Do you daydream about kicking your feet up oceanside in the Caribbean or exploring the quaint cobblestone streets of Italy? Would you like to tour America’s National Parks from coast to coast or do you imagine yourself bustling through Hong Kong or Tokyo? Traveling, for many, is one of the greatest thrills in life. It’s an adventure at best, a reprieve at the least, a memory worth making and a life worth living every time.
The problem for many, however, is that travel is intimidating. How will I book my plane tickets, find the right lodging? What if I don’t know the language? What if I get lost? The fears can be many and can even prevent some people from traveling. Still, overcoming these fears doesn’t have to be hard if you know where to look.
There are quite a few travel agencies, publications, websites and business world wide – too many to mention in fact – that cater to travelers over 50. These places, businesses, organizations make it a point to make your time traveling as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Here are our top five Travel Guides for our best alternative senior travel options for 2017.
You’ve spent your life working and now it’s time to have some fun! Bon Voyage!
1 – Rick Steves
If you are considering a trip to Europe by far and away Rick Steves – everything Rick Steves – is your best bet for guides and tips. Rick Steves has a fun travel show that airs on PBS and you can watch some episodes and videos by visiting his website. Additionally he has just recently been featured in the popular publication Active Over 50 where he talks about the traveling for seniors specifically. You can also check out his Savvy Senior Travers article here.
In addition to all of these great Rick Steves resources, his travel books are invaluable once you’ve determined your destination. He offers travel guides for every European country and the books are updated every two years. Rick personally spends 100 days out of the year travelling throughout Europe and writing his guides. He has great tips on food, lodging, attractions and simply the logistics of travel. A wonderful place to start with the Rick Steves books is with Europe Through the Backdoor, which will give you great insight into Rick’s valuable travel philosophy. He even offers tours!
2 – Senior Travel Guides
If you’re interested in visiting other places besides Europe, try visiting Senior Travel Guides, a fun, interactive website that offers great ideas and suggestions of places to visit worldwide. The website isn’t the best for gaining specific or general travel tips, it does however make destination suggestions that are uniquely appealing for seniors.
For example, their blog features articles like Gaming havens in the USA besides Las Vegas or Interesting places to visit on Hawaii’s Big Island. The website aims to share hot travel destinations specifically for seniors while highlighting the destination’s’ top attractions like monuments and museums or cultural highlights like the orchestra or local festivals.
3 – The Independent Traveler
The Independent Traveler is a great, all-inclusive website that caters to travelers of all ages, however, it has a thorough research section specifically written for seniors. The resource has four sections: Senior Deals and Tips, Sightseeing Itineraries, Traveling with Family, and Health Issues.
An interesting topic, and one that many seniors may worry over, are health issues while traveling. In particular any disabled travelers will appreciate the article on Disabled Travel, which outlines travelers rights through the Americans with Disabilities Act and arranges a comprehensive list of tips and resources available to travelers today.
4 – Cruise Critic
If you are interested in cruises, which come with oh-so-many fun benefits, check out Cruise Critic. Cruises are a fun alternative to travel because they are quick to book and easy to manage – the one-stop-shop of travel options. When you book a cruise you plan to be taken to your destinations in style.
Cruise Critic does a great job of highlighting the best of the best: the best deals, the best cruise lines, the best destinations; whether you want to explore the Caribbean or sail past the Greek Isles. Their guide, Best Cruises for Seniors, you’ll find particularly helpful where they outline a step-by-step guide to booking your cruise. The article has great pointers like suggesting travelers explore the cruise lines enrichment programs and itinerary choices.
5 – AARP
As a trusted source for seniors, AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons is always a great place to start if you just are not sure. Their resources are many and seemingly endless and this holds true for their travel tips as well.
On the AARP travel website you can explore their destination guides, discover local getaways, or use their trip finder to help you find and book your dream vacation. Additionally they have a blog that explores solely travel articles and tips where you can get advice from one of the most trusted national organizations in the country.