Senior Travel Guide

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Seniors and retirees with time and desire to travel often turn to travel packages specifically for seniors. There is more involved than simply deciding on a destination when considering senior travel options. This senior guide presents comprehensive information on travel options and destinations for seniors, and other senior travel information.

Travel Options for Seniors

Whether you want to take a cruise, take a guided European tour, embark on an adventure tour, visit a historical or cultural site, or marvel at glaciers in Antarctica, there is an ideal travel option and method of travel for you. Although trekking through another country on long backpacking trips, bike rides covering miles of countryside or long walking tours may not seem exciting, there are many ideal options designed with seniors in mind.

There are tours for senior couples, single seniors, tour groups and tours specifically for senior women, giving senior women the opportunity to enjoy travel with friends or meet new friends that like to travel.

Traveling does more than provide excitement and an escape from boredom. Several sources point to the fact that traveling helps seniors stay healthier, smarter and feel younger. Providing the stimulus for mental and physical well-being, traveling also helps you live a more-active lifestyle.

Senior Bus Tours

Some seniors enjoy bus or motor coach tours. Take a day-trip bus tour within your own state or a one-day bus tour of sites such as Radio City Music Hall. Take a senior bus tour of a European location or a wildlife preserve.

Prior to booking your bus tour, make sure it meets your needs and expectations. An article in Trip Savvy indicates that seniors should talk with a travel agent, ask family or friends for recommendations and get answers to all your questions before paying for the trip.

Booking with a company with a solid reputation and reading the fine print before paying for the tour helps provide you with an outstanding opportunity for traveling on a senior bus trip.

Senior European Tours

European tours are a top choice for an ideal travel destination for many seniors. This is true whether on a European tour for senior couples, senior individuals, special interest groups or group tours specifically for seniors.

Several factors account for the popularity of senior European tours. AAA Daily contributor Albert Stumm explains that various European companies, cities, and countries compete for attracting retirees, baby boomers and other seniors to tour destinations across Europe.

Another point that makes European travel destinations popular is the increased focus on handicapped accessibility throughout Europe. This likely attracts seniors that otherwise traveled less often or not at all in the past.

There are various travel options available for seniors, including bus tours, cruises, guided and independent tours. One important aspect of European travel is that seniors do not have to go bankrupt to enjoy European destinations. EVELO contributor Frances Krug reveals that seniors on a budget with “A little trip savvy” have exceptional opportunities to enjoy European travel destinations.

Consider taking a tour of the museums and galleries of Berlin, or visit historical and cultural destinations. Enjoy the savings, where the cost of living is a whopping 30 percent less expensive than residing in London.

Discover fine dining in Greece at approximately one-third the cost of a similar meal in Italy. Visit archeological sites, ancient destinations and museums. Enjoy marvelous beaches or taking a ferry to other nearby sites.

Several other European tours provide ample travel opportunities for seniors traveling on a budget.

Senior Cruises

Many seniors enjoy taking a European cruise. Whether taking a cruise to Europe, Alaska, the Caribbean or another destination, cruise lines are keenly aware that senior cruise-goers are more active than seniors in the past. Itineraries offer fine dining opportunities, cultural enrichment, and hands-on activities, along with personalized opportunities that appeal to seniors today.

Some senior-friendly cruises offer new learning opportunities. Learn skills such as watercolor painting. Take dance lessons or enjoy glassblowing demonstrations aboard your senior-friendly cruise.

Consider a world tour cruise if you have longer time to spend on your cruise than some other senior cruises. This is a good option that allows for bonding with cruise mates or making new friends. There is plenty of time for partying and entertainment, time for enjoying other amenities while traveling the world at a leisurely pace.

There are multiple opportunities to save on your cruise with senior discounts and savings. Check with the cruise line for the specific age restrictions, because some offer discounts at age 55, while others offer discounts at 65 years of age. If you are an AARP member, some cruise lines offer considerable discounts beyond the amount of typical senior discounts.

Check with cruise lines for other savings options such as onboard credits and savings on last-minute bookings.

Senior Train Travel Options

One often-overlooked travel option for seniors is traveling by train. America by Rail indicates that a 2010 poll showed that when asked about travel preferences, 62 percent of respondents indicated they would likely choose to travel by train. Most respondents preferring train travel were seniors.

Embark on a rail tour across the U.S., across Europe or other travel destinations. Enjoy safe, comfortable rail travel, enjoying the sites while relaxing with other seniors.

Several vacation options allow seniors traveling by rail the opportunity to save on their rail tours. Amtrak offers a 10 percent discount for travelers at least 65 years of age. The age restriction drops to 60 for cross-border trips operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.

AARP members save on some rail tours. Check with Vacations by Rail for more information on train travel savings.

Avoid Senior Travel Mistakes

Check for senior discounts offered in the U.S. and in other countries. While clerks in Australia ask everyone their age to make sure each visitor receives every eligible discount, you normally have to research discounts on your own.

Trip Savvy explains that some travel clubs are exclusively for seniors, and possibly offer travel discounts.

Always secure travel insurance in advance. Many health insurance plans do not offer coverage outside the U.S.

Make sure that the senior travel option that you choose offers the best value, meets your comfort level and interests.

Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here