Senior Travel Tour
When we reach the age work is no longer necessary, the abundant free time lends itself to visiting faraway places we’ve always dreamed of. For many, senior travel involves trips to Europe or South America – even long drives around the United States! As the Baby Boomers come to their golden years in greater numbers, new opportunities and segments of the tourism industry arise all the time. This means you will have options that go beyond a simple camping trip in the woods, you may be able to help renovate an orphanage or gain in-depth knowledge about indigenous cultures. In short, you’ll be coming to retirement age at the dawn of an exciting era – and here are a few ways to get in on the action:
Small Ship Cruises
If you’ve ever taken an ocean voyage before, you know it often means boarding a massive vessel filled with young families and hard-partying college students. This can make enjoying your time at sea a bit of a challenge, so companies are offering an increasing number of vacations on compact versions of the mega-ships. Prices might be a bit higher – making them less affordable for most of the loud crowd – but it’s more likely you will be able to soak up the romance and satisfaction of ocean sunsets before a delicious meal, too. That said, if the cost of these smaller boats is prohibitive, search out designated “retiree-only” cruises to take advantage of discounts and like-minded company.
Become a Road Scholar
Created as a not-for-profit dedicated to facilitating education throughout life in 1975, this program from Elderhostel, Inc. provides retirees the opportunity to see the world and get in-depth perspectives on the cultures they encounter. Much like a university-organized trip to a foreign land or domestic attractions, participants travel with experts who are able to describe the various aspects of daily life in an area or have relevant specialized knowledge. A trip to Utah’s National Parks and the Grand Canyon might include a description of the different geology, while a tour of China will teach you about the social development from rural communities to sprawling cities.
Engage in Voluntourism
For some, the idea of wiling away days on sun-baked beaches or wandering around taking photos of famous buildings doesn’t quite hit the spot. If you’re the type that perks up at the prospect of making your vacation and active pursuit of different experiences or meaningful adventures, then consider volunteering while you are away. There is a range of activities available – you could be in the field dusting off dinosaur bones with Earthwatch or in a tiny schoolhouse in Central America teaching conversational English. Whatever your interest or experience, there is probably an opening you can fill – connect with an organization like Global Volunteers and you might find the habit tough to kick!
Wherever you go and whatever you decide to do, the important thing to remember is this: your time is valuable and should be as pleasurable as possible. Though it’s tempting to take advantage of senior discounts and off-season travel pricing, consider everything on the table. You might find something affordable and fulfilling – the best of both worlds.