families, adults-only trips or cruises specifically for those over 65.
You'll stop off on different islands for day trips where you can snorkel or take walks along the beach. Then spend days on the ocean taking part in cruise activities, watching performances or simply relaxing on the decks under an umbrella.
You can also take cruises around Europe, Alaska, South America, Hawaii and other regions. Build air travel into your itinerary and budget – depending on where you live, you may have to fly to the departure point before you climb aboard.
There's no need to leave the country to enjoy a vacation. National Parks provide a great opportunity for seniors traveling alone or with groups. Go to the Shenandoah National Park for hiking, Yellowstone to check out the Old Faithful geyser or Glacier National Park for spectacular views. There are dozens to choose from in the U.S., all with unique features offering a wide range of activities from leisurely walks to horseback riding, camping and guided tours. You can plan to drive to national parks or fly to nearby airports, and can opt to stay in accommodations including affordable motels, inns with beautiful views or luxury hotels.
For many seniors and multi-generation families, vacations are the perfect opportunity to gather the clan to spend time together. Form memories with children, siblings and grandchildren, and hit the road or meet somewhere to bring together family members scattered across the country. One benefit of family trips is that all of the planning doesn't necessarily have to fall on your shoulders – enlist the help of other family members to help coordinate activities, flights and other logistics.
Have you ever dreamed of hitting the road with your spouse or family member, embarking on a different kind of adventure? Your golden years may just be the time to carry out this goal. With more time on your hands, you can plan out a road trip with a set schedule, or give yourself the freedom to meander from state parks to cities, stopping to see family and friends along the way. If you're driving in a sedan or other more traditional size car or van, you'll want to plot out a few sleeping options along the way to your destination – roadside hotels or stopping for a couple of days at specific destinations you're interested in seeing.
Or, if you have an RV, take extra time in each spot and plan your trip more loosely. You can travel for weeks, months or even years, traveling in comfort by making a new home on the road. If you're not interested in purchasing an RV, you can rent one for a while, taking family or friends along for the ride and stopping to sleep at campgrounds or other RV-friendly sites.
Your golden years are the time to enjoy life in different ways than years past. From relaxation to local trips or trotting the globe, the options are endless, so pack up your bags and head out on the adventure of a lifetime.